As the New Vic Theatre’s most ambitious production to date – Astley’s Astounding Adventures – takes to the stage as part of Circus250 celebrations, Staffordshire’s theatre-in-the-round today announces its full autumn season.
The theatre will produce two brand new productions, beginning with Maxine Peake’s Queens of the Coal Age which takes centre-stage from Friday 7 to Saturday 29 September. Directed by Stoke-on-Trent born and bred, Bryony Shanahan, the New Vic and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production tells the story of four ordinary women who take a stand against the closure of Parkside Colliery. A powerful play full of Northern wit, Queens of the Coal Age continues the New Vic’s tradition of putting the voices of those within the coal mining community on stage.
For Christmas, New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins’ will adapt Kenneth Grahame’s classic family story, The Wind In The Willows (Saturday 17 November 2018 to Saturday 26 January 2019). Directed by Peter Leslie Wild (The Archers, BBC Radio 4; Doctors, BBC 1; Dial M for Murder New Vic Theatre) and featuring all of the familiar characters from the classic children’s story, including Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger, this beloved tale of adventure, courage and the value of friendship will be brought to life in the theatre’s trademark style and is a story all ages of family members can enjoy together.
Alongside The Wind In The Willows, the New Vic will also produce Tale Trail to The Wind In The Willows (Saturday 8 to Saturday 29 December). An immersive theatre experience for three to five year olds, Tale Trail will invite children and their families to journey into the world of this much-loved story on an adventure created especially for them.
Alongside the New Vic’s produced work, the theatre welcome London Classic Theatre back to Staffordshire with Charlotte Keatley’s poignant and bittersweet My Mother Said I Never Should (Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 October). Directed by Michael Cabot, it tells the story of love, jealousy and the price of freedom and details the lives of four women through the immense social change of the 20th Century.
An Alan Ayckbourn double-bill follows, as the Stephen Joseph Theatre return with a 40th anniversary revival of maliciously funny Joking Apart (Tuesday 9 to Saturday 27 October) and Ayckbourn’s new play, a comedy of confusion Better Off Dead (Thursday 11 to Saturday 27 October).
Tobacco Factory Theatres in association with The Dukes Lancaster visit the theatre-in-the-round from Tuesday 30 October to Saturday 3 November with Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing for the play’s 25th anniversary. Directed by Mike Tweddle, this razor-sharp depiction of life and love on a post-war council estate has charmed and delighted audiences across the world. A nostalgic trip back to the early nineties, the production features pop songs from the ’60s and ’90s performed live each night by local community chorus, the Clay Chorus.
Northern Broadsides then return with They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!, a brand new adaptation of Dario Fo’s classic comedy by Deborah McAndrew (Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 November). Conrad Nelson directs the fast and furious political satire on the plight of the working poor, transposed to Brexit Britain, before David Graham Productions stage I’m Eric Get Me Out Of Here! (Monday 3 to Saturday 15 December) a festive party featuring ’60s music and side-splitting comedy galore.
Completing the autumn season, a stellar line-up of one-night concerts is set to delight audiences. In his first solo concert in 4 years, Blur’s Graham Coxon brings his unique blend of ’60s pop psychedelia and folk to the theatre in-the-round on Monday 17 September. A unique and intimate opportunity to see Graham perform solo and in-the-round, this special concert will be a real treat for music fans. Pam Ayres (Wednesday 21 November), An Evening Shared with Jasper Carrott & Alistair McGowan (Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 November) and Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders (Wednesday 12 September) are also amongst the line-up visiting Staffordshire’s theatre-in-the-round this season
Full details about the New Vic’s autumn season are available from the theatre at newvictheatre.org.uk and via the Box Office on 01782 717962. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.