16.11.15 — Journal

Manchester Theatre Research

Just today me and my Burnley Youth Theatre colleague, Amber, headed off on the trusty old X43 bus to Manchester to do some visual research for the upcoming branding project at work! The trip was to visit numerous arts organisations in quick succession, picking up some of their promo goods and just getting a general feel for the venues.

First up we visited an old favourite, The Royal Exchange in St. Anne’s Square. I will always adore its beautifully lit neoclassical architecture, huge spaceship-esque theatre in the centre of the huge main space, and generally welcoming yet peaceful atmosphere. I did take my camera along, so here’s a quick photo…

The Royal Exchange's spire

Secondly we visited a decidedly non-theatre venue, Manchester Central Library, however it was very much well worth the visit! The new media lounge and café on the first floor, accessed through the very beautiful new entrance, are a lovely communal space for a quick coffee or to discover something new.

The new Central Library entrance
The Manchester Central Library

After this, it was time to head down towards the University of Manchester campus to visit the Whitworth Art Gallery, a decidedly less-theatrical but equally creative space. In this beautifully renovated building we found a lovely mix of postmodern and textile arts, as well as a lovely café space and a gift shop which proved just too much to resist buying a few bits and bobs from.

A sign which made me happy along the way

From the art gallery we sauntered through the campus some more until we reached Contact, a rather alternatively designed space! It has to be seen to be believed. We stayed here a while, soaking up the atmosphere and exploring the quirky space, before heading off once more…

From here we decided to go check out a venue which we didn’t plan on having a look around, but one which we were glad that we did! Home, a multi-use theatre, film and arts space just off Oxford Road, proved to be an amazing venue (with amazing coffee to match!)

After a browse around their book shop where I picked up a copy of Creative Review and “The Modernist”, me and Amber sat in the window and enjoyed a lovely coffee break in and soaked up the lovely atmosphere. Visually impressive, the space also had a wealth of activities on offer – check out their programme on their website. We shall be sure to visit the venue again very soon!