Award winning TV and stage actress Surrane Jones is set to star in Virginia Woolf’s gender swapping production Orlando at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre from 20th February – she was last seen at the Exchange in Noel Coward’s Blythe Spirit in 2009.
Following on from Orlando is a new production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing which will be helmed by Swedish director Maria Aberg who has worked regularly in the UK, Sweden and Germany including The Royal Court, RSC and Southwark Playhouse.
The Last Days of Troy by poet and novelist Simon Armitage will run at the theatre throughout May – this is a new version of Homer’s The Iliad – a story of two countries moving towards war, from petty conflict to the tragedy of human life which culminate in the legendary tale of the Trojan Horse. The Last Days of Troy will be directed by Nick Bagnall, who was behind the West End and touring production of Entertaining Mr Sloane starring Imelda Staunton.
This will be partnered and played in rep with the world premiere of Gareth Farr’s Britannia Waves the Rules. Farr’s play won the 2011 judges award in the Bruntwood prize for playwriting and tells the story of a young soldier Karl, who is discharged from the army and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. It is set to look at why people choose to serve their country and how at times their country fails to serve them.
A revival of Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall’s Billy Liar will be brought to the stage in June and will see Stockport born Sam Yates take to the director’s chair. Famously filmed in the 1960s – with Tom Courtenay in the title rôle – the story’s central character, Billy Fisher is bored by his job and spends his time blending fantasy and reality, indulging in fantasies and dreams of life in the big city.
The season is rounded off with a trip around the world in a co-production with Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s New Vic Theatre to present Laura Eason’s adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around The World in Eighty Days.This production will see the two theatres come together for the first time to present the production which was a hit for the Newcastle based theatre in 2011, and will be the first time the Royal Exchange has collavborated with another theatre-in-the-round venue.The production will be directed by New Vic Theatre’s Artisic Director Theresa Heskins.
Programming in the Studio space at the theatre is still being finalised.
Adapted by Sarah Ruhl from the novel by Virginia Woolf |Directed by Max Webster
Thursday 20 February – Saturday 22 March |PRESS NIGHT: TUESDAY 25 FEBRUARY at 7.30pm
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
By William Shakespeare |Directed by Maria Aberg
Thursday 27 March – Saturday 3 May. |PRESS NIGHT: TUESDAY 1 APRIL at 7.30pm
THE LAST DAYS OF TROY |World Premiere
By Simon Armitage |Directed by Nick Bagnall
Thursday 8 May – Saturday 7 June |PRESS NIGHT: TUESDAY 13 MAY at 7.30pm
BRITANNIA WAVES THE RULES |World Premiere
By Gareth Farr |Directed by Nick Bagnall
Monday 26 May – Saturday 7 June |PRESS NIGHT: TUESDAY 27 MAY at 7.30pm
By Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall |Directed by Sam Yates
Friday 13 June – Saturday 12 July |PRESS NIGHT: TUESDAY 17 JUNE at 7.30pm
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS
Adapted from the novel by Jules Verne by Laura Eason |Directed by Theresa Heskins
Thursday 17 July – Saturday 16 August |PRESS NIGHT: TUESDAY 22 JULY at 7.30pm
For more information on the season visit www. royalexchange.co.uk