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4th September 2022

Step inside the glass walls of the Royal Exchange

The Glass Menagerie, the semi-autobiographical play that catapulted Tennessee Williams to fame, is once again playing at the Royal Exchange Theatre – following their hugely successful adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire
Step inside the glass walls of the Royal Exchange
Photo: Royal Exchange Theatre.

The Glass Menagerie is a poetic and bruising portrayal of a family on the brink of change. Intimate and intense, the memory play explores the complex web of love, loyalty and trauma that bind families together.Siblings, Tom and Amanda, and their mother, Laura, are the characters at the centre of the drama here – a suitor for Laura could secure a chance at another future but at a certain cost.Tennessee Williams is known to secondary-school students for A Streetcar Named Desire – which the Royal Exchange adapted in 2016, starring Maxine Peake; it’s one of the most memorable productions in the theatre’s history. The Glass Menagerie, itself, was staged at the Royal Exchange back in 2008.Streetcar shows the sincere difficulty harboured when families are married into vastly different families. The Glass Menagerie has similar themes, if not seen as more autobiographical of Willliams’ life itself – his own younger sister was a muse for Laura and his own mother for the character of Amanda. It was said that any money he made from the play he put towards his sister’s care, which became increasingly necessary as her illness required round-the-clock care.With a director familiar to the Royal Exchange Theatre, Atri Banjerjee has worked in the role of Associate Director since 2017, with The Glass Menagerie being his directorial debut. He has curated a playlist for the show, with artists such as Frank Ocean, Radiohead and Whitney Houston, to name a few, putting the theatre-goer in the sonic mood to relish Williams in Manchester.With the West End production of The Glass Menagerie, which starred Amy Adams, having just closed – the Royal Exchange is now ready to take on the masterpiece that catapulted Tennessee Williams to fame.The Glass Menagerie runs at the Royal Exchange Theatre from 2nd September until 8th October

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