Whether you are an ardent thespian, amateur dramatic enthusiast or just like seeing the odd play, the backstage tour at the Royal Exchange Theatre
immerses you in the world of creating productions. The Royal Exchange has been a part of Manchester in its various configurations for centuries. Having been a cotton exchange for the wealthy men of Victorian Manchester through to its now stunning reincarnation as a theatre. You will be fascinated to learn more about the iconic structure of the main theatre and how it connects with the older exterior. As well as the former uses of the studio theatre, a space which is now used for developing and smaller scale productions. The building is full of subtle reminders of the past which are easily overlooked, whilst being an innovative space for theatre creation. Your tour guide will shine a light on some of these hidden features and make you see the main hall in a new light.
Each tour is lead by one of the Royal Exchange’s enthusiastic volunteers, whose passion for the place is infectious as they lead you through the building. It isn’t often that you have the chance to see behind the scenes of a working producing theatre and visit all the departments involved in putting a production on from scratch. You’ll see everything from the tailors working hard in wardrobe to the wigs of hair and make-up and of course, the structure of the theatre itself, every part of the Royal Exchange is about producing different worlds for people to get lost in. Tours run every Thursday from 11:00 am, be sure to book in advance as they are increasingly popular. They last around two hours and during that time you’ll meet a mixture of people from the theatre making sure there’s never a dull moment.