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Manchester Royal Exchange to publish audience manifesto after two-year survey

Maxine Peake at the Royal Exchange’s first You, the Audience event Maxine Peake at the Royal Exchange’s first You, the Audience event
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Manchester’s Royal Exchange is to publish a manifesto outlining what audiences want from theatres.

The manifesto will be presented on February 20 at a symposium event called You, the Audience, which will explore the relationship between people who make theatre and those who watch it.

The Royal Exchange has been surveying its audience members for the past two years.

From this, a series of statements relating to what audiences want from a contemporary theatre was drawn up.

The statements were shortlisted, and audiences were then asked to vote for the ones that they related to most. The most popular have been selected to appear in the manifesto.

Statements that were put forward included “I want theatres that everyday people can afford to go to” and “I want theatre to be a space for difficult conversations”.

Royal Exchange director of engagement Amanda Dalton said: “We have learned so much from listening and working with our audience members over the past two years. We are really excited to share that knowledge with others, to unpick and digest our findings and map out a new way of working with every individual that engages with our theatre and importantly with those people who currently do not. The symposium is the beginning of the next chapter of our journey with audiences.”

The You, the Audience report will include contributions from artistic director Sarah Frankcom, Amber Massie-Blomfield, executive director at Camden People’s Theatre, and Slung Low artistic director Alan Lane.