One of Manchester’s most iconic buildings is set to celebrate a century in the city in 2021 – and people are being invited to share their greatest memories of the Royal Exchange as it prepares for its 100th birthday celebrations.
Opened by King George V and Queen Mary following a seven-year remodelling in 1921, the Grade II-listed Royal Exchange has undergone numerous transformations over the past ten decades.
Some residents, for example, may remember the basement containing antique style shopping centre and Brannigan’s nightclub – a popular haunt accessed via a door at one end of the Arcade.
In the 1950’s, the Royal Exchange even had an air terminal check-in on its Cross St side (a site now occupied by Danish retailer Sostrene Grene).
Today, the beautiful venue is home to the grand Royal Exchange theatre and a unique collection of independent boutique shops, premium brands and eateries – with a members-only gym soon opening below ground.
Things have changed a lot in the space of 100 years – and now members of the Royal Exchange are asking for Mancunians to share any stories, memories or pictures they may have associated with the building.
Building Manager Tim White says: “While we’re clearly not expecting any memories from around the time of the official opening, we are hoping to hear tales from people about their memories of our shops and cafes from over the years.
“We know many people have fond memories of the shopping centre in the basement or partying the night away at Brannigan’s so we’d love to hear about them, as well as any others.”
If anyone has any stories or pictures they’d like to share on social media, tag @royalexchangemanchester (Facebook and Instagram) or @TheRoyalExMcr (Twitter) and use the hashtag #ExchangeMemories.
Alternatively, you can email f[email protected] with #ExchangeMemories in the subject line.
Featured image: Wikipedia
Art & Culture
Jack Whitehall adds extra dates to UK tour – and tickets are only £25
Jack Whitehall has added new tour dates to his huge UK tour, and is selling tickets for just £25.
The award-winning comedian, actor and writer has said that the Settle Down Tour will be his most ‘personal’ to date.
He’ll be performing two massive shows here in Manchester, taking over the AO Arena for two nights in June.
Upon announcing, Jack Whitehall said: “This is my most personal show yet, with plenty of material about the big changes that have happened in my life. It’s about my struggle to settle down gracefully.
“I’ve got a long-term partner, a ridiculous dog and am now hurtling towards middle aged without a clue. It’s about a foppish man-child’s cack handed attempt at adulting!”
After his first announcement for the tour attracted huge attention, Whitehall has announced extra dates for his ‘Settle Down’ tour.
And for a limited time only, the tickets are selling for just £25 each so act fast and grab yourself a bargain here.
Jack Whitehall’s full tour dates
Saturday 27 May: Swansea, Swansea Arena Sunday 28 May: Norwich, Theatre Royal Wednesday 31 May: Northampton, Royal and Derngate Tuesday 13 June: Brighton, Brighton Centre Wednesday 14 June: Brighton, Brighton Centre Thursday 15 June: Brighton, Brighton Centre Friday 16 June: Bournemouth, BIC Saturday 17 June: Leeds, First Direct Arena Sunday 18 June: Leeds, First Direct Arena Monday 19 June: Glasgow, Hydro Tuesday 20 June: Sheffield, Utilita Arena Wednesday 21 June: Manchester, AO Arena Thursday 22 June: Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena Friday 23 June: Newcastle, Utilita Arena Saturday 24 June: Manchester, AO Arena Sunday 25 June: Liverpool, M & S Bank Arena Tuesday 4 July: Cardiff, International Arena Wednesday 5 July: Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena Friday 7 July: Birmingham, Utilita Arena Saturday 8 July: Birmingham, Utilita Arena Sunday 9 July: Cardiff, International Arena Monday 10 July: Cardiff, International Arena Friday 14 July: London, The O2 Saturday 15 July: London, The O2 Sunday 16 July: London, The O2
Featured image: Publicity picture
Art & Culture
Manchester Pride Festival announces stage splits for 2023 lineup
Manchester Pride Festival has just announced its day-by-day lineup of artists and events for 2023.
In case you missed it, the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charity event revealed its highly-anticipated 2023 lineup back in March, and it’s set to be the iconic Festival’s most inclusive roster of local and international queer talent to date.
Undoubtedly back with a bang this summer, and co-created in collaboration with Manchester’s diverse queer communities, Festival organisers say this year’s lineup champions “representation, inclusivity, and community celebration” over the four-day extravaganza.
The legendary Gay Village Party is back, and will light up with performances across three stages – The Village Stage, MancUnity Stage – which is in partnership with Gaydio – and the Alan Turing Stage.
Drag sensation Pabllo Vittar is headlining this year’s Gay Village Party, as is singer-songwriter and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard, and a mystery headliner still yet to be announced.
Aside from those headline performances, the four-day August bank holiday weekend Festival also includes a whole host of other special events including Queer Asian Takeover headlined by Gok Wan, Trans Filth & Joy headlined by drag artist BIMINI, Black Pride MCR headlined by Raven Mandella, and the Queer Women’s Takeover headlined by Monki.
Here’s a quick run-down of the official Manchester Pride Festival stage splits for 2023.
Friday 25 August
Village Stage – Headlined by BIMINI, with additional performances from Tito Bone, Midgitte Bardot, Cyro, The BollyWitch, An0maly, Finley Odin, Darnell, Denon, Xzan, and DJ Jess Rose.
MancUnity Stage, in partnership with Gaydio – You can expect an evening of “dancing, partying, showing off and feeling good” with Fat Pride, featuring The Niallist, Ivy Profemme, The Fat Britney, Joe Spencer, Miss Lei-Lei, Sam Buttery, and Joanna Cuddle.
Alan Turing Stage – hosted by Donna Trump, with La Discothèque Orchestra, Queeriosity Cabaret, Pecs Drag Kings, The Enby Show featuring Cyro, Flick, and Carrot.
Saturday 26 August
Village Stage – Headlined by Pabllo Vittar, with additional performances from Jodie Harsh, Black Peppa, Monopoly Phonic, Tom Aspaul, Violet Blonde, and Jsky – and a special multi-platinum selling headliner soon to be announced.
MancUnity Stage presents Black Pride MCR, all brought together by Darren Pritchard with headliner Raven Mandella, as well as Swagga, Kele Le Roc, DJ Stacy Bee, DJ NKay, DJ KL, Queens in Kicks, Goodie Magnum, and Dymond.
Alan Turing Stage welcomes the Queer Asian Takeover hosted by Lucky Roy Singh, with headliner DJ Gok Wan, alongside Gracie T, Reeta Loi, The Bitten Peach, Bollyqueer, House of Spice, Club Zindagi and more.
Sunday 27 August
Village Stage – Headlined by Danny Beard and Friends, alongside Jake Shears, Natasha Bedingfield, Lisa Scott-Lee, Cheddar Gorgeous, Barb, Kelly Llorenna (N-Trance), Jonbers Blonde, Bailey J Mills, Lady Bushra, Banksie, The BollyWitch, Lill, and Ginny Lemon’s Dog Show.
MancUnity Stage presents the Queer Women’s Takeover with Monki, Kim Lana, Blasha and Allatt (Meat Free + Frixxxion), Mix-Stress and Friends, SWAGGA featuring DJ Stacy Bee, Queens in Kicks, Freequency3, Club Clam, What She Said, Vanilla, and Fat Camp.
Alan Turing Stage – Cutie-POC Cabaret hosted by Rikki Beadle-Blair, Angie Brown, The Cocoa-Butter Club, NoirTones, and Ghetto Fabulous, as well as Your Manchester hosted by Belinda Scandal.
Monday 28 August
Village Stage – Closing the festival with the Misty Chance and Friends, and Disabled Queer Joy Cabaret.
MancUnity Stage – THE RUNWAY by Banksie, and Firehouse with Dakota Schiffer.
Alan Turing Stage ends the event with Disney Classics performed by The Untold Orchestra.
Closing the four-day Festival is the Candlelit Vigil with George House Trust, which is a moment of reflection in Sackville Gardens.
As the home of Alan Turing, The National Transgender Memorial, and the Beacon of Hope, the gardens are set to be transformed into a sea of flickering candles to remember and honour those lost to, and stand in solidarity with, those who are living with HIV.
It also provides the space to reflect on and remember those who have been persecuted in the LGBTQ+ community, both here in the UK and around the world.