Spring season unveiled at Stephen Joseph Theatre

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The Stephen Joseph Theatre has announced a lively spring season for 2016 with new productions from award-winning touring companies, children’s entertainment, four festivals, one-night shows, music, live streamings and more.

Amanda Whittington’s latest play, three Shakespeare works commemorating the Bard’s milestone anniversary, community festivals, the latest from John Godber and Northern Broadsides and the original people’s poet John Cooper Clarke are just some of the highlights of the new programme.

The season launches with a weekend of activities from 12-14 February as the theatre teams up with Scarborough’s Coastival Festival.

Visitors can see The Last Supper, a unique and tasty drama presented by Reckless Sleepers, Scalby School’s production of Barry Hines’ Kes, a film festival celebrating musical icons, a rehearsed play reading and take part in free craft sessions.

Then it’s the turn of the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s OutReach department in the annual ReachOut Festival.

From 15 February, this month-long takeover features a variety of community drama and music workshops for all ages, youth theatre performances of the National Theatre Connections play Bedbug and Grubstaker, a dark comedy by new writer S. Alexander Briggs, school performances, a talent showcase, local play readings, choir night and more.

The Stephen Joseph welcomes its sister venue, the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme, for a week of strictly ballroom, Blackpool and backstage drama in Kiss Me Quickstep by Amanda Whittington (29 March to 2 April).

Co-produced with Oldham Coliseum, this new play looks at the real lives behind the fixed smiles and fake tan of the world of ballroom dance.

The first major revival of Robert Holman’s German Skerries is on tour with Up In Arms and Orange Tree Theatre in association with Reading Rep (13 to 16 April). A friendship, a marriage, a holiday, a death – this richly resonant drama fills the stage with the meetings and departures that make us human. The production marks a debut visit to the SJT by the award-winning Up In Arms company led by director Alice Hamilton and writer Barney Norris.

John Godber returns to the Scarborough stage opposite Jane Thornton in his new comedy Shafted! (18 to 23 April). Presented by the John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield, find out what happened to miner Harry and his wife Dot 30 years after the strike in a hilarious account of those whose jobs had been taken, and communities destroyed, and their fight back after being shafted.

If you like your Shakespeare light, funny and wickedly entertaining look no further than Northern Broadsides’ new Shakespeare adaptation, The Merry Wives, in partnership with the New Vic and directed by Barrie Rutter (26 to 30 April). Sir John Falstaff is past his prime and skint! His vain and rather clumsy attempts to seduce a couple of well-to-do wives results in unimaginable consequences.

There’s more drama from the Bard with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory who present two shows this year directed by Andrew Hilton. To celebrate ‘Shakespeare 400’ – four centuries since the great playwright died, the Bristol-based company offers the most famous play in world theatre, Hamlet in rep with the romantic comedy All’s Well That Ends Well (17 to 21 May).

In addition to week-long residencies, there is also a variety of one-night shows, from beautiful puppetry and mesmerising music in the children’s production Leaper: A Fish Tale (6 April) to John Cooper Clarke who brings good honest gags, riffs and chat (9 April) and Ventoux, the story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani in one of the greatest races the cycling world has ever seen (1 May).

Musically, Ensemble 360 present a glorious chamber programme (8 April), and virtuoso Spanish guitarist Eduardo Niebla is in concert accompanied by Matthew Robinson on guitar and Dharmesh Parmar on tabla (5 May).

Next year the Stephen Joseph Theatre will once again open its doors to the National Student Drama Festival (18-25 March) and will also form a new partnership with the first Scarborough Fair Festival at Redcliffe Farm to showcase a variety of work over the May Bank Holiday.

In the McCarthy cinema, the Stephen Joseph Theatre will continue to screen world class theatre, opera and ballet including the complete season from Royal Opera House and the latest productions from the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

Tickets for all performances and events are available from the Stephen Joseph Theatre box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com from 27 November.

Listings

Scalby School presents

Kes

By Barry Hines

Thu 11 – Sat 13 Feb, 7.30pm

Matinee: Sat 2pm

Reckless Sleepers presents

The Last Supper

Sun 14 Feb, 6pm & 8.30pm

New Vic Theatre and Oldham Coliseum Theatre present

Kiss Me Quickstep

By Amanda Whittington

Tue 29 Mar - Sat 2 April

Evenings: Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 7.30pm, Thu 7pm.

Matinees: Thu 1.30pm & Sat 2.30pm.

Tucked In presents

Leaper: A Fish Tale

Wed 6 April, 1pm & 3.30pm

Music in the Round presents

Ensemble 360

Sat 8 April, 7.30pm

Dr John Cooper Clarke

Sat 9 April, 7.30pm

Up In Arms and Orange Tree Theatre in association with Reading Rep present

German Skerries

By Robert Holman

Wed 13 – Sat 16 April

Evenings: Wed, Fri & Sat 7.30pm, Thu 7pm.

Matinee: Thu 1.30pm

The John Godber Company & Theatre Royal Wakefield present

Shafted!

By John Godber

Mon 18 – 23 April

Evenings: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 7.30pm, Thu 7pm.

Matinees: Thu 1.30pm & Sat 2.30pm

Northern Broadsides, in partnership with the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, present

The Merry Wives

By William Shakespeare

Tue 26 – Sat 30 April

Evenings: Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 7.30pm, Thu 7pm.

Matinees: Thu 1.30pm & Sat 2.30pm

2Magpies Theatre presents

Ventoux

1 May, 7pm

Eduardo Niebla

5 May, 7.30pm

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Tobacco Factory Theatres present

Hamlet

By William Shakespeare

Tue 17 – Sat 21 May

Evenings: Tue, Wed & Sat 7.30pm

Matinees: Thu 1.30pm & Sat 2.30pm

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Tobacco Factory Theatres present

All’s Well That Ends Well

By William Shakespeare

Thu 19 – Fri 20 May

Thu 7pm, Fri 7.30pm.