Clive Mantle’s fine re-creation of Tommy Cooper in Jus’ Like That is on stage for 17 and 18 May and the excellent new touring production of The History Boys<,/i> by Alan Bennett is welcomed back for the week beginning 24 May. If you’re a Tolkien fan, then Vanessa Ford’s production of The Hobbit will stir your interest from 1 to 5 June. But if you prefer a chiller, then take cove from The Woman in Black who wreacks her vengeance for the week of 21 June.
With a new cast, including the television gardener and personality Charlie Dimmock, Calendar Girls is back by popular demand from 19 to 24 July. A new play by Ronald Harwood is always an event worth noting. You can see Quartet – which is about a trio of retired opera singers and the diva who interrupts their plans for a come-back concert – during the week beginning 9 August. The stellar cast includes Timothy West, Susannah York, Edward Hardwicke and Gwen Taylor.
Brigit Forsyth stars in the title role of Carrie’s War, from 21-25 September in a post-West End tour. The source is, of course, Nina Bawden’s novel of the same name. Nor are younger audience members neglected; The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe are staged from 28 to 31 July and A Circus Comes to Town for Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends on 29 and 30 October.
The first of the dance programmes is from 19 to 22 May. It’s Tap Dance Fever and the name says it all. The Russian Ice Stars present Snow White on Ice between 15 and 19 June and there are three performances, on 2 and 3 July, of The Sleeping Beauty by the English Youth Ballet. Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is, of course, the mould-breaking production which replaces the female corps de ballet with a male one. 9 to 11 September are the dates for this award-winning production. Ballet Rambert returns with a new touring programme called Awakenings, from 13 to 15 October and there’s also a chance to see Northern Ballet Theatre’s staging of The Nutcracker for the week beginning on 2 November.
And those musicals I mentioned? The first is during the week beginning 7 June. It’s The Rocky Horror Show. Then the Andrew Lloyd Webber piece Whistle Down the Wind blows in for 12 to 17 July. This new Bill Kenwright touring production stars Jonathan Ansell as the fugitive concealed and guarded by children. Man in the Mirror from 3 to 7 August celebrates the music of Michael Jackson.
Dancing Queen is a celebration (yes, another one) of Abba which promises some spectacular production numbers between 31 August and 4 September. Mart Webb} and [Mark Evans lead the cast for Oklahoma! from 14 to 18 September. Another new touring production of a major West End musical is Chess directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood which runs from 30 November to 4 December.
Glyndebourne on tour this autumn offers three spectacular productions spanning 175 years of opera. The earliest is Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea of 1642 (18 November), then Mozart’s Don Giovanni from 1787 (16 and 19 November) and finally Rossini’s 1817 La Cenerentola (17 and 20 November).