The new autumn season at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond has an array of shows, including festival performances, cutting-edge drama, comedy acts, music and children’s entertainment.
The season starts with GeorgeFest19 – a town-wide celebration of Richmond’s rich Georgian past.
As the most complete Georgian playhouse remaining in Britain, the theatre forms the hub of the festival with daily guided costumed heritage tours and varied performances that offer insights into the daily lives of our Georgian ancestors.
These include a presentation by the popular History Wardrobe (17 August) and a one-man show by award-winning Royal Shakespeare Company actor Ian Hughes (24 August), charting the rise and fall of the great 19th-century actor Edmund Kean.
The Georgian Theatre has an reputation for stand-up comedy and the new season sees Ardal O’Hanlon lead the way on 4 September.
The star of Death in Paradise, Father Ted and My Hero, Ardal offers comedy as the best emergency response mechanism there is to the state of our ever-bewildering world.
Also taking up the comedy mike is Andy Parsons, best-known for his appearances on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and QI (6 October) and Suzi Ruffell (Live at the Apollo, Hypothetical and 8 out of 10 Cats) takes centre stage on 24 October with her new show Dance Like Everyone’s Watching.
First-class drama is in abundance and the theatre is proud to host the debut production of Fell-Foss Theatre, the enterprise of Mark Cronfield (former North Country Theatre stalwart).
His dynamic one-man show, Crusoe’s Island (19 & 20 September), tells the strange and surprising story of Yorkshire’s world-famous castaway and celebrates the 300th anniversary of Defoe’s classic novel.
The season also features some firm audience favourites, including Mikron Theatre Company with their drama All Hands on Deck (27 September) about the plucky WRNS wartime heroines.
Theatrical Niche are bringing Chekhov’s powerful tragicomedy, Uncle Vanya to the stage on 21 September and Crimes on the Coast (11 & 12 October) is a fast-paced comedy thriller featuring four actors playing multiple outrageous characters.
This is followed by a production of George Eliot’s epic novel Silas Marner (17 October) and a hair-raising interpretation of The Body Snatcher inspired by the writing of Robert Louis Stevenson on 1 November.
Music lovers are set for a varied programme of performances with everything from rock to classical guitar. Barb Jungr – one of the world’s great cabaret singers – plays tribute to the work of Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan on 28 September and The Bob Dylan Story (10 October) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the great man’s famous 1969 comeback appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival.
Local musical talent led by the Finkle Street Singers will be raising money for Marie Curie in a special concert on 3 October and the ever-popular Yorkshire folk band Fourum will raise the rafters on 5 October for an amazing fifteenth successive year.
Eduardo Niebla will present his extensive repertoire of stunning flamenco jazz, accompanied by fellow guitarist Matthew Robinson on 19 October and Buddy Holly and The Cricketers are set to have everyone singing and dancing in the aisles on 26 October.
As part of the Richmond Walking and Book Festival, the Theatre is hosting an evening with Rachel Reeves, the Labour MP for Leeds West who will be talking about her new book The Women of Westminster (4 October), highlighting the achievements of those both in and out of the political limelight.
Also no stranger to the rich and famous is the multi-award-winning magician Chris Cross (25 October) who has performed for the likes of Prince Harry, Boy George and the Duchess of Northumberland.
Always a welcome addition to the Autumn Programme are the town’s talented community groups. Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society is performing Sam Holcroft’s smash hit comedy Rules for Living from 7 – 9 November and Richmond Operatic Society presents an evening of Movies and Musicals (13 – 16 November).
Family entertainment is well catered for with Hey Diddle Diddle on 6 October, which is a brilliant new take on the classic nursery rhyme for ages 3 and upwards, and the Georgian Theatre’s legendary pantomime Aladdin rounds off the season with its festive run from 6 December to 12 January.
Widely regarded as one of the best pantomimes in the region, this year’s production celebrates 10 glorious years of the Theatre’s own pantomimes.
There will be the usual family style comedy, amazing musical routines and dazzling special effects plus support from Catterick Garrison soldiers and a ride on a rather remarkable carpet.
Details of all shows and events are given in the newly published programme brochure available at the Box Office, via the website www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01748 825252.