Preview: Stephone Joseph unveils its spring season ahead of refurbishment

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A fresh early spring season at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre includes an adaptation of a Dickens classic, a new play from John Godber, and a favourite fairytale for the youngest members of the family.

The Stephen Joseph is closing temporarily from Sunday January 7 to Monday March 12 to allow time for refurbishments to its public spaces.

However, the first show of the summer season will take place during that time – in Scarborough’s upgraded Market Hall.

Becky Prestwich’s Chip Shop Chips, presented by theatre company Box of Tricks, is an immersive love story celebrating the nation’s favourite food.

Audience members can enjoy a bracing soundtrack of Northern Soul and a fish-and-chip supper from Whitby Seafoods: The Seafood Social on Tuesday March 6 and Wednesday March 7.

The first show in the theatre comes from the theatre ’s OutReach department, with young members of the longstanding Rounders youth theatre group, aged from four to 14, presenting The Complete Works of Shakespeare (more or less) on Saturday March 17.

Veteran R&B band The Manfreds pay a return visit to the Round on Sunday March 18 with their Makin’ Tracks tour.

From Tuesday March 20 to Saturday March 24, the theatre welcomes leading company Told by an Idiot with Napoleon Disrobed, a co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Arcola Theatre. Written by Simon Leys and directed by Kathryn Hunter, this comic alternative history re-imagines the final years of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Actors Touring Company and the Orange Tree Theatre present Winter Solstice from Wednesday March 28 to Saturday March 31.

A comedy about the global rise of the new right, it’s written by Germany’s most performed playwright, Roland Schimmelpfennig.

The Scary Bikers runs from Tuesday April 3 to Saturday April 7.

It is from the John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield, and is the latest play by John Godber, who also directs and performs with his wife Jane Thornton.

The pair play a retired miner and schoolteacher who meet at a bereavement group and decide to cycle their way through Europe.

The theatre’s OutReach department brings larger-than-life adventure Thumbelina to the McCarthy auditorium from Tuesday April 10 to Saturday April 14.

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic gets a modern makeover from adaptor Laurie Sansom and director Cheryl Govan.

Thetheatre will be one of the venues for Scarborough’s Books by the Beach festival in mid-April – events confirmed so far are writer and actor Ruth Jones talking about her debut novel, Never Greener on Sunday April 15.

There will be an Eat Me Festival Lunch on Friday April 13 (guest to be announced).

The spring season ends with a new and witty adaptation by Deborah McAndrew of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times from Stephen Joseph Theatre regulars Northern Broadsides.

It runs from Tuesday April 17 to Saturday April 21.

Conrad Nelson directs this stage version of one of the great Northern novels, joyfully juggling and tumbling through a touching and often hilarious tale of repression and longing.

Booking for all of the spring season shows at the Stephen Joseph is now open.

The box office will move to Northway after January 7.