Ronald William Webb's Chopin Exhibition at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre

 by Martin Belam, 21 June 2009

On Friday I was at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre for a private viewing of Ronald William Webb's exhibition that is accompanying a production of 'The Pianist', part of the Manchester International Festival.

The Pianist poster

The play is based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman, and Ron Webb's work is correspondingly based on the piano compositions of Chopin. Each canvas represents one individual piece of music. All of the work is executed in just three colours, red, black and white. This represents the colours of "the Polish and Nazi flags, piano keys, soil and blood".

Artist Ron William Webb

Two canvases in Ron William Webb's Chopin exhibition

The evening also featured a little light Klezmer music before the play, performed in the hall by The Deli Babies.

I loved the theatre set-up in the building, which looks like a lunar module has landed in the middle of the old trading floor. The walls are now decorated with large portraits of British theatre luminaries, but it also retains original features like the stock exchange ticker, and a fantastic domed ceiling.

Royal Exchange Hall

The old stock ticker

The Royal Exchange ceiling

Ron Webb's paintings are on display on the mezzanine walkway, and the play and exhibition run until June 27th

Mezzanine walkway housing the exhibition

Pianist poster up-close


I always love sitting in the Royal exchange theatre, fascinating place and always a good photo opportunity

"always a good photo opportunity" - true, so a bit of a shame that actually my photos were a bit rubbish, I only had my phone with me, not my proper cmaera.

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