Royal Exchange Theatre (May 2015)
A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE invited 100 Royal Exchange Theatre audience members to take to the stage for a night of bespoke entertainment, lively discussion, workshops, candle-lit stories, midnight feasts and maybe a bit of shut-eye…
- Me, The Audience: A puppetry workshop with a difference led by artist Johnny Woodhams
- Conversation starters: What is the relationship between theatre and its audience? Discussions and provocations, with contributions from Lyn Gardner, Andrew Haydon and Sarah Frankcom
- Lullaby: A brand new lullaby composed and performed by Jason Singh and the Sacred Sounds Choir
- It’s Not Just Sitting In The Dark With Strangers: An onstage event in which audience members collectively shared their stories and memories about theatre, informally, by torchlight.
- Bedtime Story: A specially commissioned bedtime story written by Chris Thorpe and read by Maxine Peake (both Royal Exchange Associate Artists)
- Ghost Tours: A ghostly prowl backstage in the dark led by members of THE GHOST TRAIN company
The very first sleepover event to take place at the Royal Exchange, I co-curated and produced this event as part of the Theatre’s year-long You, The Audience programme – a giant conversation with everyone who has ever been part of a theatre audience. Throughout the evening we invited audiences to share their thoughts and ideas with us: What do you think theatre is for? And what do you want it to be and do?
“That was all in all one of the best, most uplifting, joyous, thought-provoking, moving nights I’d had in a theatre in a bloody long time. It confirmed just about every cliché going about “reminding us why we do it” (or write about it, or just love it and keep going to it), and I didn’t mind a bit. There was something particularly special about the relationship that the Royal Exchange seemed to have with its audience and the care and respect with which it treated them. Properly remarkable, special stuff.”
Andrew Haydon, Postcards from the Gods (read the full article here)