National Youth Theatre launches 2017 season

Jekyll and Hyde
    • NYT launches 2017 season today with 50 play readings in a day of NYT commissions across the UK – from the National Space Centre in Leicester, to a furniture shop in Finsbury Park – streamed via NYT’s channels as they celebrate 50 years of commissioning new writing for young people
    • 2017 programme a new season in the East End, a fifth season in the West End, a partnership with Frantic Assembly, and a restaging of their first ever commission at Wilton’s Music Hall
    • Three – a new play by Sophie Ellerby performed by social inclusion course, ‘playing up’ members at the Arcola from 20 – 22 July
    • Four plays to be staged in an ‘East End Season’ at the Yard Theatre and Wilton’s Music Hall
    • At the Yard Theatre from 8-26 August:
      • The stage adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s Man Booker shortlisted novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist will return
      • Jessica Swale’s Blue Stockings about the pioneers of female education in the UK, directed by Alice Knight
      • The Host, a new play following a Syrian refugee in South East London by Nessah Muthy, directed by Zoe Lafferty
    •  A restaging of the definitive play on football hooliganism, Zigger Zagger, for its 50th anniversary at Wilton’s Music Hall from 6 – 9 September
    • For a fifth consecutive year the free NYT REP company of sixteen 18- 25 year-olds will perform in repertory in London’s West End from 26 September – 8 December 2017
      • A brand new female-led adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde by Evan Placey, directed by Roy Alexander Weise
      • Frantic Assembly’s Othello directed by Simon Pittman
      • A third play directed by the 2017 Bryan Forbes Bursary, Recipient still to be announced
    • James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli becomes new president of NYT
    • Tickets for the West End season go on sale at 10am on 4 April, tickets for the Yard go on sale on 4 April and tickets for Wilton’s go on sale 10 April more information at
Jekyll and Hyde

Jekyll and Hyde © Helen Maybanks

Paul Roseby, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT) has today announced its new season of work. 2017 marks 50 years of the organisation commissioning new work for young people and in celebration 50 play readings are taking place in weird and wonderful locations across the UK today. Some notable writers who received early commissions from NYT, such as James Graham (This House, Finding Neverland), Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child) and Zawe Ashton have plays being showcased.

The ‘50 Plays in a Day’, performed by NYT members and presented by young producers include, amongst others, James Graham’s political drama Tory Boyz at the Houses of Parliament with NYT alumni Ben Aldridge (Our Girl), Al Smith’s 1960s based Astronaut’s Wives Club at The National Space Centre Leicester, The Host, part of the NYT 2017 season, by Nessah Muthy in Calais at a Help Refugee Warehouse and The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy in Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire where Duffy is from. Other readings are taking place at Kenilworth Castle, Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library, Porthcawl Comprehensive School in Wales, Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, Wycombe Museum, Govanhill Baths in Glasgow, as well as a pub in Doncaster and a furniture shop in Finsbury Park. The full line up can be found at Selected plays will also be broadcast on Facebook Live and can be accessed via the National Youth Theatre’s social media (Twitter/ Facebook) and website.

Blue Stockings

Blue Stockings © Mark Cocksedge

The initiative marks the launch of NYT’s 2017 season which will include their first ever ‘East End season’ at the Yard Theatre this summer after the sell out success of their season of new writing at the Finborough last year. The East End Season will feature Olivier Award-winning Jessica Swale’s Blue Stockings, the premiere of The Host, a new play commission by NYT in response to 23 June 2016 and the European refugee crisis by Nessah Muthy and the return of Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. In October they will take a 50 strong cast to Wilton’s Music Hall to bring back Peter Terson’s iconic play about football hooliganism, Zigger Zagger, 50 years after it was first commissioned by them. For autumn, following the success of four previous West End REP Seasons, the company will return to the Ambassadors Theatre for a fifth year in September with a brand new female-led adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde exploring women’s roles and rights in Victorian society, by Evan Placey who wrote their 2015 hit Consensual. The second REP show, which marks an exciting new collaboration, will see NYT present Frantic Assembly’s award-winning modern-day Othello under the direction of Frantic’s Associate Director Simon Pittman. NYT’s social inclusion course will also run at the Arcola Theatre with a new play by Sophie Ellerby.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist © Helen Murray

It is also announced today that Barbara Broccoli will succeed Lord Waheed Alli as President of the National Youth Theatre. Broccoli is a one of the entertainment industry’s most successful female producers, perhaps best known for her work on the James Bond film franchise, including Skyfall and Spectre. Stage producer credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chariots of Fire, Once and The Kid Stays in The Picture.

Paul Roseby said: “In 2017 we celebrate our growing diverse cohort by marking 50 years of new writing and I’m delighted to see our entrepreneurial young creatives simultaneously stage 50 plays in 50 locations across the UK today from catalogue of past commissions. I’m also a champion of the need for theatre to have greater parity with sport in education so it’s timely that we bring the passion for the beautiful game and passion for theatre together once more in re-staging Zigger Zagger. With seven further productions and work at over 100 sites nationwide, including a record 44 audition centres, NYT remains a vital and relevant contributor to our cultural landscape. We will continue to strive to do more to make sure that talented young people can access our opportunities regardless of where they’re from or their background.”

Barbara Broccoli said: “I’m delighted to be working with the National Youth Theatre in developing and celebrating the most talented and diverse young people that the UK has to offer.”

Scott Graham, Frantic Assembly’s Artistic Director said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with this brilliant, young ensemble, engaging again with the fire, rage and beauty at the heart of this classic text. We can’t wait to see this young company take hold of it and make it their own.”

NYT and leading theatre publisher Nick Hern Books is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of National Youth Theatre Monologues: Speeches for Young People, a new collection of audition speeches drawn from material produced by world-leading youth arts organisation the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. The book, edited by National Youth Theatre Associate Artist Michael Bryher and published on 6 July, contains over 75 monologues all taken from plays performed by the NYT, by writers such as Zawe AshtonMoira Buffini, Carol Ann Duffy, Brian Friel, James Graham, Dennis Kelly, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Gbolahan Obisesan, Evan Placey and Jack Thorne. The collection also offers tips on performing the speeches from current and former NYT members, plus advice on preparing for auditions.

Arcola Theatre
20 – 22 July
By Sophie Ellerby
Directed by Anna Niland

Outside of the West End, NYT will stage Three by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), starring social inclusion participants at the Arcola Theatre as part of NYT’s ‘Playing Up’ course, which is now in its eighth year. The course, for 19 – 24 year olds not in full time education, employment or training, creates productions and commissions new work. It has an 85% success rate of moving young people into higher education, further training or employment, with recent alumni including Seraphina Beh, who after joining NYT’s 2016 REP Company was spotted for a role in Eastenders, where she is currently starring as Madison Drake, Gavi Singh Chera who’s currently appearing in Headlong Theatre’s Pygmalion and Ria Zmitrowicz from ITV’s Mr Selfridge. Ellerby’s urban and domestic new drama following three sisters will be directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland (Pigeon English).

The Yard Theatre
8 – 26 August 2017
Press Nights: 9, 16, 23 August 2017

The Reluctant Fundamentalist
8 – 12 August
By Mohsin Hamid
Adapted by Stephanie Street
Directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah

Blue Stockings
14 – 19 August
By Jessica Swale
Directed by Alice Knight

The Host
22 – 26 August
By Nessah Muthy
Directed by Zoe Lafferty

After the sell-out success of their new writing season at the Finborough Theatre in West London last year, a new venture for NYT this summer will be a season of work at East London’s the Yard Theatre. The programme includes two new productions (one new play) and the return of one of the successes from the Finborough season.

The stage adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel and Hollywood blockbuster film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist will return, having received its World Premiere in NYT’s season of new writing at the Finborough Theatre in 2016. The production looks at the ironies of prejudice and representation in a post 9/11 New York. It follows Pakistani native Changez’s disenchantment with the West and his journey back to Lahore. The production was adapted for stage by Stephanie Street (Sisters) and will be directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah (Moth).

Following its world premiere at the Globe Theatre in 2013, NYT present the first play by Olivier Award winning playwright Jessica Swale (Nell Gwynn) for which she was nominated for the Evening Standards’ Most Promising Playwright Award. Blue Stockings follows the battle at Girton College, Cambridge in 1896 to earn women the right to graduate. Challenging gendered views about women’s moral judgement and suitability to academia the play has heavy parallels with the fight for female suffrage. The brand new production will be directed by Alice Knight, recipient of the 2014 Bryan Forbes Director Bursary Fund.

NYT has also commissioned its most recent play, The Host by Nessah Muthy (recently listed by BBC as a one-to-watch), directed by Zoe Lafferty (Queens of Syria). Commissioned in response to 23 June 2016 and the European refugee crisis, The Host is set on a South East London council estate and tells the story of Riam, a Syrian refugee as she forges new relationships with the family who have taken her in all the while battling the memories of her journey to England.


Wilton’s Music Hall
6 – 9 September
Press Night: 7 September
By Peter Terson
Directed by Juliet Knight

The original football hooliganism play is back.

Widely considered one of the definitive plays on football hooliganism, Zigger Zagger is to return 50 years after becoming the National Youth Theatre’s first ever new writing commission. Peter Terson’s widely studied play will receive a special anniversary production at Wilton’s Music Hall marking half a century since its world premiere. The production is set to have cast of 50 under the direction of Juliet Knight (White Boy).

An irreverent tale of tribalism, the play follows the story of Harry Philton, a passionate fan of the local football team, who struggles between the life of sex, violence and drink football offers and a stable future.

Ambassadors Theatre
26 September – 8 December
Press Nights: 10 and 11 October

Jekyll and Hyde

In a new version by Evan Placey
Based on the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson
Directed by Roy Alexander Weise

NYT present Frantic Assembly’s

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Simon Pittman

Now in its fifth consecutive year, the NYT REP is inspired by the traditional repertory theatre model and was set up by Artistic Director Paul Roseby in 2012 to provide a much needed free alternative to expensive formal training. The course is a unique free talent development initiative allowing the best young talent to work for nine months with leading institutions culminating in three months of performances in the West End. REP company alumni include Sope Dirisu (2013) who is about to play Coriolanus at the RSC, Seraphina Beh who is starring in EastEnders after being spotted in the REP and beginning filming the following week (2016), Ellise Chappell who is set to play a lead role in BBC One’s series of Poldark (2015) and Lauren Lyle (2015) who is filming a major role for a new Amazon series. Mentors to REP members this year include Denise Gough (People Places Things), Paterson Joseph (Peep Show), Shane Zaza (Happy Valley) as well as the Heads of Casting at the Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre.

Everyone has another face they hide behind…

Evan Placey (Consensual for the 2015 NYT REP, Girls Like That) will adapt Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Victorian novel Jekyll and Hyde. Placey’s female-led adaptation will interrogate the Victorian separate spheres domestic–public dichotomy putting women centre stage where they are completely absent in the novella. The production will explore late nineteenth century society’s relationship to women’s destinies, properties and bodies, against the backdrop of the tumultuous drive for women’s suffrage and first wave feminism. The production will be directed by Roy Alexander Weise (JMK 2016 Winner), who most recently directed the Young Vic’s acclaimed production on The Mountaintop.

This is a mating ground. A dog-eat-dog kind of place. And it’s about to kick off…

In brand new collaboration for 2017, NYT are working in partnership with Frantic Assembly to present their award-winning adaptation of Othello. Their electrifying take on Shakespeare’s thriller is set in 21st century Britain and is celebrated for its physical and collaborative theatre, bringing the sex, violence and jealousy of the tragedy into the modern day. The production will be directed by Simon Pittman (Associate Director, Frantic Assembly).



Bristol Old Vic announces latest productions for 2017, including major new co-production of The Caretaker

Bristol Old Vic today announced the next raft of productions to hit its stage throughout 2017.

Classic theatre for the 21st century
Highlights include a brand new co-production with Royal & Derngate, Northampton of Pinter’s 20th century masterpiece, The Caretaker, which changed the face of modern theatre. Now directed by one of the UKs hottest young directors Christopher Haydon, in his first production since stepping down as Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, this production will explore the 21stcentury resonances of a play dealing with the desire to belong, the threat of alienation and the paranoia of living in a changing cultural landscape.
In Autumn 2017, English Touring Theatre will present Conor McPherson’s chilling, modern classic The Weir. This Olivier award-winning play comes to Bristol Old Vic as part of its first ever UK tour, marking its 20th Anniversary year.
The semi-autobiographical play Rita, Sue and Bob Too, which was adapted into a cult film, returns to the stage in all its sharp, vivid and disarmingly direct glory. The classic 1982 play’s original director Max Stafford-Clark directs this major new production for one of the UKs most exciting theatre companies, Out of Joint in co-production with Octagon Theatre Bolton and the Royal Court Theatre.

New work in 2017
Kneehigh Theatre bring their brand-new show The Tin Drum to Bristol Old Vic this autumn. From the team that brought the internationally acclaimed Dead Dog in a Suitcase.., writer Carl Grose, composer Charles Hazlewood and director Mike Shepherd, The Tin Drum is a folktale for troubled times: one political, profane and profound.
Bristol Old Vic is also delighted to announce two Bristol Old Vic Young Company alumni, The Wardrobe Ensemble and Young Company director Jesse Jones, who present their brand new co-production with Royal & Derngate and Shoreditch Town Hall. Education, Education, Education explores power, responsibility and change through the eyes of a hapless group of schoolteachers trying to make it through the day.
Devised by The Wardrobe Ensemble, who won huge critical acclaim with their 2015 production of 1972: The Future Of Sex at the Edinburgh Fringe, they use their trademark inventive theatricality and humour to explore the stories that have shaped our recent political history, and what the future might look like. We are delighted to welcome them back to Bristol Old Vic for this innovative and irreverent production.

Family theatre
The highly anticipated early years Christmas show was also announced today as Kid Carpet once again brings his unique and much-loved style to Bristol Old Vic’s audiences with Snow Globe. Taking place once again at The Lantern Theatre in Colston Hall during the Bristol Old Vic refurbishment, audiences will be swept away in a magical tale of mixed up stories and music for the littlest theatre fans.
Little ones can also see Julia Donaldson’s magical Stick Man on the theatre stage in November as part of a nationwide tour. Scamp Theatre’s delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s hugely popular children’s book is back by popular demand.  Touching, funny and utterly original, this award-winning production features a trio of top actors and is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves.
For slightly older families, Metta Theatre bring their high-octane version of The Jungle Book to the Theatre this summer. Complete with spectacular street dance and circus skills, Kipling’s classic story is transported to the urban jungle in a heart-warming and critically acclaimed production.

Looking to the future, engaging with the city.
Now in its 7th year, Bristol Old Vic’s ground-breaking Made in Bristol project provides training for 18-25 year olds from across the southwest to become theatre makers. This year’s Made in Bristol theatre company, INKBLOC ensemble will perform a brand new piece of theatre this July. This annual Made in Bristol show has been a springboard for young theatre makers to begin touring their work, and gives audiences a chance to see the freshest theatre created by one of Bristol’s newest companies.
The Engagement team also announced Bristol Old Vic Young Company’s latest collaboration with St Brendan’s Sixth Form College Performing Arts Academy. This production will feature young people from both organisations, inspired by their own personal stories, exploring the relationship between youth and power. The last collaboration between St Brendan’s and Bristol Old Vic Young Company led to the acclaimed production The Grandfathers, which was presented at the National Theatre in 2013.
These productions join other Bristol Old Vic shows already on sale, including new Greek tragedy Medea which weaves the ancient myth together with a modern day story of a mother’s fight for her children; Julian Glover returning to his favourite theatre to play the title role in Julius Caesar alongside the graduating year of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School students; and the long-awaited return of the Bristol Proms 2013 phenomenon Messiah.

New Shows for 2017 at the Young Vic

Young Vic 2017 Season
Young Vic 2017 Season

Young Vic 2017 Season

• Joe Wright directs Brecht’s Life of Galileo with Brendan Cowell in the title role
• Billie Piper returns to her role in Simon Stone’s Yerma   
• Juliet Stevenson reunites with director Natalie Abrahami in the London premiere of Arthur Kopit’s Wings 
• London premiere for Ramin Gray and David Grieg’s acclaimed production The Suppliant Women featuring a chorus of Waterloo residents 
• In the Maria, two poetic personal stories Taha and Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone, and Edinburgh Festival hit How To Win Against History 

Plus as previously announced:
• Joe Hill-Gibbins’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream 
See Me Now created by Mimi Poskitt, Molly Taylor and a company of performers who have been or are sex workers
• Two Genesis Future Directors Award shows: Chekhov’s The Bear and The Proposal – casting announced today – and Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith
New Shows for 2017 at the Young Vic

New Shows for 2017 at the Young Vic

Artistic Director David Lan on today’s announcement:  
We want every show we stage to evoke the world on our streets. As life becomes ever more complex and surprising, we look for the best angles from which to watch and intervene.
Joe Hill-Gibbins’ ferocious A Midsummer Night’s Dream searches out the darkest caverns beneath Shakespeare’s young masterpiece with some of the finest actors on the UK stage and two great designers from Berlin.
Brendan Cowell’s Young Vic debut was opposite Billie Piper in Yerma. Now he plays the genius astronomer in Brecht’s greatest play Life of Galileo. How do you stay true to your hard-won understanding of the nature of reality when Power tells you you’re wrong? Joe Wright directs this timeless play of extreme ideologies and dogma backed by violence. The designs by Lizzie Clachan and 59 Productions promise an out of this world experience. 
And Simon Stone’s huge 2016 success Yerma returns with the incomparable Billie Piper. Last time demand went through the roof so we’re thrilled more people will have a chance to catch this once-in-a-lifetime show. 
Natalie Abrahami and Juliet Stevenson’s collaboration on Happy Days was so admired that it played two seasons. Now they’re back together with Wings, Arthur Kopit’s extraordinarily poignant and powerful account of an aviatrix in late middle age whose mind, following a stroke, comes apart. Told from within her consciousness, following her journey from trauma towards healing, Wings caused enormous excitement when first seen on Broadway almost 40 years ago. 
The Suppliant Women continues our season Horizons, exploring the experience of refugees. 3000 years ago Aeschylus wrote this story about a large number of women, refugees from their destroyed city, as they wait outside a neighboring city, desperate for shelter. David Greig and Ramin Gray’s new version has already had huge success in Edinburgh, Belfast and Newcastle. 
In our Maria studio: 
See Me Now began its life as a project run by our Taking Part department in response to our production of Measure for Measure. Now it is a show in its own right created and performed by people who have been or are sex workers. 
Taha is the story of the great Palestinian poet Taha Muhammed Ali written and performed by Amer Hlehel, directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi – both of whom have performed many times with us. 
Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone created and performed by Josette Bushell-Mingo tells the story of the magnificent musician Nina Simone, linking her life-long struggle within the US Civil Rights movement to the Black Lives Matter movement of today.
How To Win Against History was the smash hit of last year’s Edinburgh Festival. We’re delighted to welcome this hilarious musical visit from a great English eccentric. 
And in The Clare:
This year the Genesis Future Directors Award gives two outstanding young directors the chance to create their most ambitious show yet. Lucy J Skilbeck brings their unique perspective to two Chekhov shorts The Bear and The Proposal in March and in November Nancy Medina directs the American modern classic Dael Orlandersmith’s Yellowman.  

There will be more news of 2017 shows at the Young Vic soon.”

Lucy Woollatt, Executive Director of the Young Vic said: 
“Last year we welcomed almost 150, 000 people to the Young Vic. Sustained funding from Arts Council England as well as box office receipts and philanthropic giving allow us to keep ticket prices low and to offer 10% of seats free to targeted audiences. It also means we can continue to encourage artists to produce bold and exciting work on our three stages and offer a range of opportunities via our wide-reaching participation and directors programs.”
Tickets for the 2017 season go on sale to Friends of the Young Vic at 10.00am today. Public booking opens Wednesday 1 February at 10.00am. Box Office: 0207 922 2922,

A Season of firsts and major revivals for Theatre By The Lake’s 2017 programme, under the leadership of new Artistic Director, Conrad Lynch

Conrad Lynch, Artistic Director, Theatre By The Lake
Conrad Lynch, Artistic Director, Theatre By The Lake

Conrad Lynch, Artistic Director, Theatre By The Lake

Theatre by The Lake (TBTL) – Cumbria’s only producing theatre has announced its eagerly anticipated 2017 season, the first under the leadership of new Artistic Director, Conrad Lynch – marking the theatre’s bold move to being a producer-led venue for the first time. Bursting with World Premieres, Regional Premieres, new collaborations and new writing – this exciting and ambitious programme aims to surprise and delight audiences whilst highlight Lynch’s ambitions to offer fresh, innovative and memorable theatre for all.

Paying homage to the “great British play” is very much at the heart of Lynch’s inaugural season, kicking off in March 2017 in the main house with the World Premiere of William Wordsworth, a Theatre by the Lake and English Touring Theatre co-production, written by award-winning playwright Nicholas Pierpan.

In the public imagination, the Nature poet William Wordsworth was removed from the cares of the world: he peacefully wandered around the Lake District while penning lines like ‘I wandered lonely as cloud…’ But nothing could be further from the truth. For most of his life, Wordsworth struggled with anxieties over his family, money and finding any kind of stable career while many of his peers rose to ‘success’ and healthy incomes. He was a husband, father, brother and provider and dealt with the daily dilemma between pursuing his art and providing for his family. Wordsworth is a beautifully written and poignant piece taking place in 1812, when the poet is 41 years of age and these struggles were reaching their peak.

Writer Nicholas Pierpan won the 2013 Off West End Award for Most Promising New Playwright and was nominated for an Evening Standard Award for his play You Can Still Make a Killing. He has also won the Cameron Mackintosh Award for New Writing twice, a Peggy Ramsay Award, was shortlisted for the Yale Drama Prize and has been on attachment with the National Theatre Studio. William Wordsworth will be directed by Michael Oakley who most recently directed Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s The Invisible at the Bush Theatre and  Caroline Quentin in The Life and Time of Fanny Hill at Bristol Old Vic.

This opening production also ‘welcomes home’ English Touring Theatre, formerly Century Theatre Company, who will co-create a show for Keswick for the first time since their move to Crewe and then London over twenty years ago.

The theatre’s much lauded Summer Season will feature a two company ensemble for the first time. We open the Main House season with a major revival of Terence Rattigan’s heart-rending and beautifully written After the Dance. This is followed by a collaboration with Shared Experience creating a new production of one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies, As You Like It. This show will then embark on a UK tour in November 2017.


Theatre by the Lake is delighted to announce that completing its Summer Season line up in the main house will be the Regional Premiere of the celebrated and critically acclaimed Handbagged by Moira Buffini. Tea at four, Handbags at dawn – this wickedly funny play speculates on that most provocative of questions: What did Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher – two of the world’s most powerful women – talk about behind closed palace doors?

Launching the theatre’s Studio season is a production of Two-Way Mirror by the late, great Arthur Miller, directed by John Dove who most recently directed Mark Rylance in Farinelli and The King at Shakespeare’s Globe and in the West End. Two-Way Mirror will continue the theatre’s commitment to rural touring, visiting a range of venues in partnership with Highlights and Arts Out West.

The Studio Theatre Summer Season hosts a programme dedicated to new writing – the venue’s first – marking an exciting and deliberate gear change for 2017. First up, is a Theatre by the Lake, Royal Exchange and Sherman Theatre co-production of How My Light is Spent. Written by Alan Harris, this heartfelt and incredibly funny take on loneliness, isolation and longing won the Judges’ Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Playwriting Competition at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. It marks the theatres’ first ever co-production together

This season of firsts continues with the World Premiere of Howard Brenton’s adaptation of Strindberg’s masterpiece, Miss Julie. Regarded as one of Britain’s most prolific and highly regarded writers, Brenton’s adaptation will breathe fresh new life into this classic European play which will transfer to London’s Jermyn Street Theatre following its run in Keswick.

We are thrilled to be concluding this Studio season dedicated to new writing with the World Premiere of Remarkable Invisible – by award-winning American writer Laura Eason. This beautifully written family drama explores the complex joy, love, disappointments and expectations we all are familiar with in everyday family life. Eason’s most recent play Sex with Strangers, was produced by Steppenwolf Theatre and played at Second Stage Theatre in New York in 2015 and it will receive its UK premiere at Hampstead Theatre in February 2017. Eason is also a writer for the Emmy award-winning Netflix series, House of Cards.

Families will be enthralled in the Main House at Christmas next year with a new production of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett adapted by Jessica Swale, the recent recipient of the 2016 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy for her play Nell Gwynn. Here she creates a richly imagined adaptation of Hodgson Burnett’s much loved classic, enhancing the theatre’s reputation for producing great storytelling for all the family

Three of the 2017 season’s productions will be directed by Theatre by the Lake’s new Associate Director, Liz Stevenson. The recipient of the JMK Young Director Award 2015, her directing credits includes: Barbarians at the Young Vic, We are the Multitude for the 24:7 Theatre Festival and The Match at Liverpool Write Now Festival. Liz has also worked as an assistant director at the Royal Exchange, Hampstead Theatre, Menier Chocolate Factory and the Gate. For TBTL, Liz will direct Handbagged, The Secret Garden and How My Light is Spent.

Of his inaugural theatre programme for Theatre by the Lake 2017, Artistic Director and Chief Executive  Conrad Lynch, comments:  “It has given me great pleasure to plan the year ahead and curate an innovative and accessible mix of work. We hope to build on the wonderful foundations created by my predecessors, Ian and Patric, by staying loyal to their commitment to produce excellent, accessible and timeless theatre. I am also really excited about developing the theatre’s growing reputation for making work of scale and ambition with artists, collaborators and our Theatre by the Lake team.  I hope that my first season will continue to enthuse, entertain, inspire and engage our audiences from all over the world, here in our spectacular rural location on the edge of Derwentwater.”

Tickets for this 2017 Season go on sale for Priority Bookers on the 12th December from 10.30am.  Tickets go on general sale from January 9th, 2017. Full theatre listings and bookings are available via

Full creative and cast line ups to be announced in due course.




Dates:  31 March – 22 April 2017

Show:  World Premiere of William Wordsworth – A Theatre by the Lake & English Touring Theatre co-production,

Writer:  Nicholas Pierpan

Dir:      Michael Oakley


Dates: 25 May – 4 Nov 2017 (In Rep – see website for select dates)

Show:  After The Dance – A Theatre by the Lake production

Writer: Terence Rattigan

Dir:      Philip Wilson


Dates:  7 July – 4 November 2017 (In Rep – see website for select dates)

Show:  As You Like It – A Theatre by the Lake and Shared Experience co-production

Writer  William Shakespeare

Dir:      Kate Saxon


Dates: 15 June – 3 November 2017 (In Rep – see website for select dates)

Show: Regional Premiere of Handbagged – A Theatre by the Lake production

Writer: Moira Buffini

Dir:      Liz Stevenson


Dates: 24 November 2017 – 13 January 2018

Show: The Secret Garden – A Theatre by the Lake production

Writer: Frances Hodgson Burnett adapted by Jessica Swale

Dir:      Liz Stevenson



Dates: 17- 25 March and 10 – 22 April 2017

Show: Two Way Mirror – A Theatre by the Lake production

Writer: Arthur Miller

Dir:      John Dove


Dates: 31 May – 24 June 2017

Show:  How My Light is Spent – A Theatre by the Lake, Royal Exchange and Sherman            Theatre co-production

Writer: Alan Harris

Dir:      Liz Stevenson


Dates: 30 June – 3 November 2017 (In Rep – see website for select dates)

Show:  Miss Julie  – A Theatre by the Lake & Jermyn Street Theatre co-production

Writer: August Strindberg – World Premiere of new adaptation by Howard Brenton

Dir:      Tom Littler


Dates:  11 August – 4 November 2017 (In Rep – see website for select dates)

Show:  World Premiere of Remarkable Invisible– A Theatre by the Lake production

Writer: Laura Eason


Bristol Old Vic – Season 2017 -Listings and further information

Listings and further info

10-13 Jan                                                                                       
Bristol Old Vic Young Company presents

The Love of the Nightingale
By Timberlake Wertenbaker
Set in a land ravaged by war, two sisters are torn apart. They strive to find their power in a society dominated by men. In this patriarchal world, asking questions is dangerous and turning a blind eye is routine. Can the truth be heard when free speech is lost and victims are shamed?

The Love of the Nightingale is a myth of our times that challenges our perspectives on consent, gender and sexuality.

Performed in the unique setting of The Bierkeller, with bold choreography and original music, The Love of The Nightingale uses a cocktail of original rave music and dance with sudden outbursts of humour and violence which has a stark connection to the world we live in today.
The Bierkeller, All Saints St, Bristol, BS1 2NA
Age 14+


23-28 Jan
Pink Mist
Written by Owen Sheers
Co-Directed by John Retallack and George Mann
Designer Emma Cains
Lighting Designer Peter Harrison
Sound Designer/Composer Jon Nicholls
Pink Mist tells the story of three young Bristol men deployed to Afghanistan. Returning to the women in their lives who must now share the physical and psychological aftershocks of their service, Arthur, Hads and Taff find their journey home is their greatest battle.

Written by Owen Sheers, (‘the war poet of our generation’- Independent) and adapted for the stage by co-directors John Retallack and George Mann, Pink Mist had its world premiere at Bristol Old Vic in July 2015, creating one of the Theatre’s most powerful and talked about productions of recent times. It returned due to huge audience demand in January 2016 as part of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th celebrations. It  will run at Bristol Old Vic from 23-28 Jan 2017, prior to a UK tour.
£27.50 – £12.50
7.30pm2.30pm (SAT MAT)

PINK MIST National Tour –31 Jan – 1 Apr 2017
31 Jan-1 Feb, Aberystwth Arts Centre
2-4 Feb, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
7-10 Feb, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
14-18 Feb, Oxford Playhouse
23-25 Feb, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
7-11 Mar, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
14 Mar, Pontio, Bangor
17-18 Mar, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
20-21 Mar, Theatre Royal Winchester
23-25 Mar, Birmingham Rep
28 Mar-1 Apr, West Yorkshire Playhouse


26 Jan – 2 Feb
Ferment is the artist development department of Bristol Old Vic. A year round quest to find, support and nurture local talent, Ferment provides South West artists with an opportunity to explore their theatrical ideas in an ongoing dialogue with audiences.
With scratch performances in both The Wardrobe Theatre and Bristol Old Vic Theatre, the mini festival showcases new and original work from the likes of The Wardrobe Ensemble, Annie Siddons and Vanessa Kissule amongst many other exciting and inspiring theatre-makers, with the aim that Bristol Old Vic Ferment can support these works through to an explosion of a production.


9-11 Feb 2017
IBT17 Bristol International Festival
created by 600 HIGHWAYMEN
produced by In Between Time in partnership with Knowle West Media Centre, Up Our Street
and Ambition Lawrence Weston


The subject is us; the time is now.

Award-winning New York theatre company 600 HIGHWAYMEN bring 45 Bristolians together on stage for the first time. IN 61minutes they show us who they are, and who they could be.

Part theatre, part dance, part group hallucination – a vivid human assembly on an epic scale.

Featuring live music and performed by individuals who don’t meet until the moment of the first performance, The Record captures the mortality of us all: breakable, magnificent, and inescapably human.
7pm2pm (SAT MAT)


Mon 13 Feb
presented by Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman

Blahblahblah FEBRUARY
Love vs Cynicism – Line up TBC
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Blah can’t help but descend into a pit of cynicism and bitterness. We ask is love life’s greatest gift? Or does it just plain suck? Two teams of wordsmiths go head to head to argue each side of the case. Expect soaring ballads, tenderness, pain, bitterness and hilarity from some of the best poets from across the UK. Will Team Love or Team Cynicism win?
Wardrobe Theatre, 25 West Street, Bristol


18 – 19 Feb 2017
Presented by Pins and Needles Productions
Based on the book by Raymond Briggs


The Bear  is a heart-warming and humorous wintry tale based on Raymond Briggs’ much-loved storybook about a little girl who befriends a mischievous polar bear.

Brought to life by Bristol’s Pins and Needles Productions and featuring dazzling puppetry, delicious music, dreamy storytelling and dozens of laughs, The Bear is an unforgettable experience for the whole family and a perfect introduction to theatre for ages 3+.

So bring a bear and join Tilly and her great big white friend on a wild and magical adventure.
£10 / £35 family ticket
1.30pm & 4.30pm (Sat 18 Feb)
10.30am1.30pm & 4.30pm (Sun 19 Feb)


Fri 24 Feb – Sat 18 Mar
Headlong, Bristol Old Vic, Rose Theatre Kingston, Theatr Clwyd present
Book and Lyrics by Jack Thorne
Music by Stephen Warbeck
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
Designed by Chiara Stephenson
Lighting by Jack Knowles and Sound Ian Dickinson for Autograph
Musical Director Akintayo Akinbode and Movement by Polly Bennett

then touring to North Wales and Kingston 

“Who’d want to join in building a f***ing playground? We’re 13 years old” 

Jeremy Herrin directs Jack Thorne’s sublime Junkyard, a wildly funny and vivid new musical with original score from Academy Award-winning composer Stephen Warbeck, about a miscreant group of misfit teenagers who come together to build an adventure playground.

The full cast is Scarlett Brookes (Debbie), Calum Callaghan (Rick), Josef Davies (Ginger), Erin Doherty (Fiz), Kevin McMonagle (Malcolm), Enyi Okoronkwo (Talc), Seyi Omooba (Tilly), Lisa Palfrey (Mum), Jack Riddiford(Higgy) and Ciaran Alexander Stewart (Loppy).

The musicians are Musical Director Akintayo Akinbode on bass with Nadine Lee on drums and Dario Rossetti-Bonell on guitar.
Junkyard is a co-production with Headlong, Bristol Old Vic, Rose Theatre Kingston and Theatr Clwyd.  It will open to press at Bristol Old Vic before travelling to North Wales (29 March to 15 April) and Kingston (Wed 19 – Sun 30 Apr).

It’s 1979, and a motley crew of teenagers grudgingly agree to create a junk playground in Bristol under the guidance of the well-meaning Rick.  As the playground starts to come to life – it turns from something that means nothing to something that means a lot. And kids that care about nothing, start to care a lot.  But darkness has a way of coming back and biting you when you least expect it.
Inspired by the true story behind the Lockleaze playground known as ‘The Vench’, established over 30 years ago and still operating today, Junkyard is a story about Bristol, from BAFTA and Evening Standard award-winning writer (and Bristolian) Jack Thorne.

Jack Thorne is one of the country’s leading writers with his work spanning theatre, film, television and radio. His theatre credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which won Best Play in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards), Hope and Let The Right One In directed by John Tiffany, The Solid Life of Sugar Water for the Graeae Theatre Company, Bunny for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Stacy for the Trafalgar Studios, 2nd May 1997 and When You Cure Me for the Bush. His adaptations include The Physicists for the Donmar Warehouse and Stuart: A Life Backwards for Hightide. On film his credits include War Book, A Long Way Down and The Scouting Book for Boys.  For television his credits include National TreasureThe Last Panthers, Don’t Take My Baby, This Is England, The Fades, Glue and Cast-Offs.  In 2012 he won BAFTAs for best series (The Fades) and best serial (This Is England 88).  Upcoming work includes an adaptation for the BBC of Philip Pullman’s acclaimed trilogy His Dark Materials.

Stephen Warbeck is one of the most successful British composers working across film, television and theatre today. His many credits include, for film; Shakespeare in Love for which he won an Oscar for Best Original Score, Captain Corelli’s MandolinMrs Brown and Billy Elliot. His work on TV includes The Dresser starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins and the prestigious drama Indian Summers. His work on stage includes This House (National Theatre and Garrick) and The Plough and the Stars and Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies (RSC), all directed by Jeremy Herrin.

Jeremy Herrin is the Artistic Director of Headlong. His production of Duncan Macmillan’s People Places and Things enjoyed a sell-out run at the National Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre.  Other Headlong credits include This House (Garrick) Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (UK and Ireland Tour), The Nether (Duke of Yorks/Royal Court) and The Absence of War (Sheffield/Tour).  For the RSC, the hugely successfully and award-winning world premiere of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies (West End/Broadway), for which he won the Evening Standard Award for Best Director and was nominated for Best Director at the 2015 Tony Awards.  Other credits include This House (National Theatre) for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Director and which has recently opened at the Garrick Theatre.  Jeremy was Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 2009 until 2012 where his work included No QuarterHero,Haunted Child, The HereticKinSpur of the MomentOff the EndzThe PrioryTusk Tusk, and That Face which transferred to the West End.

Friday 24 February to Saturday 18 March 2017
Bristol Old Vic 
Tickets: 0117 987 7877

29 March to 15 April 2017 
Theatr Clwyd, Wales
Tickets: 01352 701521

19 to 30 April 2017 
Rose Theatre, Kingston
Tickets: 020 8174 0090


17-19 March 
presented by Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman
Blahblahblah Blah’s Big Weekend
After the success of last year’s brilliant word-filled bonanza, Blah’s Big Weekend returns for a three day festival packed with performances, workshops and one roaring stand up and slam.
Featuring the biggest headliners of poetry and spoken wordery including the likes of Vanessa Kisuule, Tongue Fu and Roundhouse Collective’s Cecilia Knapp and Bohdan Piasecki, we hope you come and grab a drink, settle in with some cake and fill your ears with words. It’s going to be a blinder.
All performances at Wardrobe Theatre, All performances £7

Fri 17 March
presented by Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman
Tongue Fu, 8-10pm

Hosted by Chris Redmond, Tongue Fu is one of London’s liveliest and best attended spoken word nights. To kick off the Big Weekend we’re going to line up the fattest, juiciest, most brilliant poets and let them, and the band, loose to make magic. We’ll be announcing the lineup closer to the time. We have brilliant and exciting plans. Watch this space.

Sat 18  March
Roundhouse Writing Workshop, 12-1pm

A workshop in writing for performance led by the Roundhouse Collective’s Cecilia Knapp and Bohdan Piasecki.
Finding Home by Celia Knapp, 2-3pm
Along cycle paths, alleyways and canals comes a coming-of-age story that maps the journey of a girl from a seaside town, to the tenements of city life as a 20-something. Writer and performer Cecilia Knapp’s debut piece is about a lot of things; growing up, Mothers, make shift dens, accidentally shaving off your eyebrows, drinking wine, love and one night stands. But it’s mainly about losing her brother Leo to suicide and how that affects a person.
Vanessa Kisuule, post in residence, 3-7.30pm
Vanessa will be hanging out in the theatre bar with her old school typewriter, and will create you your very own tailor-made poems, on the subject of your choice, totally free of charge. Go get yourself a poem or just have a natter about anything you like, poetry, the world, how she finds such brilliant stuff to stick in her hair.
Stand Up and Slam, 8-10pm
Six phenomenal acts go head to head for your approval as poetry and comedy collide with unexpected and hilarious results! Our resident team captains are joined by the most exciting comedy and poetry acts from around the UK. We’re mashing up the two art forms in an epic battle of spoken word. Who wins? You decide…
Sun 19 March
The Sleep Show by Rob Auton, 8-9pm 

The Sleep Show is a comedy/theatre/talking show about sleep by award-winning writer and performer Rob Auton. Suitable for anybody who has slept or seen someone sleeping.


22 – 26 Mar 2017
Presented by Royal Court Theatre
Writer Caryl Churchill
Director James Macdonald


A rare opportunity to see the critically acclaimed new play by Caryl Churchill, one of our greatest and most inventive living playwrights.
Directed by James Macdonald (The Father)Escaped Alone is the latest play from a celebrated writer whose work includes The Skriker, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, A Number, Far Away, Blue Heart, Serious Money, Top Girlsand Cloud Nine.

Design by award-winning Miriam Buether, lighting by Olivier award-winner Peter Mumford and sound by Tony award-winner Christopher Shutt.
7.30pm2.30pm (SAT AND SUN MATS)


1-2 Apr 2017 
Presented by Sadler’s Wells in association with artsdepot
by BalletBoyz
Choreographers Javier de Frutos and Pontus Lidberg

For the first time, BalletBoyz take over Bristol Old Vic’s stage with their new show, performed by an all-male company of 10 amazing dancers, set to a mesmerizing and evocative original score.

Featuring two new commissions by internationally acclaimed choreographers Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos, Life. takes an elegant, powerful and provocative look at life and death presented in the inimitable BalletBoyz style.


6-9 Apr 2017 
Presented by Bristol Old Vic and The English Concert
composer George Frideric Handel
director Tom Morris
conductor Harry Bicket


Messiah returns to Bristol Old Vic following its sell-out debut at Bristol Proms in 2013.

Handel’s profound religious masterpiece was wildly controversial at its Dublin premier in 1742. It was originally deemed too fiery to be performed in churches, flourishing in theatres and concert halls, including Bristol Old Vic in 1782.

Inspired by Handel’s early performances of the work, this staging explores the dramatic heart of the piece, taking as its starting point the bereaved community of a messianic leader and the struggle towards faith that must have confronted them.

Staged by Tom Morris and featuring internationally-renowned soloists Catherine Wyn Rogers and Anna Devin, The Erubus Ensemble (Songs of Hope) and Europe’s most celebrated Baroque orchestra The English Concert under the revered baton of Harry Bicket, this powerfully accessible dramatized concert is a rare treat for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.



Blahblahblah APRIL
All the Things I Lied About – Katie Bonna
Mon 10 Apr

Would the world be a better place if we were all honest? From duping her sister into drinking wee to repeated infidelities, Fringe First winner Katie Bonna (Dirty Great Love Story) unpicks all her past mistakes to confront humanity’s obsession with fibs and how every day lies can lead to a world of Trump and Brexit.
Wardrobe Theatre, 25 West Street, Bristol


11-22 Apr 2017
Kenny Wax Ltd in association with Cambridge Arts Theatre and Bristol Old Vic
present The Belgrade Theatre Coventry’s production
director Sally Cookson


Federico Fellini’s La Strada (the road) is one of the true masterpieces of modern cinema, winning the Academy Award in 1957 for the movie starring Anthony Quinn.

The story of wide-eyed Gelsomina, who is sold by her penniless mother to Zampano, a travelling sideshow strongman, unfolds as they journey through the Italian countryside performing for their keep. Their perilous road trip leads them to a ragtag travelling circus where they meet Il Matto the tightrope walker who rekindles Gelsomina’s spirit with a new found confidence.

This visually stunning new stage adaptation will be directed by Bristol’s own Olivier award nominee, Sally Cookson (Jane Eyre, Peter Pan). Boasting a beautiful score form Benji Bower and design by Katie Sykes, Fellini’s profoundly impassioned story will be told by a multi-talented cast to create a theatrical experience that will stimulate the senses, fire emotions and stir the soul.

7.30pm2.30pm (SAT MATS)


25-29 Apr 2017
presented by Cheek by Jowl
director Declan Donnellan
designer Nick Ormerod


One of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, The Winter’s Tale, though written at the same period as The Tempest, smashes all the rules that The Tempest follows. Unity of time, place and action are hurled aside as we range across Europe, from court to country, from high tragedy to low comedy, across a time span of 16 years.

The Winter’s Tale tells of a delusional and paranoid King who tears his family apart. But this is the new Shakespeare, after he completed his great tragedies, and the tough struggle for redemption yields flickers of hope. Initial darkness gives way to joy as Time leads the characters to a shattering conclusion.

Produced by Cheek by Jowl in a co-production with the Barbican, London; Les Gémeaux/Sceaux/Scène Nationale; Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg; Piccolo Teatro di Milano Teatro d’Europa; Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Centro Dramático Nacional, Madrid (INAEM).
7.30pm1.30pm (SAT MAT)


5- 27 May
A Bristol Old Vic production
By Euripides
Modern story written by Chino Odimba
Devised by George Mann and the company
For love, Medea sacrificed everything – only to suffer the ultimate betrayal at the hands of her husband, Jason. As he prepares to marry his new bride, Medea plots the ultimate act of revenge to free herself from him and immortalise those she holds dear, finally taking control of her own destiny.
Medea will weave Euripides’ ancient world together with the modern day story of one single mother’s fight for the custody of her children. As she begins to lose control of her future – an old copy of Euripides’ play, Medea, offers the inspiration she’s been searching for…
Performed by an all-female cast and using the cathartic potential of song and the visceral power of movement by director George Mann (Pink Mist, Theatre Ad Infinitum), this retelling will attempt to reclaim Medea as a powerful female character who fought against injustice, at all costs.
£30 – £9.50
7.30pm & 2.30pm (SAT MATS)


Royal & Derngate announces Made in Northampton 2017 season

Made in Northampton 2017
Made in Northampton 2017

Made in Northampton 2017

At the end of a remarkable year for the Northampton venue, Royal & Derngate’s Artistic Director James Dacre today announced details of Made in Northampton 2017.

The 2017 season will include eleven brand new productions, seven world premieres, three major revivals and a site-specific collaboration with Northampton Town Football Club. Royal & Derngate’s season is set to welcome some of the country’s finest writers, composers, actors and creatives to Northampton as well as taking work Made in Northampton to over 40 theatres nationwide, championing the brightest emerging artists and companies alongside the most celebrated.

Introducing the season, Dacre said: “Our Made in Northampton 2017 season again aims to present plays that question the most important issues of our time. 2016 has been a year of seismic social and political change and our new season reflects this. With this season we hope to understand the worker who feels abandoned by his country, the refugee evicted from their home, the generation that feels disenfranchised from politics and the households which have forgotten how to be families.  

It’s as ambitious a season as we’ve ever produced and is shaped by a belief that the art of storytelling is as important a way of making sense of our lives in the internet age, as it was for the ancient Greeks, one of whose iconic tales we are dramatising. We have programmed a mixture of new commissions, literary adaptations, classic plays and devised works, which explore our need to belong to a family, place or country and offer life-affirming tales of characters who possess heroism, hope and humanity. 

Over the past ten years more than 1.1 million people have seen a Made in Northampton production either here in these remarkable theatres or on tour nationally and internationally. Our success over the last decade is testament to the extraordinary team of people who work here and our partners and supporters, locally and nationally, with whom we will deliver this exciting season of work.” 

Beginning in Spring 2017, the season launches with two major revivals. The first, in April, will be a touring revival of Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece Death of a Salesman. Widely considered to be one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century, and as relevant now as when it was first written, the piece looks at the cost of not being able to let go of the American Dream. Produced to coincide with the start of a new political era for America, this new production will be directed by Abigail Graham and will star 2016 Tony and Olivier Award nominee Tim Pigott-Smith (King Charles III), who will play the iconic role of Willy. Death of a Salesman will then tour to Cambridge, Bath, Malvern, Exeter, Canterbury, Portsmouth, Edinburgh and Truro, until Saturday 1 July 2017#Salesman17

Directed by Abbey Wright and designed by Laura Hopkins, the second major revival of the 2017 season is John Steinbeck’s powerful exploration of migration and community, The Grapes Of Wrath, adapted by Frank Galati. A moving story of hope and survival, this timely production will examine human resilience in the face of catastrophe and will feature a large community chorus with live music from Matt Regan (Greater Belfast). #Grapes17

In a European premiere next June, Artistic Director James Dacre collaborates again with composer Orlando Gough (King John) on a bold new Obie and Lucille Lortell award-winning version of An Iliad that has been adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare from a translation by Robert Fagles of Homer’s chronicle, transposed to our own age. A visionary piece of storytelling, An Iliad casts the Poet as a refugee evicted from his country, with his poem an account of humanity’s addiction to violence, retribution and chaos. Relating the tale through the prism of our own time, the production will pose the question, has anything really changed since the Trojan War? #Iliad17

Also next Summer, a world premiere brings to the season a new kind of collaboration, between the theatre, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art and Northampton Town Football Club. Devised by Seven Sisters GroupThe Twelfth Player will use interactive technology to portray the experience of Cobblers fans across seventy years of the club’s extraordinary history, of which 2015/16 was arguably their most precarious and euphoric season. The Cobblers fought off relegation and narrowly escaped financial disaster, but through the dedication of staff, players and their fans – the team’s twelfth player – they made a remarkable recovery, welcoming a takeover, bouncing back into League 1 and winning the Club’s first League title for 29 years. The collaboration will see audiences go on a tour around Sixfields Stadium which will blend site-specific performance and handheld video technology, moving the audience seamlessly between characters inspired by real fans and placing them at the heart of the sporting action. #12thplayer

In September, the venue welcomes back Simon Godwin (Regeneration) to direct the regional premiere of Sam Holcroft’s hilarious comedy Rules for Living which follows what happens when an extended family gathers in the kitchen for a traditional Christmas and each of them rigidly follows their own ‘rules for living’. This darkly funny play is produced by Royal & Derngate in collaboration English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston, reuniting the producing team who recently won the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production for The Herbal Bed. #RulesForLiving17

Another major touring revival sees Lucy Bailey direct Love from a Stranger by Agatha Christie and Frank Vosper in a vivid new interpretation of Britain’s greatest crime writer’s work. This bold reimagination of an edge-of-your-seat thriller follows Bailey’s acclaimed work on last year’s Gaslight at Royal & Derngate and will tour the UK in 2018.

Following collaborations in recent years with Kneehigh, Peeoplykus, Spymonkey, Told by an Idiot and Frantic Assembly, in 2017 Royal & Derngate will champion the work of two emerging devising companies – The Wardrobe Ensemble and simple8 – with both ensembles making their mainstage debuts.

In October The Wardrobe Ensemble will premiere Education, Education, Education, charting the rise of New Labour through the lens of a secondary school staff room in 1997 and exploring the key policies and personalities that have shaped our recent political history. The company won critical acclaim and The Stage Award for their 2015 production of 1972: The Future Of Sex. They will be directed by Royal & Derngate’s RTYDS director Jesse Jones#Education17

simple8 is an award-winning ensemble company acclaimed for their ability to create richly imagined worlds out of nothing but a bare stage. They will premiere their vibrant new adaptation of E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India as the 70h anniversary of Indian Independence is remembered. Reimagining the novel for contemporary Britain, the production poses a question that is even more urgent today than when it was first asked: how can we love one another in a world divided by culture and belief?

Furthering their commitment to making work for young audiences in their Underground Studio, Royal & Derngate collaborates with Little Angel Theatre on the world premiere of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ The Singing Mermaid, adapted by director Samantha Lane and composer Barb Jungr for under 7s and their families.

In addition, Royal & Derngate’s Young Company will also produce the world premiere of The Blue Road by Laura Lomas, continuing the venue’s commitment to inviting groundbreaking playwrights to work with young people.

Finally, Royal & Derngate will also shortly announce their world premiere production in the Royal for Christmas 2017.

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive said: “We are pleased to be announcing another ambitious season of Made in Northampton productions, all of which are inspired by and aim to speak to Northampton. This season provides further opportunity for us to consider the purpose of this theatre in one of the UK’s fastest growing towns. Last month we revealed a five year vision that included our plans to take a radical approach to creative and cultural education by establishing a free school in Northampton; to support the development of contemporary music theatre and opera over the coming years; and to collaborate with a neighbouring town to develop a new boutique cinema, inspired by our hugely successful Errol Flynn Filmhouse. These announcements, coupled with our exciting artistic plans for 2017, further demonstrate the scale of ambition and commitment of all our team to ensuring that the theatres and our town continue to thrive”.

For more information about any of the Made in Northampton productions, visit Shows can be booked online or by calling Box Office on 01604 624811.

Broadway Theatre Letchworth- launch season announced for 2017

Sue Scott Davison
Sue Scott Davison

Sue Scott Davison

Olivier award-winning producer Sue Scott Davison, Creative Programmer of the Broadway Theatre – a new mid-scale theatre in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, only half an hour from London – today announces the venue’s inaugural season which will run from February to May 2017. Sue, who lives in Letchworth, has created a diverse programme of theatre, comedy, live music, dance and family entertainment, which is scheduled to dovetail with the cinema’s screenings and national releases. The theatre will open with a star-studded launch event, on Sunday 5 February 2017. Tickets for the season are on sale now and can be purchased from

The new theatre, situated within the town’s much-loved and iconic Art Deco Broadway Cinema, is uniquely funded by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, a community benefit society. The new versatile, two-in-one venue which will be complete by the end of December, can be turned into a theatre, and back to a cinema overnight. The back of house – new dressing rooms and a green room – are housed within a new extension to the cinema building. Local audiences have proved their appetite for a wider selection of arts as demonstrated by the enormous popularity of screenings of live ballet, opera and theatre. For two consecutive years, the cinema reported exceptional box office performance for live event screenings from the Royal Opera house, which ranked Broadway as No. 1 in the UK on the independent circuit.

Sue Scott Davison said: “The challenge with every new space is how to develop an audience, but the success of the live screenings at the Broadway Cinema has proven that there is a desire for good, quality performance on which to build. We are very excited about the opening programme.“To be charged with providing the town and the surrounding areas with a diverse schedule of theatre, comedy, music and dance is daunting, but as this will be the first fully-programmed, professional theatre space in the area, the advantages are considerable. Offering a new, mid-scale space to touring companies, performers and musicians, and so close to London, will help in securing the best.”

 Highlights of the season include the launch of the UK tour of Waiting for God, a stage adaptation of the hit TV series, starring Roy Hudd and Nichola McAuliffe and presented by West End producer James Seabright – who will also give Letchworth audiences an exclusive concert presentation of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a new musical based on the scene from Disney’s Fantasia, ahead of its London debut. Family entertainment includes the first adaptation of David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon presented by Les Petits Theatre Company, Julia Donaldson’s The Scarecrows’ Wedding, presented by Scamp Theatre and the Watford Palace, Big Wooden Horse’s Monstersaurus, Birmingham Stage Company’s Horrible Histories, and a special performance of Michael Morpurgo’s The Mozart Question, narrated by the author himself. Pilot Theatre Company and York Theatre Royal will bring their acclaimed production of The Machine Stops, an adaptation of an E.M. Forster short story. The Reduced Shakespeare Company will present William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged), and 2Magpies Theatre will tell the story of cyclists Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani, as they re-stage the drug fuelled race on Ventoux, the most fearsome mountain encountered on the Tour de France.Other highlights include poet Roger McGough, wit and raconteur Gyles Brandreth and magician Jamie Raven who will all bring their unique talent to Letchworth audiences.

Sue continued, “And at a time when the representation of women in theatre continues to be the subject of heated debate, I am also thrilled to be a part of a 6 strong female arts team which has been building over this past year to deliver the very best in live entertainment.”

Theatre Royal Stratford East announces new 2017 season



With Sinbad the Sailor opening on Monday and Rani Moorthy’s Whose Sari Now? currently playing in Gerry’s studio space, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael today announces the theatre’s forthcoming Spring/Summer 2017 season.

The season opens with the European première of Kirsten Childs’ funny and moving award-winning musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. The story follows Viveca, a young African American girl from LA, who has to fight racism and sexism and goes on to learn her self-worth and follow her dreams. This marks celebrated director and actress Josette Bushell-Mingo’s return to London.

 Following that the theatre welcomes its first visit from cabaret legend Le Gateau Chocolat with his life portrait Black, and 201 Dance Company’s queer hip-hop dance piece Smother which opens in April after an acclaimed sell-out run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and an international tour.

 May brings the world première of the stage adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s book Room featuring original songs by songwriter Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett. Donoghue adapts her bestseller into a play which she previously adapted into a multi-award winning film. Room is a Co-Production between Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre, Dublin in association with National Theatre of Scotland and Covent Garden Productions.

 The Who’s multi-award winning rock musical Tommy runs from 7 – 17 June after premièring at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and will be directed by Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Artistic Director Kerry Michael. This marks the second production from Ramps on the Moon following last year’s success with The Government Inspector. It features a cast of 22 disabled and non-disabled performers and practitioners.

 The National Theatre’s new production My Country; A Work in Progress opens at Theatre Royal Stratford East on 19 June and marks the only other London date on the tour. Rufus Norris directs Carol Ann Duffy’s dramatisation of accounts from people around the UK and Ireland in response to the EU Referendum result. The production premières at the National Theatre’s Dorfman Theatre in February.

 Concluding the season in the main house is the world première of Rikki Beadle-Blair’s new play Summer in London – a romcom with an all transgender cast described as a cross between On The TownRoman Holiday and The Inbetweeners.

 In addition, Thisbe runs at Gerry’s from 21 – 25 February. Samantha Sutherland’s follow up to A Midsummer Night’s Dream has BSL built in to every performance and features an original score.

 The theatre’s renowned pantomime has been confirmed as Rapunzel starting in November 2017. There are also return visits from National Theatre Connections, MonologueSlam UK and Stratford East Singers.

 Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael said today, “Our new season is a chance to give attention to those voices on the fringes of the mainstream, to celebrate the genius of outsiders and shine a light on those with an alternative story to tell. This season highlights diverse communities and cultures with the aim of making theatre as inclusive as it possibly can be. In a time of huge change around the world, which for some brings uncertainty and fear, we salute the theatre makers working in this new season, striving to create unique stories and exceptional shows that can help us understand our neighbours, bringing us together and in our own small way make our world a better place.”

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre announce 2017 season

Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today announced details of Timothy Sheader’s 10th season as Artistic Director.

Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre

The season opens on 19 May 2017 with the musical On The Town (19 May – 1 July) directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. With music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, including the hit song “New York, New York”, On The Town will be the biggest dance musical ever staged at the Open Air Theatre. Drew McOnie scored a hit with his choreography for Jesus Christ Superstar in 2016 and, in addition to In The Heights for which he won the Olivier Award as Best Theatre Choreographer, he has also choreographed Jekyll and Hyde and The Lorax (Old Vic), Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith) and Hairspray and Chicago (Curve, Leicester). He is currently directing and choreographingStrictly Ballroom at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Bringing two of Charles Dickens’s most popular stories out in the open, Dickens Uncovered celebrates the greatest storyteller of London life.

Timothy Sheader directs A Tale of Two Cities (7 July – 8 August), a new play by Matthew Dunster adapted from the original novel by Charles Dickens.

 “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”  Sound familiar? How much more do those in power think Europe’s poor can take? When will the people take to the streets of the cities and roar enough is enough?

 Timothy Sheader’s previous plays at the Open Air Theatre have included To Kill a MockingbirdLord of the Flies and the Olivier Award-nominated Peter Pan. As a writer, Dunster’s work includes Children’s Children (Almeida), You Can See The Hills (Royal Exchange/Young Vic) and an adaptation of Saturday Night Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange, Manchester). He has also previously directed A Midsummer Nights’ Dream and The Seagull at the Open Air Theatre.

The theatre has previously had great success with its Shakespeare plays ‘re-imagined for everyone aged six and over’. Developing this programme of work made especially for families, Caroline Byrne directs Oliver Twist created for everyone aged six and over adapted by Anya Reiss from the novel by Charles Dickens (17 July – 5 August). Recommended for ages six and over, this will play daytime performances alongside A Tale of Two Cities.

Anya Reiss, winner of the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2010, has previously adapted Spring Awakening (Headlong), Uncle Vanya (St James), Three Sisters and The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse), and was a core writer on EastEnders (2013-2016). Caroline Byrne was formerly Associate Director at The Gate Theatre and is currently an Education Associate Practitioner at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her previous directing credits include The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe), Parallel Macbeth (Young Vic), Old Vic New Voices Festival (Old Vic), Eclipsed (Gate; nominated for Best Production and Ensemble Off West End 2015) and Shakespeare in a Suitcase (co-directed with Tim Crouch for RSC).

As previously announced, following its overwhelming sell-out success in 2016, Jesus Christ Superstar returns for just 41 performances (11 August – 16 September), giving audiences one final chance to see the production in its original home. With direction by Timothy Sheader, design by Tom Scutt, choreography by Drew McOnie, musical supervision by Tom Deering, lighting design by Lee Curran and sound design by Nick Lidster for Autograph, the production won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Awards and has received 15 nominations in the BroadwayWorld Awards, including Theatrical Event of the Year. Casting information will be announced in due course.

2017 marks the bicentennial of Jane Austen, and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s sell-out production of Pride and Prejudice, directed by Deborah Bruce, continues its UK tour through to the end of February.

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Memberships are on sale now and priority booking for Members will open at 11am22 NovemberVisit for more information.   Public booking opens at 11am15 December

Twitter: @OpenAirTheatre | Facebook: RegentsParkOpenAirTheatre

*Lines open from 9am – 9pm. £1.50 per ticket telephone booking fee applies. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge.


Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre 2017 season:

On The Town

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Book and Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Based on a Concept by Jerome Robbins

Directed and Choreographed by Drew McOnie

 Friday 19 May – Saturday 1 July

First preview: 19 May

Press Night: Thursday 25 May (7.45pm)


Monday – Saturday @ 7.45pm (gates 6.15pm)

Thursday & Saturday @ 2.15pm (gates 1.15pm)

No matinee 20 or 25 May

A Tale of Two Cities

A new play by Matthew Dunster

Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens

Directed by Timothy Sheader

Friday 7 July – Saturday 5 August

First preview: 7 July

Press Night: Thursday 13 July (7.45pm)


Monday – Saturday @ 7.45pm (gates 6.15pm)

Thursday & Saturday @ 2.15pm (gates 1.15pm)

No matinee 8, 13 or 15 July

Oliver Twist created for everyone aged six and over

Adapted by Anya Reiss

From the novel by Charles Dickens

Directed by Caroline Byrne

 Monday 17 July – Saturday 5 August

Press Performances: Sunday 23 July (1.30pm) and Monday 24 July (1.30pm)


Monday – Friday @ 1.30pm (gates 12.30pm)

Saturday @ 9.45am (gates 9.15pm)

Sunday @ 10am & 1.30pm (gates 9.30am & 12.30pm)

Extra 10am performance on Wednesday 2 August & Friday 4 August (gates 9.30am)

No performances on Thursday

Jesus Christ Superstar

Lyrics by Tim Rice    Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Director                                Timothy Sheader

Designer                              Tom Scutt

Choreographer                 Drew McOnie

Musical Supervisor          Tom Deering

Lighting Designer             Lee Curran

Sound Designer                 Nick Lidster for Autograph

Fight Director                     Kate Waters

Season Associate Director (Voice & Text)  Barbara Houseman

Casting Director                Will Burton CDG & David Grindrod CDG

 Friday 11 August – Saturday 16 September


Monday – Saturday @ 7.45pm (gates 6.15pm)

Thursday & Saturday @ 2.15pm (gates 1.15pm)

No matinee 12 or 17 August

By Special Arrangement With The Really Useful Group



 On The Town and Jesus Christ Superstar

£25 – £55

(Premium Packages £65, including Price Band A ticket, programme and a glass of wine)

 A Tale of Two Cities

£25 – £48.50

(Premium Packages £60, including Price Band A ticket, programme and a glass of wine)

Oliver Twist created for everyone aged six and over

All tickets £18



UK Tour

Regent’s Park Theatre Ltd presents

Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen

In an adaptation by Simon Reade

Directed by Deborah Bruce

Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 January

BATH Theatre Royal

Box Office 01225 448844 |

 Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 January


Box Office 01494 512 000 |

Tuesday 31 January – Saturday 4 February

CANTERBURY Marlowe Theatre

Box Office 01227 787787 |

Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 February


Box Office 0151 709 4776 |

Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 February

NEWCASTLE Theatre Royal

Box Office 08448 11 21 21 |

Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 February

CARDIFF Wales Millennium Centre

Box Office 029 2063 6464 |





Park Theatre Spring – Summer 2017 season announced

Raising Martha

Artistic Director Jez Bond today announces Park Theatre’s new Spring Summer 2017 season, with an array of new writing across both spaces, together with a long awaited European premiere, an acclaimed musical and a drama revival.

Bond says, “Our new season is full of firsts. There’s a whole host of new writing, including the world premiere of Madame Rubinstein which has been developed and co-produced by Park Theatre and that I’m thrilled to be directing. For the first time ever, we have an access performance programmed for every production, which alongside our creative learning and ticketing initiatives, ensures that more people than ever can enjoy Park Theatre. As well as the excitement of a new season of work, we are also upgrading our sales channels, meaning an even better customer experience from start to finish. All of this is delivered by our small and dedicated team who continue, as ever, to work without any government subsidy for core funding.”

Raising Martha

Raising Martha

 Hilarious new comedy Raising Martha by David Spicer, starring Morgana Robinson (BBC1’s The Agency), Joel Fry (ITV’s Plebs), Jasper Britton (The Libertine, West End) and Tom Bennett (E4’sPhoneshop) opens the season, marking the show’s world premiere in PARK200. Action to the Word’s award-winning all-male version of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange follows with a blend of electrifying and testosterone filled physical theatre. Tony award-winning and Pulitzer prize finalist David Henry Hwang returns to Park Theatre following the success of Yellow Face (Park Theatre 2013, National Theatre transfer 2014) with the European premiere of his Broadway hit comedy, Chinglish. Park Theatre and Oliver Mackwood in association with TBO productions present the world premiere of brand new comedy Madame Rubinstein. Directed by Park Theatre Artistic Director Jez Bond and starring the BAFTA award-winning Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Romeo & Juliet), this is a bright new comedy about the woman who invented beauty, Helena Rubinstein. The season in Park200 concludes with the world premiere of Twitstorm by Chris England, a hilarious exploration of what can happen when the self-righteousness of social media gets out of hand, produced by the team behind Park Theatre hits Dead Sheep, An Audience with Jimmy Savile, The Roundabout and Deny Deny Deny.

The PARK90 season opens with the London premiere of punchy black comedy The Albatross 3rd & Main, exploring the flip side of the American dream. Brigit Forsyth and daughter Zoe Mills star in Killing Time, inspired by an original cello composition by Brigit Forsyth, which she will play live among a feast of cello classics, and written by daughter Zoe Mills this new comedy explores inspiration, music, life and the right to die. Michelle Collins will star in the world premiere of A Dark Night in Dalston, a funny and touching two-hander written by award-winning writer Stewart Permutt. Hot Coals Theatre return to Park Theatre with Finders Keepers, a fun filled, highly visual piece inspired by the story of Mosesfully inclusive for both (d) Deaf and hearing audiences. Acclaimed rock musical tick, tick… BOOM! by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winner Jonathan Larson tells the story of the sacrifices he made to achieve his big break in theatre. Buckland Theatre Company close the Park90 season with Marius von Mayenberg’s The Ugly One, translated by Maja Zade, directed by JMK award-winner Roy Alexander Weise.