Georgian Theatre Royal launches autumn programme

Theatre bosses say the new autumn season at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond has an array of shows to suit all tastes and interests, ranging from cutting-edge drama and top comedy acts to exciting and varied musical events.

The season starts with a production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion on September 9 from the acclaimed Dot Productions.

It tells the well-loved story of the Cockney flower girl who seeks to become a fair lady.

More classic drama follows with Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (October 12), a collaborative production from Elysium Theatre Company and Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham; and Eugene Ionesco’s dark comedy The Lesson performed by Icarus Theatre headlines later in the season on November 5.

Music lovers are set for a varied programme of performances with everything from opera to popular tribute bands.

Early in the season, Heritage Opera presents Mozart’s sunniest comedy The Marriage of Figaro on September 10.

Snake Davis – one of the world’s most in-demand rock, jazz and soul sax players teams up with singer, songwriter and guitarist Gareth Moulton for an evening of mellow music on Thursday, October 6, and local folk band Fourum celebrate their 50th anniversary with a feel-good concert that will raise the roof on October 8.

Fans of the 80’s pop favourites Duran Duran, will want to mark the date (October 14) for the Duran Duran Experience.

This is followed by two nights (October 29 and 30) of Buddy Holly & The Cricketers to continue rocking and rolling the audience.

Music aficionados will remember Dunstan Bruce, ex-frontman with the chart-topping band Chumbawamba, whose best-known hit was Tubthumping – a song about the resilience of the ordinary people of the world.

He is here in Richmond on September 17 performing his new play Am I Invisible Yet? – a rollercoaster of despair, anger, love and ultimately hope.

Making a return to the theatre is the Mikron Theatre Company with Red Sky at Night (September 23) with a drama that will explore the wild and wonderful world of the weather.

Also back on the Richmond stage is Mark Farrelly who last performed Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope.

His current production – Howerd’s End (September 30) – will explore the life (and love) of one of Britain’s most-loved comedians, Frankie Howerd.

Lovers of fine clothes, drama and sheer extravagance will be pleased to hear that the History Wardrobe will be at the theatre with Woman in Gold on October 1.

Inspired by the artist Gustav Klimt, this will explore the lure of gold in fashion and the hidden world of women in art.

Those fancying something a bit different would do well to try Shock Horror on October 15, a cutting-edge chiller from multi-award-winning artists Thunder Road.

This is followed by Is That a Bolt in Your Neck? on October 28 – a comedy inspired by the gothic horror movie classics of the 1930s.

The new season sees American comedian Rich Hall take the mike on November 2 and 3.

Montana’s transatlantic messenger is well-known for his rants, knife-edge observations and musical interludes.

The theatre is also hosting two dates in the Richmond Walking and Book Festival with best-selling author and columnist Sally Coulthard (September 19) whose books delve into the traditions of rural life, as well as the award-winning writer, geographer and TV presenter Nicholas Crane (September 21) talking about the first data gatherers of Peru.

Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society is performing Shakespeare’s magical comedy masterpiece A Midsummer Night’s Dream from November 10 an 12, and Richmond Operatic Society presents Calendar Girls: The Musical from November 16 to 19.

Written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, the show is based on the true story of a small Yorkshire Women’s Institute who launched a global phenomenon.

The Georgian Theatre’s pantomime rounds off the season.

Pinocchio enjoys a festive run from December 2 to January 8.

There will be the usual laugh-out-loud comedy, amazing musical routines and fantastic sets and costumes that will tell the age-old story of the little wooden puppet who dreams of being a real boy.

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 on 01748 825252.