Upcoming highlights at iconic theatres – what’s on at five of the UK’s most celebrated stages.
Many West End shows have their origins at some of the most iconic and well-respected theatres elsewhere around the UK and with eclectic programmes having been announced for the rest of the year, why not treat yourself to a day out or a weekend break?
21 New Globe Walk, London
Built, destroyed and rebuilt no less than three times, this is the 1997 incarnation of one of the world’s most iconic theatres. This is a big year for Shakespeare, as the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death coincides with the Globe’s appointment of a new artistic director, Emma Rice.
Her inaugural season is already underway with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming of the Shrew, while later in the summer, the first London production of 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips takes to the stage. This adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s D-Day tale features music, puppetry, humour and romance, coming from Rice’s hugely successful time with the Kneehigh theatre company.
For details of all the shows in the Wonder season and to book tickets, contact the Theatre team.
Bristol Old Vic
King Street, Bristol
The UK’s longest continuously running theatre is celebrating its 250th year and since its inception in 1766, it has established itself as the producer of some of the country’s best shows. The anniversary programme has been put together to cover all four centuries of the theatre’s life – beginning earlier this year with the return of Jane Eyre, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night from the 20th century and 2015’s Pink Mist.
The autumn months take audiences back to the 1700s for Sheridan’s The Rivals and this celebratory year is rounded out with The Grinning Man – a new musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel, The Man Who Laughs. If Bristol isn’t your local haunt, the theatre’s sell-out production of Jane Eyre will undertake a national tour in 2017, while Peter Pan will take to the stage for Christmas this year at London’s National Theatre.
Grindlay Street, Edinburgh
Architect CJ Phipps designed and built countless theatres around the UK including the Theatre Royal Bath and London’s Savoy and Vaudeville; this 658-seater is one of the most unchanged examples of his work.
Artistic director David Greig takes the helm for his first season in the Scottish capital, beginning in August with Wind Resistance by Scotland native and folk singer-songwriter Karine Polwart. Greig has chosen shows that encompass history, comedy, literary icons, local talent and old favourites. Until June 2017, audiences can take in 2,500-year-old Greek play, The Suppliant Woman; the chilling Picnic at Hanging Rock; classics including Shakespearean favourite, The Winter’s Tale and Noël Coward’s Hay Fever; and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland which is being staged over Christmas.
Booking opens on 11 June, so call our Theatre team to register your interest in tickets.
Chichester Festival Theatre
Oaklands Park, Chichester
Known for its innovative productions, many well-known actors have trodden Chichester’s boards including Sir Laurence Olivier – also its first artistic director. Many of its shows have gone on to enjoy West End transfers, including Gypsy starring Imelda Staunton; so we highly recommend taking the opportunity to see a smash-hit before anyone else.
Closing the current season in July is a new production of Half a Sixpence, and with a creative team including Julian Fellowes and Cameron Mackintosh, we’re sure this will be a hit – could it be the next show to transfer to London?
From July, much-lauded actor and director Daniel Evans takes the reins as artistic director, with tales of love, comedy, politics and childhood dreams from summer to winter. We’re particularly looking forward to Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, both of which will be brought into the 20th century with settings that straddle the First World War.
For full details of Daniel Evans’ inaugural season or to book tickets, contact the Theatre team.
55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield
Opened in 1971, this theatre’s first performance featured improvisation, a turn from Sir Ian McKellen in Chekhov’s Swan Song and a brass band music hall finale. Over the past 45 years it has become synonymous with bold productions including revivals of classics, while also welcoming new writers.
Daniel Evans moves to Chichester from Sheffield Theatres, the Crucible’s parent group. The artistic director’s revival of Show Boat won much praise and transferred to the West End this year and his parting gift is a run of wonderful musicals. First up is Flowers for Mrs Harris; followed by Irving Berlin’s western, Annie Get Your Gun; and lastly the coming-of-age story, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, with new songs by The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie Sells.
Pictured: The Crucible and the Lyceum, Sheffield CC DncnH