2024 delivers a wonderful mix of vibrant, intriguing and entertaining productions that take you on a journey from Greater Manchester to modern day America and London’s high society.

This spring/summer three incredible directors make their Royal Exchange Theatre debuts in a season of brand-new productions of outstanding contemporary plays and enduring classics. These plays are retold by directors with fresh perspectives, examining the continuing relevance of these important pieces of writing for audiences today while original new drama highlights how powerful playwriting is when scrutinising our world today.

These stunning productions are developed and built here in Manchester by award-winning creative teams for our wonderfully unique theatre in-the-round. And along with the Bruntwood Prize winning SHED: EXPLODED VIEW make for a truly exciting theatre experiences for 2024!

Find out what’s new and book today by becoming a member. Don’t forget if you want all your theatre for spring/summer sorted then take a look at our brilliant season tickets for a great deal on multiple tickets!

By Shelagh Delaney
Directed by Emma Baggott

Director Emma Baggott (WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISASSOCIA, Theatre Royal Stratford East / SOCIAL CARE WORKER’S PLAY, Almeida) makes her Royal Exchange debut with Shelagh Delaney’s iconic play. This sharply observed portrait of working-class life in Salford in the late 1950s was a daring piece of theatre, not only for its gritty realism and honesty, but also for placing two resilient women at the centre of the drama. Delaney’s astute character observations have stood the test of time, and A TASTE OF HONEY remains an urgent and powerful play for the 21st Century. This is a stunning portrayal of the intricate relationship between a mother and daughter who, despite their sharp bickering, are both holding on for that Taste of Honey.

Director Emma Baggott said…

“I am delighted to be directing the RET forthcoming production of A Taste of Honey. It was one of the first texts I studied as a teenager and has long lived in my head and heart. I have always been inspired by Delaney’s radical and courageous decision to place working class women at the centre of her drama and not as subordinate to the interests of male characters.”

By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Jade Lewis

Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer-Prize winning drama SWEAT, directed by Jade Lewis (QUATER LIFE CRISIS, The Bridge Theatre / SLEEPOVA, Bush Theatre), who also makes her Royal Exchange debut this season, is a sweeping state-of-the-nation play that embraces huge political and economic ideas in a magnificent gritty social drama – and is a perfect match for Manchester’s industrial, unionised roots. Nottage’s stunning writing pits friend against friend as social and racial tensions, once buried by a sense of solidarity, soon rise to the surface in this breath-taking drama.

Director Jade Lewis said…

“I feel really honoured and excited to bring Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT to Manchester. SWEAT gives a voice to the people, highlighting lives, dreams and experiences of the ordinary person with such nuance and complexity.”

By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Josh Roche

Oscar Wilde’s legendary comedy THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is brought into the contemporary world. Today, just as in Wilde’s time, self image is a work of art. The photos on our feeds are carefully curated versions of ourselves, our personalities split between private and public. We are all dandies now. Directed by multi-award wining director Josh Roche (MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE Young Vic (JMK Award Winner / IT’S A MOTHER FUCKING PLEASURE, Soho Theatre (Untapped Award Winner) / HOME, Chichester Festival Theatre). This timeless tale of identity, opulence and sharp-tongued wit follows the lives of the rich and ridiculous, all looking for something to do, someone to love and somewhere to belong. This brilliantly fun, age-defying comedy is perfect for summer.

Director Josh Roche said;

“Bringing any of Oscar Wilde’s plays to the Royal Exchange in 2024 is a privilege. He is a writer who constantly balances empathy with satire, reminding us how ridiculous we are, while also understanding our need to feel profound. Wilde’s society of 1893 is disturbingly similar to our own. However, what’s particularly exciting about bringing Earnest into the Royal Exchange is how well this modern space suits this classic play – a uniquely social, free and dynamic theatre for a timeless comedy of profound triviality.”

The Royal Exchange makes theatre as affordable and accessible as possible with Season Tickets, that’s 4 shows starting at £66, Pay What You Can tickets available on every show, Under 30s and the Exchange’s legendary Banquette Seats for £10.