Haworth Tompkins’ demountable and sustainable theatre is on tour


The Den’, a pop-up theatre built from natural and recyclable materials, was installed at Stalybridge Civic Hall, Greater Manchester, through August. Commissioned by the Royal Exchange Manchester, it was designed by Haworth Tompkins with engineer Expedition, and built by Xylotek, with a nod to Levitt Bernstein’s ‘lunar module’ theatre, installed in the former Cotton Exchange in 1976.

Levitt Bernstein’s Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester 

Assembled and operated by the community, the theatre forms part of ‘Local Exchange’, a programme that aims to re-introduce the arts into areas where these kinds of spaces have been lost. It hosted a series of performances, serving as a temporary cultural hub for Tameside, and will tour Greater Manchester in spring 2020.


The frame comprises larch glulam, hardy hemp and mild steel, the enclosure is canvas, seats are cardboard and felt, and the rostrum is plywood.

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