Anne-Marie Duff in Husbands and Sons
Anne-Marie Duff in Husbands and Sons
© Manuel Harlan

Sarah Frankcom, artistic director of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, has today announced the venue's 2016 Spring/Summer season.

The season, which explores "the fragility of community and the intricacy of family and friendship", begins with Marianne Elliott's National Theatre co-production of Husbands & Sons. Adapted by Ben Power, the production interweaves three of D H Lawrence's greatest dramas and features a cast including Anne-Marie Duff and Joe Armstrong. (19 February – 19 March)

This is followed by Talawa Theatre Company's King Lear from 1 April - 7 May. Directed by Michael Buffong, Don Warrington returns following his performance in All My Sons for the company.

Next up, Frankcom directs the first of five Exchange World Premieres, a new adaptation of Sarah Waters' novel The Night Watch. Moving backwards through the devastation of the London Blitz the threads of five lives are knitted together in an adaptation by Hattie Naylor which plays in the Theatre from 19 May – 18 June.

From 30 June - 30 July, Howard Jacobson's The Mighty Walzer is brought to the stage for the first time in Simon Bent's new adaptation. Directed by Jonathan Humphreys, the play is a homage to the Manchester of Jacobson's youth.

Little Sister (4 - 7 August), is a collaboration between communities across Manchester and award-winning artist, director and theatre maker Mark Storor. Described as "a powerful piece of work that explores silence and survival."

The 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Judges Award-winner, Bird by Katherine Chandler, will play in The Studio from 8-25 June following its World Premiere with co-producers Sherman Cymru. Also in the studio, Bryony Shanahan directs the Royal Exchange Young Company in Amanda Dalton's adaptation of the controversial novel Nothing by Janne Teller from 14 - 17 April.

On the new season Frankcom said:

‘We are thrilled to present a season that explores the idea of family and celebrates the power of community. From a single family unit to a whole neighbourhood, a social club, to intimate friendships.'