In ancient Greece, theatre was an important part of civic life. It was considered an honour and a duty to sponsor a play. Before a performance, a leading citizen – representing the community – would offer a blessing.
Inspired by this ancient tradition, at the start of each performance a Libation Giver, representing Greater Manchester’s communities, will read a short speech and pour wine on the Royal Exchange stage.
The Suppliant Women is at its heart a play about community and democracy - in fact, it contains the first recorded use of the word 'democracy' anywhere in history.
And so, our Libation Givers are drawn from the widest range of Manchester's diverse communities - including Councillors of all political leanings, Faith Leaders, Business Leaders, Charity Leaders, Cultural Figures, our theatre's Board Members, members of our WOrld Wide Workshop and asylum seekers and the Lord Mayor of the City of Manchester.
Each day we will announce who will be performing this ancient ceremony – check out Twitter for daily posts.