Durham’s Gala Theatre has announced a fantastic spring programme, for which tickets are now on sale. The programme will feature great plays, including a production of the classic Educating Rita, as well as comedy, music, screenings of Shakespeare and kids’ events.
Live Theatre at the Gala
In February, the Gala is putting on The Empty Nesters’ Club. Mum Vicky shares her stories of empty bedrooms, fresher’s flu, boyfriends, long goodbyes, motorway service stations and trips to IKEA. Vicky tells how she fought back against various challenges to become the woman she is.
Presented by the John Godber Company and the Theatre Royal Wakefield, who return to Durham after last year’s Shafted!, The Empty Nesters’ Club will be on at the Gala on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th February.
Educating Rita will run from Tuesday 4th April to Saturday 8th April, with a two-for-one ticket offer for Gala members on the opening night. The 1980 Willy Russel classic tells the story of hairdresser Rita who, unhappy with her job and thirsting for knowledge, enrols on a university course. Brash Rita soon forms an unlikely bond with her middle-aged, alcoholic tutor Frank.
Produced by the Gala itself, Educating Rita aims to follow on from the success of September’s critically acclaimed The Fighting Bradfords, which – apart from its pantomimes – was the Gala’s first production in six years.
Gala Theatre Screenings
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will present The Tempest via the big screen on Friday, 3rd February. After a 20-year gap, Simon Russel Beale will return to the RSC to play Prospero in what is described as a “ground-breaking and unforgettable show.”
The Tempest concerns a man robbed of his status, influence and wealth and marooned on a remote island by his enemies. But this is an exceptional man and a highly unusual island. Prospero is a magician, who can make nature serve his will.
On 26th April, there will be a screening of Julius Caesar. Another RSC production, the play charts a race to claim the Roman Empire marred by violence and betrayal.
More screenings will take place as part of the National Theatre’s NT Live programme. The Game of Thrones star Lucian Msamati will play the role of Amadeus on Thursday 2nd February. On Thursday 9th March, Ruth Wilson, from The Affair, will take on the part of Hedda Gabler.
Music at the Gala Theatre
On Sunday 5th February, the Gala will be graced with songs and stories from The Pitman Poets. On Saturday 25th February, the Gala will host The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular, which will be full of the music of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin.
Popular UK singer Elkie Brooks will be appearing at the Gala on Sunday, 5th March. Elkie, who has numerous hit singles and million-selling albums to her credit, promises “an evening that will be a treat for fans old and new.”
The Yamato Drummers “will be captivating audiences with an explosive visual spectacular” on Tuesday, 11th April, and singer-songwriter Chantel McGregor will be taking the Gala stage on Thursday April 13th.
Comedy at the Gala Theatre
The Gala says “there are plenty of laughs lined up with a gaggle of top class comedians set to entertain audiences over the coming months.”
Susan Calman, celebrating her tenth year in comedy, will be bringing a brand new show to the Gala on Sunday, February 12th.
On Friday 24th February, The Horne Section will provide “spontaneous stand-up and outlandish musical talent” while The Sound of Mucus, featuring showbiz legend Count Arthur Strong, will be gracing the Gala stage on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd February.
Al Murray – The Pub Landlord will be revealing his common sense campaign to re-great Britain by bringing his brand new show to the Gala on Saturday 18th March.
Other comedy treats include appearances from Love Island narrator Iain Sterling (Monday 27th February), Mock the Week’s Andy Parsons (Sunday 23rd April) and writer, presenter and DJ Danny Baker (Wednesday 8th March). Lee Nelson will be at the Gala on Sunday 30th April.
Fans of the Gala’s regular Comedy Store slot will be able to snap up a season ticket valid for three shows (29th January, 26th February and 16th April), thereby gaining a saving of £2 per show.
Family Fun at the Gala Theatre
The Gala is also putting on a number of family shows. Sponge (Friday 24th and Saturday 25th February) is “a fabulously kitsch adventure” that seeks to entertain children between six months and four and their accompanying grown-ups.
Dinosaur World, a family friendly interactive show scheduled for Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th April, promises “a journey across uncharted territories to discover a pre-historic world of remarkable dinosaurs.”
Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th April will see The Scarecrow’s Wedding staged at the Gala. From the creators of The Gruffalo, the show promises to be “bursting at the seams with style, wit, drama and wedding bells.”
Further Information and Tickets
Robin Byers, Durham County Council’s manager for place and experience, said, “We feel we have a really strong season this spring, and we know it will appeal to our regular Gala customers as well as bringing new people to the venue.”
To see the full spring programme or reserve tickets, please visit the Gala box office, phone 03000 266 600 or go to www.galadurham.co.uk.