As part of our ongoing commitment to nurture, support and inspire local theatre-makers, the Royal Exchange Theatre offers directors based in Greater Manchester the opportunity to observe the journey of a production through rehearsals with our Observer Mondays Scheme.

Within the creative and supportive environment of this major producing theatre, selected participants will be assigned to a production of their choice and invited to observe rehearsals every Monday from the first day through to Press Night. They will receive mentoring from one of our Associate Artistic Director, tickets to see the production and a one-to-one meeting with the director of the production.

The times of the rehearsal will be dictated by the director and may vary. You should expect to be in attendance approximately between 9am – 6pm.

"It provided for me, as an aspiring director, a view which isn’t really given. Simply being in a rehearsal room and just watching - watching how a piece is developed at a professional level. This is something that, at an early stage, directors tend to just guess and simply plough through. With Observer Monday’s week-by-week you gain more insight and really go on a journey with the cast and crew. The scheme provided by the Royal Exchange is a necessary step to understand the inner workings of productions and how a finished product is achieved. If you have any interest in theatre production particularly how a director works, this is a scheme to be involved in." Monique Touko Observer Mondays Director on The Rolling Stone

In the Autumn/Winter 2018/19 Season, the four productions that we will be inviting directors to observe are: 


by Jeanie O’Hare. Taken from William Shakespeare

Director Elizabeth Freestone

Rehearsals – 13th August – 13th September 2018

First Preview – 14th September 2018


By Arthur Miller

Director Sarah Frankcom

Rehearsals – 3rd September - 10th October 2018

First preview – 11th October 2018


A Mel Brooks Musical

Director Raz Shaw

Rehearsals – 22nd October – 29th November 2018

First Preview – 30th November 2018


by Bertolt Brecht. A new adaptation by Anna Jordon.

Director Amy Hodge

Rehearsals – 7th January – 7th February 2019

First Preview – 8th February 2019

In addition, we are delighted to be able to offer aspiring facilitators and those interested in working with participants the opportunity to observe sessions with our ground-breaking YOUNG COMPANY AND ELDERS COMPANY. 


Directed by Nickie Wildin

Following the success of WE WERE TOLD THERE WAS DANCING and MIXTAPE, the Royal Exchange Theatre’s award-winning Young Company present a unique twist on a familiar text, performed in promenade at Abraham Moss School, Crumpsall.

Rehearsals: 23rd July - 4th August 2018

Tech: week commencing 6th August

First Performance: 13th August


Led by Andy Barry

A chance to observe our resident company of ages 60+ for one term as they explore storytelling in the run up to their next production in Feb 2018.

Dates & times: Fridays, 2-4pm, Front Room

2018 Autumn Project Dates:

Sep 7, 14, 21, 28

Oct 5, 12, 19, 26

Nov 2

2019 Spring Project Dates:

Jan 25

Feb 1, 8, 15, 22

Mar 1, 8, 15

  • Important Dates
    Deadline for applications to observe THE PRODUCERS has been extended to Mon 27 August 2018, 6pm.

    Interviews will take place on Monday 3 September 2018.

  • How To Apply
  • To be eligible to apply for Observer Mondays you must be part of our Open Exchange Network.

    Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a copy of your CV and a short statement explaining which production/company you would like to observe and why. (no more than 500 words)

    If you require your submission to be in a multimedia format, please send a video statement (no more than 2 mins).

    If you have any further questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

Each Observer will be writing a weekly blog on this page to share their learning from the experience.

Previous Observer Mondays Blogs

Emerging Directors on the Open Exchange network can also access other opportunities including Observer Mondays.

Open Exchange provides a series of developmental opportunities for emerging artists of all disciplines, rooted in the belief that collaboration creates great art and brilliant theatre doesn't always begin with a script. Sign up here for opportunities.

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