Created by the Royal Exchange Theatre's Open Exchange


  • 20 July 2018 - 22 July 2018
  • The Studio - The Great Hall - The Lounge - The Front Room
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Co:LAB Festival is back with 11 brand new commissions from local artists. 

Co:LAB or the Collision Laboratory - is a festival to showcase embryonic ideas from the next generation of theatre-makers in the North West.

It is a response to local artists who say that they need time, space and money to begin to explore ideas and collaborations, and a chance to test the work on a live audience.

The Festival aims to showcase theatre made in non-traditional ways with unexpected creative collisions and collaborations. 

Pop in for a performance, join us for a drink or stay for the whole festival – all events are pay what you decide! Simply reserve your tickets below or turn up on the day. 

Co:LAB festival is part of Open Exchange


A Part of me 532px


After Birth 532px


Altar Alter 532px



Baal 532px


Catching Comets 532px


Commit 532px


Eta Carina 532px


Over My Dead Body 532px


Prince Gorge 532px


The Witching Way 532px


Image of Co:LAB TUCH, Royal Exchange Theatre

The Open Exchange has been generously supported by The Leche Trust and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

The Leche TrustEF logo 4col

  • Event Information
  • VENUE: The Studio, The Great Hall, The Front Room, Members Suite and The Lounge.

    PERFORMANCE DATES: Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July 2018

    TICKETS: All Co:LAB shows are Pay What You Decide. 

    Pay What You Decide not only allows you to pay what you can afford, rather than a fixed ticket price, but also removes the financial risk of buying a ticket for a show in advance without knowing whether you are going to enjoy it or not. Tickets will be available to book in advance as usual, but there is no obligation for you to pay until after you have seen the show.

    You can then decide on a price which you think is suitable based on your experience, which means if you haven’t enjoyed it at all, you don’t have to pay anything.

    Please ensure you have arrived and collected your tickets 15 minutes before the show starts in order to secure your seats.

    At the end of the show, you can decide what to pay, either by cash on the door or by texting ‘CLAB18 £5’ to 70070. You can choose from £3/£5/£10/£15/£20.


    10am - 10pm in The Lounge AFTER BIRTH by Highlight Collective
    A multi-media installation putting the hidden issue of maternal mental health in public.

    7.30pm - 8.00pm in The Studio TUCH by Amy Lawrence 
    Cataloguing moments of epic touch with other bodies and indulges in its absence.

    8.30pm - 9.30pm in The Studio BAAL by Knaïve Theatre & Impermanence Dance Theatre
    Exploring how text, dance and music can intersect in this bold adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s dark, poetic and brooding first play.

    10pm - 10.30pm in The Studio PRINCE GORGE by Sophie Coward, Eliyana Evans and James Varney
    Prince Gorge is a live band and a narrative poem which sees small royal boy Prince George of Cambridge grow up to become a Queer performance artist and cult leader.


    10am - 10pm in The Lounge AFTER BIRTH by Highlight Collective
    A multi-media installation putting the hidden issue of maternal mental health in public.

    7pm - 7.45pm in The Front Room COMMIT by Big Liars
    An interactive show about a young black man making a personal decision on a very public stage.

    8.30pm - 9.30pm OVER MY DEAD BODY by Ali Wilson and James Monaghan
    The end. The darkness. The rebirth. Heaven. The afterlife. The passing. The dot dot dot...

    10pm - 10.30pm ETA CARINA by Violet Blonde, The Kommanderrr and Claire McNulty
    Eta Carina is an ageing supernova on the edge of space performing to an earth they have left behind. A dystopian world. A tyrannical father. A choice to be made.


    10am - 10pm in The Lounge AFTER BIRTH by Highlight Collective
    A multi-media installation putting the hidden issue of maternal mental health in public.

    3pm - 3.15pm, 4pm - 4.15pm and 5pm - 5.15pm in The Great Hall A PART OF ME by New Vision Theatre Company
    An immersive piece of theatre following the lives of three characters whose only freedom to be themselves is when they are online. Exploring the projected image we portray on social media versus the reality of the lives we lead.

    3pm - 3.30pm, 4pm - 4.30pm and 5pm - 5.30pm in The Lounge AFTER BIRTH by Highlight Collective
    "This is not what I’d imagined. If I was your bathroom you’d have called a plumber by now. I’m leaking.” How do mothers voice they're struggling during a time society expects to be the best?

    3pm - 3.30pm, 4pm - 4.30pm and 5pm - 5.30pm in The Exchange Suite ALTAR/ALTER by Lydia Cottrell and Michael-Jon Mizra
    A ritualistic hang out for a generation who have replaced the evening fires with a laptop screen.

    6pm - 6.30pm in The Studio CATCHING COMETS by Ransack Theatre and written by Piers Black
    A scratch performance of hope, bravery, disasters and heroes.

    7pm - 8pm in The Studio THE WITCHING WAY by Ali Matthews and Leo Burtin
    A DIY rock opera about a teenager born and raised a witch.



  • Accessible Performances

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