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News release - Issued by York Theatre Royal

Classic Novels Go from Page to Stage in York Theatre Royal’s
Engaging, Exhilarating and Exciting Autumn/Winter 2017 Season

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.

For further information, interviews, photographs and press night tickets contact
Press and PR officer Steve Pratt
01904 550149

For press and ticket enquiries for TakeOver 2017 contact

Tue 19 Sep, Million Dollar Quartet, Main House, 7.30pm
Fri 29 Sep, Ugly Duckling, Studio, 6pm; Tue 3 Oct 11am & 1.30pm
Wed 4 Oct, Pride & Prejudice, Main House, 7.30pm
Wed 13 Dec, The Book of Dragons, Studio, 1pm
Tue 17 Oct, A Murder Is Announced, Main House, 7.30pm
Tue 31 Oct, Things I Know To Be True, Main House, 7.30pm
Tue 14 Nov, Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Main House, 7.30pm
Tue 21 Nov, Wait Until Dark, Main House, 7.30pm
Tue 28 Nov, For Love Or Money, Main House, 7.30pm
Fri 15 Dec, Jack and the Beanstalk, Main House, 7.30pm
Wed 21 Feb, Brighton Rock, Main House, 7.30pm
A limited number of press tickets are available for other productions.


Swinging at the Cotton Club
Featuring the Lindy Hop Dance Company and the Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra
12 Sep, Main House, 7.30pm

Dance It Up North
A rich feast of different dance styles with performers of all ages and levels of experience. Work from professional dance artists, community groups, children and from the not-so-young-but-very-keen-for-dance.
13 Sep, Main House, 7.30pm

Wizard Presents in association with OvalHouse
Perfectly Imperfect Women
York-born and raised storyteller Danyah Miller explores what drives us to want to live perfect lives.
14-16 Sep, Studio, 7.45 (Thu-Sat), 2pm (Sat)

Acorn Entertainments Ltd presents
An Evening With Pam Ayres
This national treasure has been making the nation laugh for over 40 years. Recent radio broadcasts include Just a Minute, Loose Ends and five of her own series of Ayres On The Air for Radio 4.
15 Sep, Main House, 7.30pm

Breaking Tradition presents
The Lock In ‘Remixed’
Breaking Tradition Dance Company return returns to Ye Olde Fighting Cocks for a comical new take on their five-star Live Music & Dance Extravaganza. Featuring the live music by BBC Radio 2 award-winning powerhouse The Demon Barbers.
16 Sep, Main House, 7.30pm

The Broadway and West End smash hit musical
Million Dollar Quartet
The story of how four stars – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins - made rock’n’roll history on December 4, 1956, when they gathered at Sam Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Ex-Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan stars as legendary record producer Sam Phillips.
19–23 Sept, Main House, Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Thu 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

Phrased & Confused and Unity Theatre present
Horny Handed Tons of Soil
The writer and composer of Narvik explore the magic and reality of the city. Inspired by Adrian Henri, fusing beat poetry with folk song and electronic composition with brass and percussion.
20 Sep, Studio, 7.45pm

SLAP (Salacious. Live. Alternative. Performance)
21-23 Sep, Studio
Three days of provocative and bold performance works from award-winning and internationally acclaimed artists.
Third Angel presents 600 People, 21 Sept, 7.45pm
Pauline Mayers presents What If I Told You?, 22 Sep, 5pm
ARC Stockton presents Learning How To Die, 23 Sep, 2pm
Massive Owl presents Castle Rock, 23 Sep, 6.30pm

York Theatre Royal and tutti frutti present
Ugly Duckling
A lost, rejected duckling stares skyward at the migrating swans, yearning to belong and marvelling at their beauty. Emma Reeves adapts the Hans Christian Anderson story with live music that quacks and trills. Directed by Wendy Harris. For children aged 3-plus and their families.
28 Sep – 14 Oct, Studio, daytime performances

A new musical in development – a love story set in ancient Greece. A chance to find out how to become a Theatre Goddess and invest, plus a chance to see the work so far.
29 Sep, Main House, 7.30pm

York Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company present
Pride and Prejudice
Brand new comic adaptation of the Jane Austen novel by stand-up comedian Sara Pascoe. With an original score by Emmy the Great. Directed by Susannah Tresilian.
4 -14 Oct, Main House. 7.30pm (not 8 & 9 Oct), Thur 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

Displace Yourself Theatre presents
Free To Stay
A new performance exploring life without nationality, inspired by those who have experience of statelessness in the UK and overseas. Directed and performed by Jennifer Nevin and Mike Auger.
9 Oct, Studio, 7.45pm

Open Clasp and Live Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal present
Rattle Snake
Based on real life stories of women who have faced and survived coercive and controlling domestic abuse. Written by Catrina McHigh and directed by Charlotte Bennett.
17-21 Oct, Studio, 7.45pm, Sat 2pm

Middle Ground Theatre Company Ltd presents
Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced
A Miss Marple Mystery with Louise Jameson as the spinster sleuth. The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place this coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock.
Oct 17-21, Main House, 7.30pm, Thur 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

York Theatre Royal Fundraising presents
Waiting for Panto
Panto favourites David Leonard and Suzy Cooper share favourite poems, readings, songs and gags as they wait for pantomime rehearsals to begin.
22 Oct, Main House, 7.30pm

Takeover Festival 2017
23-28 Oct
Medusa, 23 Oct, Main House, 7.30pm
Grab ‘Em By the Pussy, 23 Oct, Studio, 7.45pm
The Room at the Top of the House, 24 Oct, Studio, 7.45pm
Zine Making and Theatre Criticism IRL with Megan Vaughan, 25 & 26 Oct, all day
Phoenix Dance – Mixed Programme, 25 & 26 Oct, Main House, 7.30pm
Swansong, 26 Oct, Studio, 7.45pm
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, 27 Oct, Main House, 7.30pm
Hollie McNish, 27 Oct, Studio, 6pm
Headstrung Puppet Cabaret, 27 Oct, Studio, 9.30pm
The Chit Chat Chalk Show and Workshop, 28 Oct, Studio, 11am
Memory Box, 28 Oct, Upper Foyer, all day
Out, 28 Oct, Studio, 8pm

Frantic Assembly and State Theatre Company South Australia present
Things I Know To Be True
Featuring Frantic Assembly’s celebrated physicality, Things I Know To Be True is a complex and intense study of the mechanics of a family that is both poetic and brutally frank. As beautifully touching as it is funny and bold.
31 Oct – 4 Nov, Main House, 7.30pm, Thu 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

York Theatre Royal and Out of Character present
Objects of Terror
Lifting the curtain on the inmates of Victorian lunatic asylums and their ‘mad doctors’. Out of Character is a community of actors and artists who have all accessed mental health services. Written by Paul Birch, directed by Juliet Forster.
1-2 Nov, Studio, 7.45pm

Mac’s Arcadian presents
Great Odds
Interactive show integrating visual storytelling, British Sign Language, live music and puppetry. Written by Esther McAuley.
7 Nov, Studio, 1 and 4.30pm

York Opera presents Gilbert and Sullivan’s
Love-sick maidens, an aesthetic poet, officers of the Dragoon Guards and a village milkmaid all feature in Gilbert’s satire on affectation.
8-11 Nov, Main House, 7.30pm, Sat 4.30pm

Target Theatre Company presents
Bangladesh 2017. Four women struggle to survive in the slums around Dhaka’s garments factories. In the face of severe exploitation and poverty can there be a future worth fighting for in a country that clothes us? Written by Ikhtisad Ahmed.
8 Nov, Studio, 7.45pm

The Crick Crack Club presents
He’s naked. He’s angry. And he’s on the run. Storyteller Ben Haggarty and musician Sianed Jones embark on an intense monster’s-lib interpretation of Mary Shelley’s modern myth.
18 Nov, Studio, 7.45pm

Out of Joint, Octagon Theatre Bolton and the Royal Court Theatre present
Rita, Sue and Bob Too
Andrea Dunbar’s semi-autobiographical play, written when she was just 19, is a vivid portrait of two schoolgirls growing up on a Bradford estate, caught between a brutal childhood and an unpromising future and hungry for adult adventure. The play’s original director Max Stafford-Clark directs this major new production from Out of Joint, Octagon Theatre Bolton and the Royal Court Theatre.
14-18 Nov, Main House. 7.30pm, Thu 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

Company Gavin Robertson presents
Mata Hari – Female Spy
Mata Hari, the most notorious female spy in history. Or was she? Written and directed by Gavin Roberts, and performed by Katharine Mary.
22 Nov, Studio, 7.45pm

SBC Theatre presents
An impassioned call to arms, a play and a campaign: ‘TANJA’ is a dramatic, meta-theatrical exploration of immigration detention centres, starring Emily Ntshangase-Wood, a former Yarl’s Wood detainee. SBC Theatre is the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary.
23 Nov, Studio, 7.45pm

The Original Theatre Company in association with Eastbourne Theatres present
Wait Until Dark
Dial M For Murder writer Frederick Knott’s edge-of-your-seat thriller tells of a blind woman, left alone in her apartment and threatened by a group of conmen hatching an elaborate scam. Cast includes Jack Ellis (Prime Suspect, Bad Girls) and Oliver Mellor (Coronation Street). From the producers of Birdsong.
21-25 Nov, Main House. 7.30pm, Thu 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

Powder Keg presents
Morale Is High (Since We Gave Up Hope)
Fast-paced, raucous performance weaving together time travel, intertwining narratives and songs performed live to predict what might happen between now and a future general election in 2022. Devised and created by Ross McCaffrey, Jake Walton, Emma Geraghty and Josh Coates.
24 Nov, Studio, 7.45pm

Take the Space presents
White Feather Boxer
The story of a boxer who was also a conscientious objector in the First World War, written and directed by Siobhan Nicholas.
25 Nov, Studio, 7.45pm

Northern Broadsides presents
For Love or Money
Blake Morrison adapts Alain-Rene Lesage’s 18th century comedy Turcaet, relocating the action from Paris to Yorkshire as a beautiful widow is wooed by two suitors. The older one showers her with gifts which the younger one (handsome, impecunious, an inveterate gambler) wants to put to better use.
28 Nov-2 Dec, Main House. 7.30pm, Thu 2pm, Sat 2.30pm

York Theatre Royal presents
E Nesbit’s The Book of Dragons
Small ones, tall ones, fiery ones, icy ones, friendly ones, scary ones – there is a plague of dragons. Juliet Forster adapts and directs E Nesbit’s story about the wonderful ‘winged lizards’ that appear all over the country. For children aged 3-plus and their families.
12 Dec – 6 Jan, Studio
10.30am, Dec 12-14, 16, 19, 20, 23, 27-30, Jan 1-6
1pm, Dec 12-16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, Jan 2-6
6pm, Dec 15, 21, 22
3.30pm, Dec 26, Jan 1

York Theatre Royal presents
Jack and the Beanstalk
Berwick Kaler continues his record-breaking run the longest running consecutive panto dame with family favourite Jack and the Beanstalk, which he writes and co-directs with Damian Cruden. Martin Barrass is back after missing last year’s show. Joining him are other panto regulars David Leonard, Suzy Cooper and AJ Powell.
14 Dec – 3 Feb, Main House
7.30pm, Dec 14-16,18-21, 23, 27-30, Jan 2-6, 8-11, 13, 15-16, 18, 20, 22-25, 27, 29, 30-31, Feb 1, 3
2.30pm, Dec 16, 18, 20-21, Dec 23, Dec 27-30, Jan 2-6, 13, 20, 27, Feb 3
4.30pm, Dec 22, 26, Jan 1, 12, 17, 19, 26, Feb 2
8pm, Dec 22, 26, Jan 1, 12, 17, 19, 26, Feb 2

York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre by special arrangement with StudioCanal present
Brighton Rock
The dark underworld of Graham Greene’s classic novel is brought to the stage in a new version by Bryony Lavery and directed by Esther Richardson. Two 17-year-olds, Pinkie and Rose, get embroiled in a vicious gang war in Brighton, as one brutal murder leads to the next.
16 Feb – 3 Mar, Main House.
7.30pm, Feb 16-17, 20-24, 27-28, Mar 1-3
2pm, 22 Feb and 1 Mar; 2.30pm, 24 Feb and 3 Mar

Notes for Editors:
York Theatre Royal has brought delight and fulfilment to the people of York and beyond by offering a rich and diverse programme of creative activity for 270 years. York Theatre Royal is one of the UK’s leading creative producers and presenters, constantly building on its reputation for producing high quality and ambitious theatre with highly regarded productions of new commissions, revivals at all scales and each year delivering a pantomime of international renown. The theatre serves audiences of all ages – children, youth, teenagers, adults and seniors.