Theatre News

Roy Alexander Weise and Bryony Shanahan to be Royal Exchange Manchester artistic directors

The two will join executive director Stephen Freeman to replace Sarah Frankcom

Roy Alexander Weise and Bryony Shanahan
Roy Alexander Weise and Bryony Shanahan
© Lee Baxter

The new artistic directors of Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre have been announced.

Roy Alexander Weise and Bryony Shanahan will take over from Sarah Frankcom as artistic directors in November 2019. They join executive director Stephen Freeman to complete the leadership team and together will take on the role of chief executive.

Weise is currently associate artist at the Donmar Warehouse and has created productions including The Mountaintop at the Young Vic and Nine Night at the National Theatre and in the West End. Shanahan is currently the Exchange's associate artistic director and has directed shows including Queens of the Coal Age at the theatre. Her new version of Wuthering Heights will open at the venue in 2020.

Freeman said: "Both Bryony and Roy are extraordinary talents who together presented an original and exciting vision for the future of our theatre. They are innovative creative thinkers and inspiring theatre makers with a drive to deliver theatre with the broadest possible reach."

In a joint statement, Weise and Shanahan said: "We are excited, in so many ways – to be working with each other and with Steve, to become part of the Exchange's evolution, and to make work with and for the people of Manchester. The Exchange is an extraordinary theatre, and under Sarah Frankcom's leadership it's been transformed. She has reimagined the relationship that artists and audiences have with this theatre, championed their voices and celebrated the democracy that the Exchange's unique space allows."