Manchester’s leading theatre company is based in the historic Royal Exchange, once a major cotton trading centre.
The Theatre is the main performance venue and one of the most unusual in the UK. A seven-sided steel and glass module sits within the Great Hall. It contains a stage surrounded by three levels of seating on all sides. The maximum capacity is 750.
The Studio is a separate 100-person capacity venue. It hosts innovative performances from touring companies and local communities as well as Royal Exchange productions.
Tickets can be purchased online from the official website. Alternatively telephone the Royal Exchange box office on 0161 833 9833 or visit in person. Box office opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10 am to 7.30 pm (6.15 pm for telephone bookings) and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.
Tickets for performances in The Theatre are the most expensive. Tickets for front row banquette (bench) seats are released on the day of the performance and are considerably cheaper than regular tickets. Under 26s enjoy cheap tickets on Fridays and half-price student standbys are offered for all performances.
On Friday evenings all are welcome to attend the theatre’s Special FX sessions in the Great Hall. Free entertainment (musicians, comedians etc.) starts around 6 pm and happy hour drink prices apply.
The Round Restaurant is open throughout the week for lunch and dinner (on Sunday lunch only). The Great Hall Café serves snacks, sandwiches, salads and afternoon tea. It is open every day from 10 am (11 am on Sunday) until half-an-hour before the performance begins. Bar Exchange offers beer, wine and spirts Monday to Saturday.
Backstage tours and a costume hire service are also available.
The Royal Exchange is situated on St Ann’s Square in Manchester’s Central Retail District.
Victoria is the closest train station and is just under half-a-mile from the Royal Exchange Theatre. Piccadilly is a little further. Free Metroshuttle buses run from both stations and stop near the theatre.
The nearest car park is the NCP Manchester Deansgate (postcode M3 2EQ). Theatregoers enjoy reduced price parking (parking tickets need to be validated at the theatre box office).
Other attractions and places of interest within easy walking distance of the Royal Exchange Theatre include the National Football Museum, The Printworks, Corn Exchange, Manchester Cathedral, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, St Ann’s Church, Manchester Arndale, House of Fraser, and the John Rylands Library.
Tourist attractions and things to do near Royal Exchange Theatre include:
The Printworks (0.2 miles) - State-of-the-art entertainment complex. Cinema, bars, restaurants and more.
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese (0.3 miles) - Cafe in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Claims to be the UK’s first grilled cheese restaurant. Great atmosphere. Close to Afflecks and the Manchester Arndale.
This and That (0.3 miles) - Unpretentious Indian cafe in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Offers a simple menu that changes daily. Specialises in rice and three curry dishes. Located close to the Printworks and Manchester Arndale.
Fazenda (0.3 miles) - Brazilian steakhouse at Spinningfields. Skewers of meat are brought to your table. Close to the John Rylands Library, Manchester Opera House, Great Northern, and the People’s History Museum.
Reviews and Additional Information
I love going to the Royal Exchange. Tickets are good value for money and you get a good view no matter where you sit.