Manchester is home to a range of theatres, many of which commission new work as well receive touring productions.
The most recent addition to the scene is HOME, a new multi-arts complex combining two theatre spaces with five cinemas and an art gallery, which opened in 2015. The result of a merger between Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre, HOME provides a new space in Manchester city centre for the staging of ambitious large-scale work. Artistic director Walter Meierjohann has marked the beginning of his tenure as programmer with a signature combination of bold writing and weighty European and international drama. HOME joins the Royal Exchange Theatre and Contact Theatre as the main city centre theatres staging contemporary work.
In Salford, The Lowry boasts three performance spaces - the main Lowry space, the Quays Theatre and The Studio - allowing it to present everything from National Theatre touring productions like War Horse to scratch nights from local comedians preparing for the Edinburgh Fringe.
For family friendly entertainment, The Palace Theatre on Oxford Road is the place for musicals, big stage shows and Christmas pantomimes. It also regularly features as part of Manchester International Festival, most recently premiering Damon Albarn’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired musical, wonder.land.
Theatre doesn’t necessarily need a big stage, however: The King’s Arms pub in Salford has two spaces in its attic used by new talent, small companies and Fringe successes, and Three Minute Theatre (3MT), situated on the ground floor of Northern Quarter shopping emporium Affleck’s Palace, puts on an eclectic array of experimental performance. The fringe scene is buoyed by theatre festivals including the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, 24:7 theatre festival and the brand new PUSH Festival (formerly re:play).