New spring/ summer 2018 season now on sale!

Harrogate Theatre’s new spring/ summer season is now officially launched and all shows are on sale.

The season is boasts a total of 201 performances of 87 shows over 29 weeks at 6 different venues, including the Royal Hall and Harrogate Convention Centre.

The busy February to August portfolio encompasses music, evenings with, a film screening, comedy, family, opera, ballet, a thought-provoking Studio theatre programme and the exhilarting ‘perfectly formed festival of small’, 2’s Company – now in it’s 8th year.

To kick off the season, We Are The Lions, Mr Manager, (5-10 Feb) tells the remarkable story of Jayaben Desai the inspirational leader of the 1976-78 Grunwick Film Processing Factory Strike. She turned the dispute into a national movement for human rights and dignity inspiring future generations.

The first run in the main house is Up ‘n’ Under (19-24 Feb) – a fast moving and witty re-telling of John Godber’s award winning play. Presented on the Harrogate stage by masters of visual and physical storytelling, fingersmiths, Up ‘n’ Under is brought to life by a cast of Deaf and hearing actors working alongside each other.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (14 & 15 Mar) is Nick Lane’s thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy. This production is presented by Blackeyed Theatre, who are described as “one of the most innovative, audacious companies working in contemporary English Theatre.”

Relatively Speaking (9-12 May) – written by Alan Ayckbourn - is a brand new version of this classic tale from Oldham Coliseum. This is a hilarious production which follows all the usual Ayckbourn themes full of twists, turns and confusion, with a smattering of infidelity.

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em – featuring Joe Pasquale as Frank Spencer – hits the main stage in June (18-23). The 1970s classic TV comedy was a huge hit, with the hapless Frank and his long-suffering wife Betty facing a never-ending list of disasters with catchphrases galore.

Family entertainment

We’ve got a busy season for children, too. In February half term we have Milkshake! Live (14 Feb) and The Jungle Book (15 Feb). In the Easter holidays the delightful You’ve Got Dragons (5-7 Apr) comes to the main auditorium whilst “one of the best pieces of children’s theatre..” My Dad, The Magician (12-14 Apr) is in the Studio theatre. During May half term we proudly present ‘Duck Week’ – kicking off with Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday (29-30 May) followed by Northern Ballet’s Ugly Duckling (1 Jun) and with Winging It’ a feathered friends-themed art and drama workshop inbetween (31 May).

Also on the family friendly theme there’s A Spoonful of Sherman (10 & 11 Apr) Dinosaur World Live (16 & 17 Jun), and Bing Live! (30 Jun-1 Jul).

In the Studio

Our 60-seater Studio Theatre is home to exciting new writing, emerging artists, and intimate performances where you get get up close and personal and right in amongst the action.

In the Studio this season we have Alaska (1 Mar) - a funny, magical trip to the moon, with singing and dancing thrown in: one woman’s extraordinary story of how she survived growing up with severe depression. It is inspired by writer-performer Cheryl Martin’s poetry collection, longlisted for the 2015 Polari Prize.

Also in the Studio is Manic Chord’s The Economy of Ecology (6 Mar), Peter Antoniou is ‘Psychic’ Comedian (16 Mar), and Best of BE Festival (9 Mar) takes us on a grand tour of boundary smashing European performance (with a fish & chip supper included). Harrogate Youth Theatre 15+ present Girls Like That (28 & 29 Mar), Thunder Road bring 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (10-19 May), and Forget About The Dog teach us 100 Ways to Tie a Shoelace (21-23 Jun). What’s more, Fly In Your Soup present Betty (7 Apr), Common Chorus bring If I Say Jump (11 Apr), and Henry Raby asks Whatever Happened to Vandal Raptor (24 & 25 Apr). Finally Reform bring Two (22-26 May) and Maya present The Croydon Avengers (14-16 Jun).

This year’s 2’s Company festival presents four participatory shows with a difference. Séance (17 Mar) will be set on the main stage; for Last Resort (21 Apr) you’ll be sat in a deckchair with sand between your toes and handed a rum cocktail; The Midnight Soup is a show of storytelling over soup making; and at The Town Meeting (2 Jun) you will contribute to a debate and decision making session about the (fictional) town you live in.

Bronte 200

2018 marks 200 years since the birth of Emily Brontë and we have a great line up of Brontë inspired shows to celebrate:

LipService – Britain’s favourite literary lunatics, - are back with their cult spoof Withering Looks (1-2 May). The show won a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award and the Critics’ award for Comedy at the Edinburgh Festival. 'It's a joy - very, very funny' The Guardian.

To add to the comedy, We Are Brontë (29-30 May) is no ordinary Brontë adaptation. Taking the real and fictitious worlds of the Brontë’s as their inspiration, two performers combine rigorous physical theatre with anarchic comedy to deconstruct not only gothic themes of love, madness and revenge, but also themselves.

★★★★★ show, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography (13 May) is described as “hands down the best adaptation of Jane Eyre, in any medium.” Told through Jane’s eyes, gothic subversion of fairy-tale romance is now distilled for the stage.

If comedy is your thing we’ve got David Baddiel (12 Mar), Gonzo Moose and The Thing That Came From Over There! (7 Mar), Adam Hess & Glen Moore (20 Apr), Seriously Dead (1 May), Count Arthur Strong is Alive and Unplugged (9 Jun), and Chris Ramsey (13 Jun).

For music lovers there’s You’ve Got a Friend (7 Feb), Syd Lawrence Orchestra (16 Feb), Someone Like You: The Adele Songbook (3 May), Halfway to Paradise (7 Jun), The Simon and Garfunkel Story (4 Jul), Ruby Turner (6 Jul), and Barry Steele is back for a 30 year special (14 Jul).

Last but not least we have ‘evenings with’ Sir Michael Parkinson (9 Feb) and Jason Donovan (9 Mar), Dr John Cooper Clarke doing his thing (10 Feb), a film screening of The Last Laugh by John Godber (8 Feb), Swansea City Opera with The Barber of Seville (4 May) and OperaUpClose bring Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (17 Jul).

If all of this isn’t enough of a live entertainment fix for you, the Harrogate Theatre Team also programe shows in to both the Royal Hall and Harrogate Convention Centre. This season we bring you some of the most widely acclaimed tribute acts, plus big names like Ed Byrne, Levison Wood, Russell Watson, Paul Carrack, Rob Brydon, Marti Pellow and more.

Here are the full listings.