The Royal Exchange Theatre

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Manchester, England

The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester Reviews

helan helan
2 reviews
Great entertainment! May 30, 2011
This place is great for entertainment. It is in a fantastic location surrounded my restaurants, shops and coffee places. Great for travelling types to chill out for an evening and take in a little of Manchester. I love this theatre - it's in the round and there is always something interesting to watch. From Shakespeare - musical - rock stars! It is about a 10 min walk from Manchester Victoria Station too so not far at all! I really recommend going here for your evening entertainment.
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sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
The Royal Exchange Theatre May 28, 2010
The Royal Exchange is a theatre-in-the-round in Manchester. It has a great company and does some really interesting plays, but as this is a travel site, Pygmalion may well be over by the time you come to visit. I'll be concentrating on the building instead, which barring anything horrific, will still be there.

The Royal Exchange theatre is such a stunning building that I always take people to walk through it when they come and visit, regardless of if we want to see a play or not. It is incredible. Basically, the Exchange itself was the hub of cotton trade when Manchester was one of the richest trade centres in the world, and is a huge, neoclassical building with domes and copulas and pillars. The building fell into disuse as Manchester lost its cotton trade, and was derelict by the 1960s. Luckily, there was no money or will in Manchester to ruin the building or to demolish it, so it survived until the 1970s. At that point, the city of Manchester needed a theatre and they built a theatre in the round, right in the middle of the incredible building.

Roll forward several decades, and one horrific bombing that destroyed the theatre all over again, and the Royal Exchange theatre is still a round, modernist glass and steel theatre in the middle of a neoclassical temple - it looks for all the world as if a UFO landed in the middle of a ball room. The acoustics are great, and there are two, reasonably priced, nice bars, a coffee bar, and a fantastic craft shop that sells expensive designer ceramics and jewellery and art.

It's actually free to walk through the building, look at any art exhibitions they have, and appreciate the sheer ambitiousness of the theatre buildings. Drinks are about average priced for Manchester, and theatre tickets vary from free to about £30, depending on what's on and if you have any discounts for being young.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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skiathos says:
Agree, even if you aren't going to watch a play, The Exchange is a good place to chill out and enjoy a coffee. During the day, it provides a quiet, almost church-like refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. An impressive and interesting building.
Posted on: Jun 26, 2011
davidx says:
I've seen a lot here, including Pygmalion! I like these old exchange buildings as well. Have you been in Waterstones' bookshop in Bradford in the old Wool Exchange?
Posted on: Jul 30, 2010
davidx davidx
564 reviews
Imaginative use of Exchange building Nov 22, 2010
There were Exchanges of various sorts on this Manchester site since late in the 18th century - leading to its eventually becoming the largest trading room anywhere as the Cotton Exchange.

Since the decline of the cotton industry it has housed a remarkable theatre in the round. This is a seven sided steel and glass edifice, suspended from the old giant pillars of the Exchange.

The Royal Exchange Theatre is generally regarded as on a par with the London theatres and nationally known actors are frequently to be seen there.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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