Mayflower Theatre exciting autumn season to include Mandela Trilogy, Mamma Mia! UK tour, The Shawshank Redemption, Beauty and the Beast, Sunny Afternoon and more

Mayflower Theatre’s autumn season opens with the return of Cape Town Opera and their stunning production of Mandela Trilogy, playing from 7-10 September 2016. The amazing life of Nelson Mandela is brought vividly to the stage in a large-scale celebration and tribute to the man who touched hearts and minds around the world.

Mandela Trilogy

Mandela Trilogy

Following this will be the first ever MAMMA MIA! UK Tour from 13 September to 8 October 2016. MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise.

One of the world’s best dance companies makes their Southampton debut on 11 and 12 October 2016 bringing their breath-taking talent and technique to Mayflower Theatre’s stage with a dazzling array of dance pieces including the world renowned Revelations. Direct from New York, under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre continues to wow audiences and critics around the world.

In Peppa Pig’s Surprise (15 – 16 October) audiences will enjoy interactive fun, games and, of course, surprises. This charming, colourful new show features new songs and new life-size puppets. Peppa Pig’s Surprise promises to be the perfect theatre show for all pre-schoolers.

Paul Nicholls, Jack Ellis and Ben Onwukwe will star in The Shawshank Redemption when it arrives from 17-22 October 2016. Inspired by the classic film and based on the short novel by Stephen King, the play follows Andy Dufresne, a banker handed a double life sentence for the brutal murder of his wife and her lover, who finds himself incarcerated in the notorious Shawshank penitentiary.

English Nation Ballet present a world premiere production of Giselle from 26-29 October. Giselle is a timeless tale of love, heartbreak and redemption. Akram Khan, one of the most sought after choreographers working today is part of the creative force behind the greatest romantic ballet.

Three productions inspired by William Shakespeare make up Welsh National Opera’s autumn season, which will comprise of a British premiere and two new productions.  The season is part of the official Shakespeare 400 celebrations to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great bard’s death. This WNO season will be visiting in November 2016 with Merchant of Venice (1 November 2016), Macbeth (2 November 2016) and Kiss Me, Kate (3-5 November 2016).

Comedian, actor and presenter Rufus Hound will star as the lovable menace Mr Toad when The Wind in the Willows arrives from 10-20 November. This new stage musical penned by Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes and Oliver Award winning composer and lyricist team George Stiles and Anthony Drewe follows Ratty, Badger and Mole and Toad who embark on a series of adventures and misadventures caused by his insatiable need for speed!

From November 22-26 Jason Donovan stars as legendary record producer Sam Phillips in Million Dollar Quartet. This worldwide smash-hit musical is inspired by the famous recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, That’s All Right, Sixteen Tons, Great Balls of Fire, Walk the Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Who Do You Love?, Matchbox, Folsom Prison Blues, Hound Dog and many more.

Northern Ballet’s Beauty & the Beast (30 November – 3 December) brings one of the world’s most famous fairytales to life in a kaleidoscope of colour, set to an infectious score, including music by Saint-Säens, Bizet, Debussy, Poulenc and Glazunov, played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

 Sunny Afternoon (6 – 10 December) is an irresistible musical with slick theatricality and ingenious storytelling at its heart. It tells the captivating tale of how one of Britain’s greatest bands, The Kinks, rose to stardom. Featuring the iconic hits You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, All Day and All of the Night, Lola, Sunny Afternoon and many more, this production fizzes with energy, and is a fresh new ‘Great British Musical’ (The Times) that will make your spirits soar.

Finally, Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace will star in the South Coast’s biggest family panto, Robin Hood from 17 December for a four week run. Having established themselves as one of the nation’s favourite partnerships during their time playing Alfie and Kat in EastEnders, Robin Hood marks their first pantomime appearance together with Shane in the title role and Jessie his beautiful Maid Marion. Southampton audiences can look forward to an unmissable production packed full of action, adventure and comedy. This is pantomime at its best!

 Tickets for all shows are on sale from Mayflower Theatre Box Office tel: 02380 711811 or online at mayflower.org.uk. Ovation Restaurant bookings: 02380 711833