Curtain up on autumn fare

Charles Laughton at the Odeon, Scarborough, which is now Stephen Joseph Theatre
Charles Laughton at the Odeon, Scarborough, which is now Stephen Joseph Theatre

Two world premieres – including a play about Scarborough film star Charles Laughton – are in the Stephen Joseph Theatre autumn season.

Barry Cryer, Clive Francis, an original Christmas show and a revival of Pinero’s The Schoolmistress are also on the programme.

“Visiting work is also of a high standard,” said artistic director Chris Monks, who will be helming The Schoolmistress.

“Northern Broadsides return with comedy The Grand Gesture and Paines Plough put down Jumpers for Goalposts,” he said.

The arrival of new associated director Henry Bell means the theatre intends to continue and expand its support for new writing.

The season opens with the world premiere of Roger Osborne’s Laughton from October 17 to 26. Laughton was born in the town and became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. He won an Oscar for The Private Life of Henry VIII nominated twice more, The play concentrates on Laughton’s disillusion with Hollywood and his return to the British stage.

Laughton attended the opening of the Odeon – now the Stephen Joseph Theatre. He will be played by The Thick of It actor Vincent Franklin.

The curtain goes up on world premiere of Beauty and the Beast – A Space Adventure from November 29 to December 28. It comes from the team behind last year’s Cinderella, The Nutcracker Prince and The Hunt For The Scroobius Pip.

The Schoolmistress by Arthur Wing Pinero runs from December 14 to January 4. It involves seasonal mayhem at Volumnia College, where principal’s wife Caroline Dyott is struggling to pay the household bills and debts are mounting.

There will also be a wide range of visiting shows including drama and music as well as films and special events including live streamings.