Top-name comedy acts, world-famous singers, cutting edge drama and even a spot of mind-reading all feature in The Georgian Theatre Royal’s new autumn line-up.
At the start of the season on 22 September is master of stand-up comedy Phill Jupitus, a regular on TV shows such as BBC2’s QI and BBC1’s Live at the Apollo, as well as Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and The Unbelievable Truth.
Also taking the comedy mike is fellow I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue veteran Jeremy Hardy on 12 October. Jeremy is also well-known for appearances on Radio 4’s The News Quiz, and his television credits include BBC2’s Mock the Week, Grumpy Old Men (BBC1) and Not Tonight with John Sergeant (BBC2).
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Another headline act is former Spandau Ballet bass player and East Enders’ star Martin Kemp who will be talking about his varied acting and musical career on 4 November, including his recent stint on the judging panel of Gary Barlow’s talent show Let it Shine.
Musical legend Hazel O’Connor will be returning to the Georgian’s stage on 27 October accompanied by her musical partner of some 15 years, the renowned Irish harp player Cormac de Barra. The show will feature some newly composed songs highlighting O’Connor’s Celtic soul/folk roots as well as classics such as Will You and Eighth Day. Also from the world of popular music is Kevin Simm, one of the lead vocalists for the multi-platinum selling band Liberty X and winner of last year’s The Voice UK, who will be performing tracks from his latest album Recover amongst other hit material on 21 October.
Other musical events include Encore – an evening of Gallic warmth and passion – on 23 September; Red Priest – the world-famous baroque quartet – with Viva Baroque on 5 October; and Buddy Holly and the Cricketers on 20 October, which stars some of the finest actor-musicians in the UK whose combined West End credits include Buddy, Lennon, Forbidden Planet and Jailhouse Rock.
A wide variety of dramatic tastes are catered for in the new season’s programme. A touring production of Oscar Wilde’s scathingly funny satire Lady Windermere’s Fan promises a high-speed Commedia Dell’Arte adaptation of this classic work on 14 October.
Award-winning Mikron Theatre Company present an entertaining hike through the history of the Youth Hostelling Association on 29 September with Best Foot Forward; and Everwitch Theatre bring to life accounts from local WW2 veterans in the powerfully evocative drama Bomb Happy on 13 October.
Dramatic humour is unleashed with a gloriously silly and subversive murder mystery The Game’s a Foot Try the Fish on 19 October with Tom Taylor as rakish aristocrat Charlie Montague; and Living Spit present an outrageous two-man version of The Six Wives of Henry VIII on 28 October.
Exceptional regional talent is also showcased. North Country Theatre return on 27 and 28 September with Nightmares in Norfolk – a double bill that explores the supernatural; and popular local folk band, Fourum, will perform on 7 October with an eclectic mix of Scottish and Irish songs, complete with their own ballads recounting the legends and characters of the Dales.
Building on the Georgian’s strong reputation for children’s theatre, Goblin Theatre are staging the musical adventure Peter and the Wolf on 8 October and, following the success of their popular TV show, Howard Read as Big Howard and his six-year-old animated friend Little Howard present their unique family show Little Howard’s Big Show for Kids on 22 October.
A first for the Georgian is an evening of mind-reading with Luke Jermay on 2 November whose high-profile fans include Derren Brown and Uri Geller. Jermay’s incredible show Sixth Sense has gained critical acclaim with 5-star reviews from Edinburgh to London’s West End.
Exploring the dark world of crime is an evening with bestselling author Val McDermid on 24 September. Dubbed the Queen of Crime, she is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green and her most recent novel Out of Bounds was a number one bestseller.
As well as playing host to many internationally and nationally acclaimed productions, The Georgian Theatre Royal also performs a valuable role as a vibrant community playhouse. Richmond Jam return to provide a feast of original music and jazz standards on 10 September.
Local group RADS presents The Clink – a bawdy Elizabethan romp – from 9-11 November; and Richmond Operatic Society presents Scrooge! – a delightful musical adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic Christmas tale from 15-18 November.
The season concludes with The Wizard of Oz – the Theatre’s now legendary pantomime, which is brought to family audiences by the same professional production team that created last year’s record-breaking Snow White.
The pantomime is written and directed especially for the Richmond stage and promises a unique interpretation of Dorothy’s journey down the yellow brick road with star-quality performances, catchy songs and dazzling special effects.
Details of all shows and events are given in the newly published programme brochure which can be picked up at the Box Office, via the website (www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk) or by calling the Box Office on 01748 825252.