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MaoYanShao, a corrupt minister in the Han court, is given the task of selecting new concubines for the Emperor's harem, but when a beautiful woman called ZhaoJun refuses to supply him with the usual bribe he hides her away in a forgotten wing of the palace. However ZhaoJun is a resourceful woman and, with the help of the eunuch Little Yellow Gate, she engineers a chance meeting between her and the Emperor. When the Emperor sets eyes on her he immediately falls in love, and this sets off a chain of events that sees all their lives changed forever. Traditional Chinese play.
Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears' dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in the book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. I made a decision. I did this by thinking of all the things I could do and deciding whether they were the right decision or not. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world. My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and the capital cities. And every prime number up to 7507.
Footfalls features the distant voice of ?Mother' and May who paces back and forth like a metronome, on a bare strip of floor. Footfalls was first performed by Billie Whitelaw, for whom the piece had been written, at the Royal Court as part of the Samuel Beckett Festival in 1976, directed by Beckett himself.
Triple bill with Not I and Rockaby
With his crown under threat from enemies both foreign and domestic, Henry IV prepares for war. Having deposed the previous king, he is only too aware how tenuous his position is, and the price to be paid if he falters. As his father prepares to defend his crown, Prince Hal is languishing in the taverns and brothels of London, revelling in the company of his friend, the notorious Sir John Falstaff. With the onset of the war, Hal and Falstaff are thrust into the brutal reality of the battlefield, where Hal must confront his responsibilities to family and throne.
King Henry's health is failing as a second rebellion threatens to surface. Intent on securing his legacy, he is uncertain that Hal is a worthy heir, believing him more concerned with earthly pleasures than the responsibility of rule. Meanwhile, Falstaff is sent to the countryside to recruit fresh troops. Amongst the unwitting locals, opportunities for embezzlement and profiteering prove impossible to resist as Falstaff gleefully indulges in the business of lining his own pockets. As the King's health continues to worsen, Hal must choose between duty and loyalty to an old friend in Shakespeare's heartbreaking conclusion to this pair of plays.
When a perfectly delightful trip to the countryside takes a turn for the worse, Bertie Wooster is unwittingly called on to play matchmaker - reconciling the affections of his host's drippy daughter Madeline Bassett with his newt-fancying acquaintance Gussie Fink-Nottle. If Bertie, ably assisted by the ever-dependable Jeeves, can't pull off the wedding of the season he'll be forced to abandon his cherished bachelor status and marry the ghastly girl for himself!
Running time 2hrs. The Olivier Award nominated West End hit comedy!
Set in a Scottish war hospital during WW1, this is the story of the meeting and developing friendship of the celebrated writer, Siegfried Sassoon and the then unknown Wilfred Owen who was suffering from shell shock. It was this profoundly creative and liberating friendship that finally unlocked Owen's poetic genius to express the horror and pity of war, a war which claimed his life exactly one week before the armistice.
Running time: 2hrs 15mins. Suitable for ages 11+
Not I, is a fragment of an infinite monologue. The frenzied mouth of an old woman spews forth scattered recollections of a half-forgotten life. Possessed by words, unable ever to stop speaking, it struggles to deny its own memories.
Triple bill with Rockaby and Footfalls
Othello, a Moor, falls in love with Desdemona but is broken by jealousy falsely encouraged. Shakespeare's most human play sets delicacy and power, trust and jealousy, love and hate, good and evil in stark and tragic opposition. Powerless in the face of their own self destructive instincts, the characters are caught on a downward spiral towards inevitable tragedy.
Fusing a taut adaptation of the classic text with its trademark hard-hitting choreography, Frantic Assembly takes a scalpel to 21st century Britain, exposing prejudice, danger and fear. Originally adapted, directed and choreographed by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett.
Rockaby is probably the most famous of Beckett's last works. It explores loneliness and features a prematurely old woman dressed in an evening gown, sitting on a wooden rocking chair that appears to rock of its own accord. Rockaby was first performed in New York in 1981 starring Billie Whitelaw and then at the National Theatre in 1982.
Triple bill with Not I and Footfalls
Mistaken identity, lust and class are at the heart of this classic comedy set in the rustic England of the 1760s. Sub-titled The Mistakes of a Night. A rich handsome single man, Marlow, is very good at chatting up barmaids, but bashful in front of society ladies. The he falls for Miss Kate Hardcastle and things start to go wrong when his friend persuade him that her family home is in fact the local inn!
Age guideline: 14+
Fog and creepily haunted houses, supernatural happenings, sea mists and dark stormy nights, lonely funerals and creaking attic doors, all combine in this gripping adaptation of Susan Hill's tense and thrilling story to create a play that taps our primal fears. A grieving lawyer believes a curse has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of the woman in black. In an attempt to exorcise the spirit he engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his story. His plan begins innocently enough, but as the border between reality and fantasy blur, the horror starts and the flesh begins to creep..