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Classic novels are brought to the stage in new adaptations in the engaging, exhilarating, and entertaining autumn/winter season at York Theatre Royal.
Pride and Prejudice gets a makeover from stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe in a ‘playful, truthful and occasionally disrespectful’ take on Jane Austen’s novel. This co-production with Nottingham Playhouse features an original score from Emmy the Great and is directed by Susannah Tresilian.
Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock will be seen in a new adaptation by Bryony Lavery and directed by Esther Richardson in a co-production with York-based Pilot Theatre. Greene’s gripping noir thriller finds two 17-year-olds, Pinkie and Rose, embroiled in a vicious gang war in Brighton’s dark underworld.
Two shows for younger audiences make the move from page to stage. York Theatre Royal and tutti frutti bring to life Hans Christian Andersen’s well-known tale of the Ugly Duckling with a menagerie of mean animals and live music in an adaptation by Emma Reeves, and directed by Wendy Harris. The show is for children aged three-plus and their families. Aimed at a family audience too is director Juliet Forster’s adaptation of E Nesbit’s The Book of Dragons which plays for a season in the Studio over Christmas. The theatre had one of its biggest hits with another of Nesbit’s stories The Railway Children.
The season reflects York Theatre Royal’s continuing Of Woman Born, a selection of work programmed by an all-female group of actors and theatre-makers looking to address the imbalance in women’s roles in both theatrical work and the industry as a whole.
Of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a Berwick Kaler pantomime. This year Jack and the Beanstalk finds Berwick, the UK’s longest serving consecutive pantomime dame, reunited with audience favourites Martin Barrass, David Leonard, Suzy Cooper and A J Powell.
David and Suzy also star in a fund-raising one-nighter Waiting For Panto with proceeds going towards the theatre’s on-going work with the community. The pair will be sharing their favourite poems, readings, songs and gags with the audience.
TakeOver Festival returns (23-28 Oct) with a celebration of contemporary culture united under the theme of Walls. The work will speak to audiences of any age as it explores the diverse barriers of stigma and prejudice in society and the ways in which we can all overcome the challenges they bring. The festival is organised exclusively by 12-26 year olds who take on responsibility for programming and marketing a diverse and ambitious body of work spanning all aspects of the arts. The programme includes a modern adaptation of Medusa, a Phoenix Dance mixed programme and poet Hollie McNish.
SLAP (Salacious. Live. Alternative. Performance) presents three days of provocative and bold performance works from award-winning, internationally-acclaimed artists and companies Pauline Mayers, Third Angels, ARC Stockton and Massive Owl.
The touring productions sees the return of Peter Duncan - who last appeared at the Theatre Royal in Birdsong - as the father of rock’n’roll Sam Phillips in hit musical Million Dollar Quartet which tells of the day in 1956 when rock’n’roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins came together for the one and only time.
The producers of Birdsong, the Original Theatre Company, presents the thriller Wait Until Dark by Dial M For Murder writer Frederick Knott. Back too is the ever-popular Northern Broadsides with the comedy For Love Or Money, adapted by Blake Morrison and directed by Barrie Rutter.
Frantic Assembly makes its debut at the Theatre Royal with the funny, bold and touching Things I Know To Be True, the story of a family and marriage through the eyes of four grown siblings struggling to define themselves beyond their parents’ love and expectations.
Andrea Dunbar’s semi-autobiographical play Rita, Sue and Bob Too is revived in a major new production directed by the play’s original director Max Stafford-Clark. Miss Marple, played by Doctor Who and EastEnders actor Louise Jameson, plays detective again in Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced with a cast also including Janet Dibley and Tom Butcher.
Work in the Studio includes Objects of Terror which lifts the curtain on the inmates of Victorian lunatic asylums and their ‘mad doctors’. The production is presented by York Theatre Royal and Out Of Character, a community of actors and artists who have all accessed mental health services.
Rattle Snake from Open Clasp and Live Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal, is based on real life stories of women who have face and survived coercive and controlling domestic abuse. ‘TANJA’ from SBC Theatre, the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary, is an exploration of immigration centres featuring former Yarl’s Wood detainee Emily Ntshangase-Wood.