WEST SIDE STORY and HOBSON’S CHOICE feature in 2019 Royal Exchange Season

The 2019 season for the Royal Exchange has been announced.

Kicking off the season, the previously announced tour of Inua Ellams’ BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES begins 7th March. First presented at the National Theatre last year, Bijan Shibani’s production was a critical and commercial success and has since been performed in Australia and the USA. BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES is presented by the National Theatre, Leeds Playhouse and Fuel, and will run at the Royal Exchange until 23rd March.

Beginning 6th April, a brand new production of WEST SIDE STORY premieres at the venue. Directed by artistic director Sarah Frankcom, with all new choreography by Aletta Collins, this marks the first time a UK production will not feature Jerome Robbins’ original choreography. The production will feature new orchestrations from Tony nominee Jason, with design by Anna Fleischle and lighting by Lee Curran.

Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim’s musical premiered on Broadway back in 1957, originally conceived, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. The score features musical theatre classics such as ‘America’, ‘Maria’ and ‘Tonight’.

Director Frankcom quotes; ‘We’ll reimagine this iconic work of art for our unique in-the-round theatre space and reinterpret it for new audiences in our city at this moment in time.’ WEST SIDE STORY runs until 25th May.

Elsewhere in the season, a revival of Harold Brighouse’s HOBSON’S CHOICE runs from 31st May to 6th July. The play has been adapted by Tanika Gupta, and reunites the writer with director Pooja Ghai (after working together on LIONS AND TIGERS at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2017). HOBSON’S CHOICE follows tailor Hari Hobson, who flees the Ugandan rag trade to make a new life for his family in 1980’s Manchester.

From 25th July, the Royal Exchange collaborates with Kadinsky to present THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT: SCENES FROM THE LUDDITE REBELLION. James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney’s new play explores rebellion and birth of Manchester’s radical political identity. The production runs until 10th August.

Public booking for the season opens 20th November.

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