Rockets and Blue Lights

  • By Winsome Pinnock. Directed by Miranda Cromwell.
  • 12 March 2020 - 4 April 2020
  • The Theatre
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'I am the slave ship. Wrecked. Empty. I am a shark, livid with the desire for blood. I am the sea, boiling with fury.'

Amid the gloom of Victorian England, Thomas, a black sailor prepares to take one last voyage, while an ageing Turner seeks artistic inspiration in a half-remembered story.

In 21st Century London, an actress finds herself handcuffed by history – two centuries after abolitionists won her ancestors their freedom.

Winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award, Winsome Pinnock’s astonishing new play retells British history through the prism of the slave trade. Fusing fact with fiction, past with present, the powerfully personal with the fiercely political, this epic production asks who owns our past - and who has the right to tell its stories?

  • Event Information
  • VENUE: The Theatre

    PERFORMANCE DATES: Thursday 12 March - Saturday 4 April 2020

    PERFORMANCE TIMES: Matinees, 2.30pm / Evenings, 7.30pm. View all times & dates


    TICKET INFORMATION: Standard Tickets from £19.00. Half Price Previews: Thursday 12 March, Friday 13 March, Saturday 14 March, Monday 16 March (all 7.30pm) View all ticket prices

    BOOK TICKETS: Book Online or call the Box Office on 0161 833 9833.

    SEASON TICKETS: Book more, save more!  Take advantage of our Season Ticket packages, offering up to 25% off ticket prices. Prices for the whole season start from just £45.60.  More information


    Members get Priority Booking for each season as well as for additional events. You can find out about Membership here.

    With your support, we can make brilliant theatre, tell stories, nurture new talent, and help as many people as possible get involved. 

  • Creative Team
  • WRITER Winsome Pinnock

    DIRECTOR Miranda Cromwell

    DESIGNER Laura Hopkins

    LIGHTING DESIGNER Jessica Hung Han Yun


  • Related Events
    Friday 3 April, following 7.30pm show. 
    No need to book tickets for the discussion.
    Book tickets to the performance

    Like an informal, friendly book club, but for plays
    Saturday 21 March, 5.00pm *
    Tickets are free but please book a place
    Book Tickets: 0161 833 9833 / online

    * Theatre Club starts following the end of the matinee performance, so dependant upon run times, Theatre Club may start a little earlier or later. Run times are confirmed once the show has opened.

    Pre-show introduction to the play, led from the stage and featuring company members.
    Thursday 26 March, 10.30am - 12 noon. Tickets £6 / Concessions £4
    Book Tickets: 0161 833 9833 / online
    More information about Introducing

    Join the cast of ROCKETS AND BLUE LIGHTS in a Q&A
    Friday 27 March, 12.30pm - 1.30pm
    Tickets £5 - for members only
    Book Tickets: 0161 833 9833 / online
    More Information about becoming a member

  • Accessible Performances
  • If you require our BSL, Audio Described or Captioned services, please book directly with Box Office. This is because there are often specific seats, which are held for each show to ensure you have the best experience possible.

    You can call on 0161 833 9833 or email at box.office@royalexchange.co.uk

    AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday 4 April, 2.30pm

    BSL PERFORMANCE: Wednesday 25 March, 7.30pm

    CAPTIONED PERFORMANCES: Saturday 21 March, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

    RELAXED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday 24 March, 2.30pm BOOK TICKETS

    Click here for more information about our accessible performances

    PLEASE NOTE - if a performance is marked as SOLD OUT - there may still be access seats available - so do get in touch. 

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