Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom directs one of the greatest stories of a city ever told in her new version of WEST SIDE STORY, Inua Ellams’ BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES kicks off its UK tour and writers Tanika Gupta and James Yeatman reimagine key moments in Manchester’s unique journey with HOBSON’S CHOICE, and THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT: SCENES FROM THE LUDDITE REBELLION.
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7 - 23 March 2019
Written by Inua Ellams. Directed by Bijan Sheibani.
One day. Six cities. A thousand stories.
Newsroom, political platform, local hot spot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world.
This dynamic new play leaps from a barber shop in London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampula, Lagos and Accra. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.
★★★★ 'This wonderful new play is a revelation.' The Times (National Theatre 2017)
6 April - 25 May 2019
Based on a Conception of JEROME ROBBINS. Book by ARTHUR LAURENTS; Music by LEONARD BERNSTEIN; Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Directed by SARAH FRANKCOM.
"Could it be? Yes, it could. Something's coming - something good."
The most dazzling musical in Broadway history, WEST SIDE STORY marries stunning choreography to a matchless songbook - MARIA, AMERICA, SOMEWHERE, TONIGHT - as it translates ROMEO AND JULIET to 1950s Manhatten. It's the Jets and Sharks, two gangs who make New York's mean streets even meaner. But it's also the greatest love story ever told.
Sarah Frankcom's production follows Royal Exchange hits such as SWEET CHARITY and GUYS AND DOLLS as it brings a whole new energy to a bona fide Broadway classic.
31 May - 6 July 2019
By HAROLD BRIGHOUSE. In a new adaptation by TANIKA GUPTA. Directed by POOJA GHAI.
"It's a man's world and you girls should keep within your boundaries and do as you're told."
If tailor Hari Hobson isn't bossing his daughters about in his Northern Quarter workshop, he's putting the world to rights in his local pub. His oldest daughter, Durga, is the brains behind the operation. But when Hobson says that Durga is too valuable to lose and must give up all idea of getting married, she takes her fate into her own hands and opens a rival shop nearby.
Tanika Gupta's sparkling new version of this classic 1916 comedy finds a new home amid the 1980's Ugandan-Asian rag trade. Cutting through generational divides, it shows that in family life, some stories never get old - and some things never change.
25 July - 10 August 2019
Created by JAMES YEATMAN and LAUREN MOONEY. Directed by JAMES YEATMAN. Dramaturgy by LAUREN MOONEY.
"Remember, we have given you both time and warning and if you pay no attention you must abide by the consequence."
The Industrial Revolution was the original Northern Powerhouse, but not everyone bought into the future it promised. Across England, angry workers smashed the new machines that threatened their way of life. And their complaint, that bosses were using technology to beat down the workers, resonates now more strongly than ever.
James Yeatman's new play brings the Luddites into our zero-hours era. Using 21st-century technology, this vivid production shows how they helped inspire the birth of Manchester's radical political identity - and how their long-misunderstood protests remain massively relevant today.
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