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York Theatre Royal’s exciting new season has taken its inspiration from God’s Own County itself; Yorkshire. From the Wars of the Roses to the wartime bombing in York, from Yorkshire born writers to exciting new theatre companies who have been formed and nurtured here, with over 50 different productions 2013 is the year to celebrate England’s largest county.
This season York Theatre Royal is presenting four world premieres. From Friday 19th April – Sat 11th May 2013 is iShandy written by Richard Hurford and directed by York Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director, Damian Cruden. It is very, very, very loosely based on the novel Tristram Shandy by Yorkshire author Laurence Sterne. In the 300th anniversary of his birth, this bawdy, irreverent and quite frankly bonkers production shows what happens when members of a teacher’s Book Club meet to discuss the latest ambitious read in their season of Yorkshire classics, the insurmountable Tristram Shandy, but no-one can quite remember who chose it and where and who exactly is the elusive Mr Shandy?
Then, following the huge success of its previous summer productions including The Railway Children which transferred to London, Peter Pan and 2012’s ambitious York Mystery Plays, 2013 sees the birth of an epic new production; THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR. Written by Mike Kenny and directed by Damian Cruden, the whole of the theatre will be transformed into Camelot as this fantastical tale is brought to life for all the family with jousting, swords and sorcery. Mike Kenny, who is arguably Yorkshire’s most prolific children’s playwright, has also written atjc’s brand new production for ages 5+ and family, BIN MEN (14 – 25 May). The Bin Men see everything we throw away and can find a use for anything in this story of music, movement, recycling, re-using, puppetry and fun.
ANGELS & INSECTS (11 Apr – 4 May) will premiere in the studio this April, adapted and directed by York Theatre Royal’s Associate Director, Juliet Forster from the story Morpho Eugenia by Yorkshire born AS Byatt, this production uses live music, magic and illusion.
In an exciting first for Yorkshire, the Globe Theatre is presenting its newest productions here before taking them back to its base in London. The first part of the Wars of the Roses which make up Shakespeare’s HENRY VI parts 1, 2 & 3 will be at York from 26 June – 13 July and will present an unmissable opportunity to see all 3 plays (sometimes on the same day) HARRY THE SIXTH, THE HOUSES OF YORK AND LANCASTER and THE TRUE TRAGEDY OF THE DUKE OF YORK combine in Shakespeare’s powerful rendering of a country racked by civil war. The concluding part of the Wars of the Roses, RICHARD III, produced by York Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse will form part of the Autumn season.
Shakespeare's Globe Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole said: 'We are delighted to be kicking off our touring Henrys in York and to be visiting the Theatre Royal for the first time. These great plays will gain additional punch being performed in the heart of their historical home.'
York Theatre Royal continues to attract the very best West End tours. In keeping with Yorkshire season, the haunting THE WOMAN IN BLACK (25 Feb – 2 Mar 2013) was developed from the novel written by Scarborough writer Susan Hill and arrives in North Yorkshire for the first time. This phenomenal play still has the power to scare, delivering an evening of unremitting drama while transporting the audience into a terrifying and ghostly world. Then back by popular demand THE 39 STEPS (26 – 30 Mar 2013) returns to York. Created in 2005 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, this madcap comedy thriller never ceases to amuse with its dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women.
Continuing the Yorkshire Season, the counties favourite touring theatre company returns with its production of RUTHERFORD & SON, Northern Broadsides present this powerful drama, written and set in the north of England in 1912. This gritty, unflinching portrayal of an industrial Edwardian family on the brink of collapse runs from 28 May – 1 June 2013. In the Studio on the same week sits GITHA, a one woman show about the life of Rutherford & Son’s writer, Githa Sowerby.
The Main House season also includes English Touring Theatre’s THE MISANTHROPE, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Reduced Shakespeare Company, Tamasha’s THE ARRIVAL and also English Touring Opera who alongside COSI FAN TUTTE and THE SIEGE OF CALAIS will be bringing a full sized orchestra for Verdi’s SIMON BOCCANEGRA.
Other highlights include Pilot Theatre in collaboration with Tron Theatre in a brand new adaptation of RUNNING ON THE CRACKS, Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson’s only teenage novel, a fast moving play about runaways, identity, survival and how friendships can develop in the strangest situations and Half Moon’s, production, THE MOON & GENIE, (2 – 6 April). Plus the 18 - 25’s take over the building once again for TakeOver 13 fast building a reputation for quality the young people have once again created a fantastically varied festival programme from drama to physical theatre to comedy.
This season also sees events moving beyond the walls of the theatre itself, the patio will play host to a children’s show, while Hartshorn Hook Productions present SOME SMALL LOVE STORY, and BEULAH (Tue 5 – Thu 7 Mar), a double bill of new musicals written by Alexander Wright in the Cocktail Bar in the De Grey Rooms. York Theatre Royal Youth Theatre also make use of the amazing spaces in the De Grey Rooms, WHERE SHADOWS GO AT NIGHT combines two connected fictional crime dramas with the historical events of the York blitz as their backdrop, told in simultaneous stories in both the Studio and the Ballroom at the De Grey Rooms.
Artistic Director Damian Cruden said today: ‘With York and Yorkshire as our inspiration, we knew we would have a wealth of talent, stories and creative voices to enable us to offer a rich programme of theatrical experiences. We have over 50 different productions in the next six months so the hallmark of this season is its huge variety created by the many people who have contributed to our vision of a theatre that responds and reflects the community.’
For more information and to book tickets for these and all of the many other events in York Theatre Royal’s Yorkshire Season, search on the website orphone the Box Office on 01904 623568.