New season highlights at Theatre Royal, Bath
The new season includes classics such as Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers and Michael Frayn’s Noises Off; new works, including Surprises, Alan Ayckbourn’s 76th play and Maurice’s Jubilee, one of the highlights of the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, plus the return of Lenny Henry in the powerful drama, Fences.
The first new show of the season will be Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, the legendary record-breaking thriller which now visits Bath on its first ever major UK tour. The cast includes Karl Howman, Bruno Langley and Graham Seed and the production will feature an authentic replica of Anthony Holland’s 1965 set.
Blood Brothers is one of the best-loved musicals of all time. This multi award-winning show returns to Bath starring the former front man of Wet Wet Wet and music legend Marti Pellow as The Narrator. Willy Russell’s gritty story of twin boys separated at birth, which has been running for twenty-four years in the West End, helped pave the way for such musicals as Billy Elliot and Spend, Spend, Spend.
Nichola Mcauliffe is currently spending Christmas in Bath playing the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but she returns in the Spring in a very different role. She is both the author and one of the stars of Maurice’s Jubilee, a funny and poignant story about one man’s commitment to a dream. She will be joined by Olivier Award-winner and film actor, Julian Glover and Sheila Reid, whose credits range from Benidorm to Psychoville, who were both members of the acclaimed original cast at this year’s Edinburgh Festival premiere.
The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough has become an annual visitor to Bath with premieres of the work of the UK’s greatest living playwright. Alan Ayckbourn’s Surprises, will be his 76th play. Written especially for the London 2012 Festival, this new comedy has its head in the future and its heart in the past as it tells of love stories yet to happen.
Lenny Henry last starred at the Theatre Royal in a triumphant performance as Othello. He now returns with another powerful role when he plays Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s Fences. Part of a hugely acclaimed cycle of plays relating the African American experience, Fences tells the story of what happens when a strong man is robbed of his dreams. The show, produced by Theatre Royal Bath Productions, will be directed by Paulette Randall, who worked alongside Danny Boyle on the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
Other season highlights include Moscow City Ballet’s return to Bath to present three of the ‘big story ballets’, Romeo And Juliet, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty; Patrick Barlow’s multi award-winning stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s film of John Buchan’s The 39 Steps; and Lindsay Posner’s revival of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off
Strictly Come Dancing’s Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, will be visiting Bath in Midnight Tango. Olivier Award-nominated, this breathtaking show brings the world’s most exciting dance form to life accompanied by the live music of Tango Siempre.
When it played Bath in Autumn 2012, Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking was a huge hit. Felicity Kendal, Jonathan Coy, Kara Tointon and Max Bennett return to Bath, immediately prior to their West End opening, to give local audiences the chance to enjoy this sublime comedy of mistaken identity once again.
The Ustinov Studio presents a hugely varied range of drama, comedy and music in its Visiting Company Season, which opens the new year. This begins with Theatre Royal favourite Clive Francis presenting his captivating one-man A Christmas Carol. Also lined-up; Fine Chisel’s Firing Blanks; Anthony Neilson’s Stitching; The Dolphin Crossing - a thrilling adaptation of Jill Paton Walsh’s novel about one of the little ships at Dunkirk; Miracle Theatre Company’s Frankenstein; Rhum and Clay’s A Strange Wild Song; and Guy Masterson directed Female Gothic.
The Ustinov Studio seasons of UK Premieres from Artistic Director Laurence Boswell have been well received by audiences and critics. After much acclaim for the first American Season in Spring 2012, Boswell presents a second American Season in Spring 2013 with three works from New-York based writers, which have all received great success in the USA;
The American Plan is a funny and heart-rending tale of love and loss set against the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains during a 1960s summer. Richard Greenberg’s drama premiered in the States in 1990 and was revived on Broadway in 2009, directed, as it will be in Bath, by David Grindley.
4000 Miles is Amy Herzog’s award-winning play about the relationship between a 91 year-old grandmother and her 21 year-old grandson who turns up at her door unexpectedly after a traumatic bike trip and ends up spending a month with her. 4000 Miles is the winner of the 2012 Obie Award for Best New Play.
Fifty Words - Michael Weller’s exploration of a marriage during the course of one pivotal night, as it teeters on the verge of either breakup or deepening love and understanding. Directed by Laurence Boswell, this compelling drama contains resonances of American classics Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.