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Mercury Theatre reopens with Baskerville, Antigone and Green Mile

The Colchester venue will be back in action in the summer

The refurbished Mercury Theatre

Mercury Theatre, Colchester has announced its reopening season, which sees the unveiling of its extensively refurbished venue after a two-year, £11.3million transformation.

The season opens from 30 July to 22 August 2021 with Ken Ludwig's Baskerville, a "thrilling new look at Sherlock Holmes" directed by the Mercury's creative director Ryan McBryde.

It's followed in the main house by the UK premiere of Merlynn Tong's new version of Antigone (1 to 16 October), directed by Eclipse Theatre founder Dawn Walton.

The season also includes Mercury Originals, a programme of new plays showcasing the voices of local writers. The first production Sirens by Kenny Emson, with future productions to be announced.

The year concludes with the return of pantomime to the Mercury. Aladdin will be written by Andrew Pollard and directed by Ryan McBryde, with a cast featuring Antony Stuart-Hicks and Dale Superville.

The Mercury also announced today that it has commissioned playwright Joel Horwood to write an adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Green Mile, which will receive its world premiere on the Colchester stage in 2022 ahead of a national tour. Further details will be announced in due course.

Executive director, Steve Mannix said: "Having come so far in such a challenging period we are incredibly grateful that we are now in the very final stages of fully completing this vital transformation to this wonderful theatre and are incredibly excited to be planning for our reopening in June. We are beyond thrilled that we are so close to welcoming our audiences and returning to making a vital contribution to the local economy of Colchester."