The Den is back in Greater Manchester, and this year it’s in Rochdale

The Royal Exchange have announced  The FestiDale, named and curated by the Rochdale Ambassadors and Champions. Hosted by Kingsway Park High School from Thursday 8th August to Sunday 18th August 2024, there’ll be something for everyone in this vibrant, captivating programme in the Royal Exchange’s eco-friendly mobile theatre.

With a pay-what-you-can model, each production, workshop and activity is accessible and open to everyone who wants to come along.

The Rochdale Ambassadors and Champions, who have been working with the Royal Exchange’s Local Exchange programme since 2023, have programmed this festival full of exciting new voices and established names. The festival aims to connect and provide space to people from all over Rochdale and beyond, creating radical moments of joy and showcasing local artists and opportunities.

One of the most exciting elements of this year’s programme is the headlining production Tales of the Dale, helmed by award-winning theatre and audio directors Nickie Miles-Wildin and Polly Thomas. Curated with Shahid Iqbal Khan (Love Across The Ages, BBC Radio 4; 10 Nights, Bush Theatre), the team will be collecting hundreds of stories from far and wide across the borough of Rochdale, in community centres, hospices, libraries, sports centres, schools, clubs and other civic spaces. The tapestry of stories will then be woven together into a live audio experience and performed in the Den over three days, by a company compiled of both professional actors and community members, celebrating the stories of the people of Rochdale and putting them centre stage.

These stories will be collected in person or gathered digitally by submission via the Royal Exchange website, via email or text. If you have a story to tell about Rochdale – its undiscovered gems, your favourite bits, what a day-in-the-life looks like or the places that mean the most to you – check out where and when you can meet the Story Collectors to share your stories in-person, or through the Royal Exchange website here:

Tales of the Dale also offers the opportunity for the people of Rochdale to perform, get involved in the creation and execution of the show – and we’d love to invite you to be part of this unique experience.


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