Pop-up Royal Exchange Theatre for Stalybridge

A POP-UP theatre is to be built at Stalybridge Civic Hall as part of a prestigious project with the Royal Exchange.

The award-winning city centre theatre has taken up a three-year residency in Tameside as part of an ambitious strand of their programming known as Local Exchange.

During the residency in the borough, the Exchange is working with Tameside Council and other partners to develop a series of projects ranging from workshops to performances to training opportunities. This will include a celebratory cultural festival in the temporary theatre in Stalybridge Civic Hall from 12-26 August.

The unique pop-up theatre space, designed with the award-winning architectural studio Haworth Tompkins, will sit within the civic hall, breathing new life into the existing architecture and creating a “space-within-a-space” where people can come to listen, share, learn and make. It will be both a space where communities can make their own work and where the work of the Royal Exchange can be showcased and performed outside of the city centre

Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Leanne Feeley, who is responsible for culture, said: “I’m delighted to be working with the Royal Exchange on this exciting project, which is opening up many fantastic opportunities for local people and families to access first-class theatre and cultural activities right on their own doorstep.

“There will also be a wonderful legacy to this project – by bringing the theatre rights into the heart of our communities, we will be introducing more people to the arts and developing opportunities and interests that will last a lifetime.”

The Tameside residency is already underway, and the Exchange has developed significant partnerships with the council, Ashton Library, Jigsaw Homes, Global Grooves, Age UK Tameside, Tameside Women’s Centre and Dukinfield Pantry on developing various projects including a creative writing programme, trips to the theatre and performances in communal spaces.

The Exchange team have also been working closely with schools across the borough including Samuel Laycock High School, Great Ashton Academy, Ashton Sixth Form and College, Alder Community High School, St Thomas More College, Fairfield Primary School, St John’s Primary School, Lyndhurst Primary school and Mossley Hollins High School.

Alongside this, a dedicated team of 13 passionate ambassadors – from teachers to students and local volunteers – have been getting together to learn new skills, open up the work at the Royal Exchange to residents (via a free ticket scheme) or develop and plan ideas which will support a vibrant programme of cultural activity for local residents.

The Royal Exchange will be operating a mobile box office in venues such as libraries, foodbanks and community centres across Tameside. All the information about where residents can access the mobile box office can be found at royalexchange.co.uk and will be shared on posters and flyers too.

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