Royal Exchange Unveils Millennium SeasonDate: 8 November 1999
A year after re-opening its doors, the Manchester Royal Exchange has announced its new season for the new millennium. The spring/summer 2000 schedule will feature two world premieres as well as Shakespeare, classic comedy and social drama.
The season kicks off in January with a new production of A Woman of No Importance, Oscar Wilde's attack on moral hypocrisy and aristocratic double standards. Directed by Royal Exchange associate artistic director Marianne Elliott, this production contributes to the national centenary celebrations of the author's death. A Woman of No Importance runs from 12 January to 26 February 2000.
The season continues with a double bill of world premieres: Snapshots , a tale of sisterhood by Fiona Padfield, and The Ghost Train Tattoo, Simon Robson's take on children dealing with divorce. Both plays will be directed by Royal Exchange artistic director Braham Murray with Sarah Frankcom and performed by the same company of actors. Each will open for a two week run before playing in repertoire. Snapshots opens on 1 March and The Ghost Train Tattoo on 22 March; their runs finish on 15 April.
William Congreve's Restoration comedy The Way of the World, directed by Royal Exchange artistic director Matthew Lloyd, opens on 19 April and continues until 27 May. First performed in 1700, the play pits a pair of socialites against each other in a supreme battle of the sexes.
The comedy is followed by George Bernard Shaw's social drama Mrs Warren's Profession, from 31 May to 1 July. Directed by Helena Kaut-Hawson, the 1894 play examines piety and oppression when a thoroughly modern young woman discovers some shocking news about her mother. The season concludes with Shakespeare's As You Like It, from 5 July to 12 August. The love story involving two young maids, who hide out in the forest after being banished from court, is directed by Marianne Elliott.
The new look Royal Exchange welcomed audiences for the first time in November 1998, two and a half years after Manchester city centre was devastated by an IRA bomb blast. Over the past twelve months, more than 170,000 people have attended productions at the theatre-in-the-round and it was nominated this year for the TMA Theatre of the Year award.