Rockets and Blue Lights at the Royal Exchange

Part of our Theatre guide

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Rockets and Blue Lights at the Royal Exchange
Image courtesy of the Royal Exchange

Rockets and Blue Lights at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre, 12 March–4 April 2020, from £19.00 - Book now

Winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award, Rockets and Blue Lights is an extraordinary new play from one of the UK’s most trailblazing playwrights, Winsome Pinnock. Launching the Spring/ Summer Season at the Royal Exchange, Pinnock’s award-winning work retells British history through the prism of the slave trade.

An extraordinary new play from Winsome Pinnock.

Seamlessly shifting through time, Rockets and Blue Lights explores Great Britain’s role in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from three different perspectives. Winsome Pinnock superbly weaves together the stories of Lou, a 21st-century actress who finds herself bound by historical legacy; Thomas, a sailor longing for the sea, living in Victorian Britain, and an ageing J.M.W Turner, who yearns for artistic inspiration.

Director Miranda Cromwell makes her Royal Exchange debut with this powerful and poetic play. Kiza Deen (The Phlebotomist) will take on the role of Lou, with Karl Collins (Nine Night) as Thomas and Paul Bradley (EastEnders) as the celebrated painter JMW Turner.

This performance invites us to question how the past is presented and who has the right to tell its stories.

Juxtaposing fact with fiction, the personal with the political, and the past with the present, this performance invites us to question how the past is presented and who has the right to tell its stories.

It feels very apt that this world premiere production will be performed in the Royal Exchange, which was once one of the world’s largest cotton exchanges.

Rockets and Blue Lights at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre

12 March–4 April 2020
From £19.00