Serving up theatrical delights to Mancunians (citizens of Manchester) since 1976, the Royal Exchange in the heart of the city is a local institution. It's not only a performance venue but also as a vibrant and fun destination to relax and enjoy afternoon tea in the magnificent Great Hall or to take in the free art exhibitions on the Mezzanine Gallery level.
The grand Victorian Great Hall is a spectacular sight to behold. Old-world architecture meets ultramodern finishes enhanced by splashes of colour at every turn. And then there’s the dazzling glass-domed roof in all its crowning glory tying everything together just beautifully. Once upon a time, the hall was used for cotton trade until the building suffered a bomb attack during World War II. Look skyward and you’ll still see the original trading board left intact, displaying a piece of Manchester history eerily frozen in time.
The round theatre (the largest of its kind in the country) is just as impressive. Seating 750 people over three levels, the lunar-spacecraft-inspired 360-degree performance space offers audience members a unique and intimate theatre experience like no other. While in town, you can catch a memorable theatre performance or take a backstage tour (on designated days) to discover the intriguing history and stage production process of the Royal Exchange.
Drop in for lunch or dinner at The Great Hall Cafe or The Round Restaurant, both on-site, or enjoy browsing the Craft Shop for contemporary gifts and mementos to take home with you. The Royal Exchange is conveniently located in the city centre; the nearest Metrolink tram stops are Market Street and St Peter’s Square. Take the free Metroshuttle 1 bus (orange line) for drop-off right outside the Cross Street entrance.