Monday, 10 March 2014

Derby Theatre - an exciting new season.

Derby Theatre is delighted to announce its May – July 2014 Season.

From John Godber masterpieces to stage adaptations of iconic British cinema classics; top quality, award-winning touring productions to new, exciting and inventive youth and community theatre shows; original studio productions to a wealth of insightful workshops and from fabulous family theatre to the return of DEparture Lounge, next season offers a wonderful array of shows and events to tempt and tantalise the theatrical taste buds!

A Taste of Honey, on from Tue 29 April until Sat 10 May, is a Derby Theatre and Hull Truck Theatre co-production and is a stage adaptation of Shelagh Delaney’s 1958 hit. This touching tale of a young girl’s journey into adulthood stars Rebecca Ryan (Shameless and Waterloo Road) and is directed by Mark Babych, who directed Cooking with Elvis for Derby Theatre in May 2013.

Derby Theatre welcomes a host of top-class touring companies this summer including: Northern Broadsides with the deeply moving drama poised at the tipping point of war, An August Bank Holiday Lark, on from Tue 20 until Sat 24 May; the highly acclaimed, award-winning Headlong return again this season with Wedekind’s definite play about youth- caused riots, Spring Awakening, on from Wed 28 until Sat 31 May; London Classic Theatre make another welcome return to the theatre with the 50th Anniversary production of Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane from Tue 10 until Sat 14 June and Northern Stage, as part of the first ever UK of Joseph Heller’s classic novel, with a stage adaptation of  Catch 22, on from Tue 17 until Sat 21 June.   

From Fri 27 June until Sat 12 July, Derby Theatre, in association with Paul Tyrer and Jamie Clark for The Booking Office, will present John Godber’s comical, bittersweet masterpiece, April in Paris, which was Olivier-nominated for Comedy of the Year when it premiered. Directed by Godber himself, this classic two-hander will feature two star names (to be announced soon) and guarantees to make you belly laugh and your heart melt.

Over the summer period, from Thu 24 until Sat 26 July, our Youth Theatre will present a stunning double-bill of plays each evening which are unified by the themes of freedom and sacrifice: The Willow Pattern, a classic tale of innocent, yet forbidden love, and The Chrysalids directed by Sarah Brigham, a powerful story set in the post-nuclear world, a place divided into ‘perfect’ humans and mutants.  

Derby People’s Theatre, which involves members of the public and community working alongside theatre professionals to produce a full-scale production, will present Pulse from Wed 30 July until Sat 2 August, a new play commissioned by Derby Theatre from local writer Sally Siner. Pulsating with life, death and other funny turns, Pulse takes a look at a day in the life of the fictional Derby Orb Hospital and is about, and for, a community to which we all belong. 

DEparture Lounge, a summer festival of fantastic fringe performances, returns again this year and promises to be a theatrical adventure like no other. Prepare to buckle up for an exciting ride from Thu 17 until Sat 20 July for this stunning showcase of theatre from some of the exciting companies and artists from across the UK before they depart for the heady lights of Edinburgh and beyond.

Studio shows next season offer a wide and varied selection of theatre including: Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company with a newly commissioned piece by local playwright, Andy Barrett, The Second Minute; Caroline Horton, who presented the fantastic Penelope RETOLD at Derby Theatre recently, will present, along with China Plate, her award- winning You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy, a tender, comic portrayal of one woman’s experience of love and war; Johnny and The Baptists, an evening in the company of some of the UK’s hottest musical comedians; the edgy and moving one-man show which explores one of football’s biggest taboos, Away From Home; Derby Jazz, Corey Mwamba, Dave Kane and Joshua Blackmore with Sunday afternoons of Jazz music; the sell-out smash hit of the Edinburgh Festival 2013, Hidden; highly acclaimed Graeae with Signs of a Diva, which will include BSL signed songs, captioned text and audio description; Amanda Whittington’s poignant drama set in a mother and baby home in 1964, Be My Baby; award- winning comedy duo Heffernan & Fitch with their quirky sketch show-come-cabaret night Roll It In Sequins and Birmingham Repertory Theatre with Circles, a play which boldly explores violence on a generation of young women.      

Family shows include: Theatre Hullabaloo and Theatre Iolo with Luna, a starry night theatrical adventure suitable for  2 – 5 year olds, which sees Luna, the only moon in the sky, befriending a boy and together they go on an adventure of light and dark to help him overcome his fear of the night-time and A Transport and Unicorn production, 1001 Nights, a collection of some of the greatest folk tales ever told, perfect for ages 6+, brought to life in a fantastical and imagined world of kings, viziers and jinns.    

Other shows in the season include: award-winning Mike Bartlett’s 13, which will be presented by Second Year Theatre Arts students and the return of the ever-popular, locally-based Oddsocks with a double bill of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night.  

For children and young people, opportunities include: new Youth Theatre for 8-10 year olds; new Young Technicians for 11-19 year olds; Theatre Thinkers for 11-19 year olds; Easter three-day residency and Derby Theatre Summer School.   

For artists and participants, opportunities include: Writing Young People’s Theatre Masterclass with award-winning playwright, Mike Kenny; CPD on Directing with Artistic Director, Sarah Brigham; audition techniques, costume club and technical advice and training.  

Looking ahead to next season - also announcing…

Derby Theatre is also delighted to officially announce two productions for the autumn.
Antigone, a Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East Production, is a new adaptation of Sophocles’ play adapted by acclaimed playwright, Roy Williams. In the main house from Fri 19 September until Sat 4 October, Antigone will be placed in a contemporary setting to bring this timeless tale bang up to date and will be the perfect follow-on for our audiences from our recent production of The Odyssey, as another Greek classic adapted for a modern audience.

A Christmas Carol will be Derby Theatre’s big festive production for 2014/15. Neil Duffield’s vibrant adaptation of Charles Dickens’ treasured novel will contain all the sparkle, magic and ghostly goings-on of this much-loved Christmas story. On from Fri 5 December 2014 until Sun 4 January 2015, A Christmas Carol is a heart-warming, traditional must- see production for the whole family.

Bookings now being taken. 

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director, Derby Theatre) said:  

“I'm delighted to be welcoming our audiences to another thrilling season at Derby Theatre.  We officially announce two exciting and very different co-productions.  A modern classic in A Taste of Honey directed by Mark Babych (who previously directed the hugely popular Cooking with Elvis for us last year) and the ever popular April in Paris with The Booking Office and John Godber.  With these two great, popular productions, alongside a quality touring programme from such companies as Northern Broadsides and Headlong, a Youth Theatre double bill and a Derby People’s Theatre production plus a wealth of other productions and opportunities to participate, I hope you’ll agree that there are many ways you can experience and be involved with the work we produce, present and programme at Derby Theatre, whether it be as an audience member, participant or both.” 

“I'm also delighted to formally announce and introduce two shows in our autumn season, new writing in the form of a new adaptation of Antigone by Roy Williams produced with Theatre Royal Stratford East and Pilot Theatre and our big Christmas production which I'll direct, A Christmas Carol which will have all the festive magic you would expect coupled with a heart-warming tale.”  
“We look forward to seeing you at Derby Theatre over the coming months”  

Season ticket More great theatre for less with the Derby Theatre Season Ticket. Book 3 shows and get 10% off. Book 4 shows or more and get 20% off. General ticket prices: £10.50 - £25.50, concession, group and school rates available. For more information, full season details and to book tickets simply call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or visit  

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