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The Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester

Manchester Theatres Index

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

 

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.The Grade II Listed Royal Exchange was originally built as the Cotton Exchange in 1874, designed by Mills and Murgatroyed. The building was extended rearwards in 1922, doubling its size. The building was bombed in World War II and although restored the exterior was rebuilt on more simple lines.

In June 1996 an IRA bomb did considerable damage to the Cotton Exchange which was actually shifted several inches on its foundations by the force of the explosion. Remarkably, although the building was declared unsafe the Theatre, which was built on shock absorbers, survived intact.

Right - The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

A Lottery grant of £14m was obtained in the same year and the building was reconstructed. Into the bargain a new small Studio Theatre was added with a capacity of 120. The Studio Theatre has its own foyer and bar.

The Theatres Trust Guide says of the current Royal Exchange Theatre: 'In order to create the theatre the architects devised a ‘theatre module’, 21m in diameter, suspended from four of the giant piers which support the roof of the Exchange. The seven-sided theatre is constructed of steel and glass with seating rising all around a central acting area. This is an intimate space with a diameter of 70ft and a height of 45ft. It could well claim to be the best and most innovative theatre space created in Britain in the twentieth century.'

Some internal photographs of the Theatre can be seen below.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

 

A Competition Design for the Royal Exchange, Manchester, Messrs Hennicke & Von Der Hude, Architects. - From 'Building Illustrations Private Houses, Public Buildings and Warehouses'

Above - A Competition Design for the Royal Exchange, Manchester, Messrs Hennicke & Von Der Hude, Architects. This was not the final design however as that was created by the architects Mills and Murgatroyed in 1874 - From 'Building Illustrations Private Houses, Public Buildings and Warehouses' A collection of illustrations assembled chiefly from the Architect, the Buildings news and the Builder, published in various issues between ca. 1862-1872.

Some Internal Photographs of the Royal Exchange, Manchester

The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester - Courtesy George Richmond

Above - The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester - Courtesy George Richmond

The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester in April 2015 - Photo M.L.

The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester - Courtesy George Richmond

Above - The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester - Courtesy George Richmond

The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester - Courtesy George Richmond The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester - Courtesy George Richmond

Above - The Interior of the Royal Exchange, Manchester - Courtesy George Richmond

 

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