After the long Jubilee Weekend, here is the pick of our region’s key openings to keep you royally entertained.
Running 6 – 9 June, Hull Truck (Hull)
LILIES ON THE LAND
This delightful and often deeply touching play charts the personal journeys of four women who sign up to become Land Girls, determined to work endless, backbreaking hours on farms across the country in a bid to do their best for the War Effort.
But how will these women, hailing from all different walks of life, torn from their families and bereft of all basic home comforts, deal not only with the hardships of farming life and the pressures of war, but also with being outsiders in new surroundings? Maybe work clothes full of mice and toilet rolls falling from the skies are just what it takes for these girls to get through...
Based on hundreds of letters from and interviews with the original Land Girls along with songs from the period, Lilies on the Land is a revealing, funny, wonderfully moving and utterly captivating portrait of some of Britain's pluckiest, unsung heroes. Simply unmissable, this is theatre at its most memorable.
Running 6 – 9 June, Lyceum (Sheffield)
THE LADY IN THE VAN
Alan Bennett has a very unusual neighbour. Parked at the bottom of his garden is a van. With a lady in it.
The lady in the van is Miss Shepherd. Alan knows very little about her. She used to drive ambulances in the war, might have been a nun, sells pencils and pamphlets and has an unexplained aversion to piano music. But somehow she lives in the playwright’s garden and has done for years.
Starring Nichola McAuliffe who played Sheila Sabatini in ITV’s Surgical Spirit and who won an Olivier Award for her role in Kiss Me Kate (RSC), The Lady in the Van was written by Alan Bennett, one of the nation’s best-loved playwrights.
Running 8 June – 13 October, Stephen Joseph Theatre (Scarborough)
ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR
Last Christmas, the Hopcrofts’ seasonal drinks party for a few select friends and guests turned out a near-disaster.
This Christmas, round at the Jacksons’ it’s been an even worse chapter of accidents.
What on earth is going to happen next year when they all meet up at the Brewster-Wrights’?
Alan Ayckbourn’s award winning classic 1972 comedy of three kitchens, Christmas catastrophes and calculated social climbing is presented here in a sparkling new revival directed by the author.
Running 12 – 16 June, Lyceum (Sheffield)
Come and meet those dancing feet!
Winner of the 1980 Tony Award for Best New Musical and the 2001 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, 42nd Street is the timeless, inspiring tale of small town Peggy Sawyer’s rise from chorine to Broadway star.
Featuring the unforgettable songs Lullaby of Broadway, We’re in the Money, Shuffle Off To Buffalo, Keep Young and Beautiful, I Only Have Eyes For You and the spectacular title number, audiences will find out what it’s like to float up to musical comedy heaven with this sensational show!
Starring Dave Willetts (Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Cats, Ragtime and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), Marti Webb (Blood Brothers, Tell Me On A Sunday, Song and Dance, Evita, Cats, Thoroughly Modern Millie), and directed by the show’s co-author and Broadway Director Mark Bramble, the show features stunning sets, sensational costumes and all the razzmatazz of Broadway!
Running 15 – 30 June, Hull Truck (Hull)
You think the Argentine Tango is a can of pop from South America and that the only thing you need for a Salsa is a bag of nachos? Imagine how Sharon Trod feels. Once she won awards for her Botafogo and her whisk; now she's teaching the helpless and the hopeless in order to pay the rent! All she needs is a break ...
And that's where Trev comes in. A builder with two left feet and one daft son, Trev is hoping that dancing might help his lad regain lost confidence. But as the glitter ball turns and the competitive couples take to the floor, maybe they'll all get more than they bargained for...
With dancing to take your breath away and a collection of unforgettable characters, Ballroom Blitz is an hilarious non-stop comedy with style! From the writer of On a Shout, Sully and Kicked into Touch and directed by Northern Broadside's Conrad Nelson.
Running 18 June – 14 July, West Yorkshire Playhouse (Leeds)
Created by Elliot Davis and James Bourne (of Busted and Son of Dork), this brand new musical premieres in Leeds with an amazing cast that includes Lil' Chris (Rock School), Gareth Gates (Pop Idol), Charlotte Harwood (Legally Blonde), Eliza Hope Bennett (Inkheart), and Aaron Sidwell (Eastenders).
Welcome to Loserville. It's 1971. Michael Dork may be a computer geek but he's invented something that could change the world. He's also discovered girls: a prospect (almost) as exciting as his love of binary.
Holly is the girl: she has looks and brains and wants to be the first woman in space - well, this is 1971! But will she want Michael? Eddie wants a fast ride to the top and doesn't care who gets trampled along the way. Leia just wants Eddie. Michael's friends are all set to change the course of history, fashion and dating - in no particular order, but just as soon as possible, especially the dating bit.
Running 26 – 30 June, Lyceum (Sheffield)
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Birds of a Feather ran on BBC One for nearly ten years throughout the 1990s, becoming a massive hit right from the word go. It remains not only a classic comedy but also, as a female-centred long-running series, a truly rare gem.
Now the three stars of the TV series are reunited on stage to recreate their adored characters: sisters Sharon Theodopolopoudos and Tracy Stubbs and their sex-mad neighbour, Dorien Green, in a brand-new show created especially for the theatre by The Comedy Theatre Company, producers of the highly-successful tour of Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies.
Running 27 – 30 June, Theatre Royal (York)
"What is now proved was once only imagined" - William Blake
Following on from last years MTM Award Nominated ‘Life changing theatre’ (★★★★★ - ThreeWeeks on Some Small Love Story) FlanCol explore how we understand time, space, dreams, reality and what happens after life. Inspired by William Blake, Beulah challenges how we understand and make sense of the world, how we organise our lives. A beautiful and delicate folk tale which straddles the ocean between this world and the next, which measures us in heartbeats and breaths, not just seconds and hours. A conversation about the very fabric we are made from.
Running 29 June – 8 July, West Yorkshire Playhouse (Leeds)
THE GIANT AND THE BEAR
Roll up! Roll up! The Giant's Circus™ is landing on Quarry Hill for One Week Only and you're invited to come and play!
Meet at the Playhouse for games and adventures before a heart-popping finale in the Giant's Big Top™. Cheer the death defying stunts of the Flying Ballerina! Gasp at the freakish contortions of Hanging Hoop Girl! Laugh at the Rollerskating Bear!
A mega fun filled trip out for family members of all ages, experience and levels of daring.
(Please note that The Giant's Circus™ cannot accept any responsibility for the safety of anyone trying to feed The Bear.)
The Giant & The Bear is created by Unlimited Theatre in collaboration with circus artist Layla Rosa of Shunt and game design studio Hide & Seek. The Giant & The Bear is part of the official London 2012 Festival.
Running 29 June – 1 September, Stephen Joseph Theatre (Scarborough)
LOST AND FOUND (DOUBLE BILL)
It’s the first day of the summer season and Tom and Chelsea have holiday jobs at the Court Hotel.
They love their work; they could watch it all day, especially Len and Betty whose fifty year old marriage has run aground.
So, grab a brandy, take the hair from the soup and discover why love is lost by the sea. A bitter-sweet comedy, set on the Yorkshire coast.
It’s the last night of the summer season; Tom and Chelsea’s holiday job is now a distant memory.
There’ll be no more nights on the town, beer at the beach huts and surfing on the sea, as he goes back to university and she’s found on the dole; the Court Hotel brought them together; but ambition will pull them apart.
A funny, sharp and biting modern comedy about the haves and chav nots!
Lost and Found are two plays which stand alone and are interconnected by multi award winning and double BAFTA winning playwrights from Yorkshire. They can also be seen individually as separate shows.