Believe me, seeing Kenneth Branagh lead a stellar cast as MACBETH was staged in an abandoned church, and being totally enthralled in a play all about the greatest chess player of all time in THE MACHINE are not things you forget in a hurry.
However, it was on my most recent trip to Manchester - in December 2014 - that I experienced yet another remarkable element to the Theatre scene in this beautiful City.
When one of my closest friends (who also took me to The Machine and Macbeth!) told me that, while on a visit to her home town, we would be going to see a show at The Royal Exchange Theatre, I was extremely intrigued. She had mentioned this theatre as one of her all time favourites on a number of occasions, mentioning in particular the
uniqueness of the performance space.
And as we arrived outside the theatre, my curiosity continued to grow.
Yes - it certainly was a beautiful building, a mix of the old and the new in the heart of the city. But in my head - I had already pictured what it would be like when we got inside.
However, nothing could have prepared me for what greeted me when I actually did step in. Never have what I expected something to be like, and what something was actually like been MORE different!
My breath was completely taken away at the sight of this stunningly beautiful and enchanting building. The central auditorium (which reminded me of one of those creatures you find in War of the Worlds) was surrounded by bars, coffee shops and spaces for the audience to relax both pre and post show.
This vast outside space also allowed the cast of the show - on this occasion, Little Shop of Horrors - to move both themselves and major scenery/props around with ease and considering they were performing in such an intimate space, this did not limit their outstanding performance abilities.
The auditorium itself reminded me so much of the Donmar Warehouse, but being in the round only added to the breath-taking atmosphere as I sat down to see Little Shop of Horrors for the first time ever.
What greeted me over the next 2 and a bit hours was one of the most bonkers shows I have ever seen - but I absolutely loved every second of it! It would be totally wrong for me to single anyone of the phenomenal cast out, but along with the superb creative team - they have a production of absolute sheer brilliance on their hands, and a definite must see whether you are 4, 44 or 84!
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE - http://youtu.be/VvJ99WXsdRA
The show runs until the 31st January 2015, and I can't recommend it enough! You can get your tickets at: - http://www.royalexchange.co.uk/whats-on-and-tickets/little-shop-of-horrors
I cannot say enough good things not only about the show, but also about this beautiful venue and everyone who works there - especially as they were so gracious, patient and friendly dealing with this non-Mancunian who kept losing her way!
I would encourage every single one of you to visit the Royal Exchange Theatre as I can guarantee it will be one of the most unique theatre experiences you will ever have. It was one of my 2014 Theatre highlights and I certainly can't wait to get back there!
Signing off for now
Blue Eyed Girl Xxx