Tickets are now on sale for a new season of shows at Gala Durham, including the return of the theatre’s annual pantomime, a new Christ-mouse musical for families, and lots of familiar faces.
The Durham County Council-run venue’s autumn line-up kicks off with the return of National Theatre Live screenings, with Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical Follies hitting the big screen on Thursday 2 September, and an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor, showing on Tuesday 28 September.
There’s plenty of laughs on offer, with stand-up comedy from the likes of Mark Thomas (Saturday 4 September), Andy Parsons (Friday 10 September), Carl Hutchinson (Saturday 11 September), Shazia Mirza (Friday 8 October) and Sindhu Vee (Wednesday 3 November).
Writer and TV historian Lucy Worsley returns to Gala with If Walls Could Talk, a fascinating follow-on from her four-part BBC series and hit book of the same name. Audiences can join Lucy on Tuesday 7 September for a trip through the history of the home, discovering the hygiene and homely habits of the British over the past 800 years.
An exciting programme of live music includes one of Britain’s most popular sopranos Lesley Garrett, who will host an evening of song and chat on Wednesday 15 September, as well as performances from folk supergroup Show of Hands (Saturday 6 November) and The South (Saturday 13 November) who’ll perform timeless The Beautiful South classics as wells as originals.
Championed by the BBC as one of the most authentic tributes in the world, Cloudbusting perform the music of Kate Bush on Thursday 7 October whilst The Illegal Eagles return by popular demand, to perform classics from The Eagles’ catalogue on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 October.
The inspirational true story of boxer Glenn McCrory’s heartwarming relationship with his brother is brought to life in Ed Waugh’s funny and dramatic play Carrying David, on Thursday 16 September. The remarkable tale of brotherly love plays out from the streets of County Durham to London and beyond, following Glenn’s unforgiving and rollercoaster boxing career.
There’s more live theatre from a Fringe First award winner, as Su Pollard gives a one-woman tour-de-force performance in the razor-sharp and bittersweet dark drama Harpy (Monday 18 October) and on Friday 29 October, Janet Plater’s Haddock and Chips, a heart-warming and timely play about community, will show how, in the hardest of times, we can find hope in humanity.
Dance fans can look forward to an extraordinary new ballet, based on the eternal story of Giselle, from award-winning company Ballet Cymru on Saturday 9 October, as well as a ballroom extravaganza with Strictly Come Dancing stars Ian Waite and Vincent Simone. The dancing double act is sure to score a perfect ten with an evening of world-class routines on Tuesday 26 October.
Audiences can join Caroline Criado-Perez in the conversation for a discussion of her book Invisible Women and the gender bias that affects everyday life on Tuesday 19 October.
A return from festive favourites and a magical new tale top the bill at Christmas.
There’ll be fun and mayhem from pantomime writers, directors and stars Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley in The Adventures of Robin Hood, which runs from Wednesday 24 November to Sunday 9 January. Audiences can expect live music, laughter and surprises as Robin Hood and his merry men head for Sherburn Forest to do battle with the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.
Meanwhile, younger audiences and their grown-ups can enjoy a sparkling new, music-filled adaptation of the classic Nutcracker tale in The Nutcracker Re-Miced. The show, designed for ages three and over tells the story of three mice, living in Durham Castle Clock Tower, who take on a huge Christmas adventure involving a little girl who needs their help and an intriguing toy left at the railway station.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “There’s an excellent variety of live theatre, dance, music and comedy shows on offer at Gala Durham this autumn.
“And it is brilliant to see the theatre able to produce its own shows again, with the return of the annual pantomime and children’s Christmas show. We’re very proud to present shows which have been created right here in Durham.
“Gala’s in-house productions are a fantastic showcase for the wealth of local artistic talent that County Durham is home to. Inspiring, nurturing and championing creative expertise like this is one of the key aims of the county’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.”
More information about the full Gala Durham programme and tickets are available at www.galadurham.co.uk