World class touring companies, top comedy acts and cutting-edge entertainment make up the new spring and summer season at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond.
Among the line-up is an offering from the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
In Shakespeare’s day, when a company went on tour, the most important member of the household they visited decided which play should be performed.
In order to recreate this tradition, the Globe will offer a choice of three classic plays – The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night – and at the beginning of each performance (taking place from 5 to 8 July), the audience votes on which one it wants to see.
Opening the season on 25 February is Tom Allen, the first of a series of star comedy acts.
Well-known for his appearances on Mock The Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Live at the Apollo, The Great British Bake Off’s Extra Slice, The John Bishop Show, and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala at the O2, Tom is also a regular on Radio 4’s Just a Minute and News Quiz.
Other comedians later in the season include Georgian Theatre favourite Simon Evans on 6 May; Sarah Kendall on 8 June, who is touring the UK with her latest show One-Seventeen; and former MP and government whip Gyles Brandreth, also a mainstay of Just a Minute, on 21 July.
The Theatre will welcomeback well-established audience favourites such as the popular Vienna Festival Ballet with The Sleeping Beauty on 30 & 31 May and Dyad Productions, the creators of Austen’s Women, I, Elizabeth, Female Gothic, The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe, and Jane Eyre: An Autobiography are back with The Time Machine on 6 April.
Celebrating the theatre’s unique heritage, award-winning Royal Shakespeare Company actor Ian Hughes will be presenting The Dramatic Exploits of Edmund Kean – a one-man show charting the rise and decline of the notorious nineteenth-century actor – on 4 March.
. Seaside Terror on 16 March offers something completely different as the horrors of British holidays in the 1970s are played out by Odd Doll theatre company, using their unique brand of hilarious puppetry and clowning.
Music lovers are set for a varied programme of performances with everything from rock and roll to jazz. The Bluejays (winners of the National Vintage Award for Best Band) celebrate an era which changed the musical landscape forever with hits from the likes of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochrane and Little Richard on 29 March.
World-class saxophonist Snake Davis who has recorded with artists from Ray Charles and Paul McCartney to Take That will be taking the stage on 28 April with rising young star Jess Gillam in a fun acoustic duo set.
Puccini’s La Bohème will be performed by the accomplished North West touring company Heritage Opera on 19 May; and on 16 June the superbly talented Italian group Decostruttori Postmodernisti will provide an entertaining rollercoaster ride through the history of music, covering everything from Mozart to the Bee Gees.
The ever-popular Muker Silver Band will raise the rafters on 21 April; and a vibrant and varied programme of 17th and 18th century music will be performed by the accomplished trio Da Camera (recorders, viols and harpsichord) on 27 April.
Family entertainment is well catered for with a variety of shows, including the magnificent time-travelling magicians Morgan & West on 9 March.
They are followed by an evening of musical storytelling with the Captain of the Lost Waves on 20 April; and impressionist double act The Mimic Men (as seen on Britain’s Got Talent) bring their ‘best of show’ to The Georgian on 18 May.
Horace and the Yeti – an exciting eco-adventure for younger children – takes place on 31 March.
Also featured in the Spring and Summer Programme are dramas – Journey’s End and A Bunch of Amateurs – and musicals – My Fair Lady – from our talented community groups; as well as performances by students from Richmond School & Sixth Form College and The Georgian Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre.
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.