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From Brexit cabaret to national icon Ian McKellen, the Playhouse is delighted to present a new season of fantastic theatre, dance, music, comedy and cabaret. Running from January to May, this new brochure includes more than 60 individual shows, some with a number of performances.
2019 opens with Jonny Woo’s All Star Brexit Cabaret (Sat 12 Jan), an uproarious drag musical inspired by the business of Brexit, which was a 2018 Edinburgh Fringe hit. Packed full of hijinks and unforgettable songs, this show is sure to start 2019 off with high-kicks and hits. Also in January, and in drag, is Rocky Shock Horror (Sat 26 Jan), a mash-up of Rocky (Horror) and Rocky (Boxing).
Rambert2 (Thur 31 Jan & Fri 1 Feb) brings spiky, sassy and fierce new dance to the Playhouse – this troupe is made up of early career dancers from the iconic company and showcases the wealth of talent in choreography and movement. The acclaimed Ballet Central (Thur 2 May) will also present a brand new programme with their best young dancers, featuring a mixed bill of more traditional movement.
As always, there are plenty of brilliant family shows coming to the Playhouse, perfect for early trips to the theatre. Adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s gorgeous novel Mimi and the Mountain Dragon (Sat 16 Feb) uses puppetry to create a magical musical adventure about courage and friendship, whilst Elmer the Patchwork Elephant Show (Sat 23 & Sun 24 Feb) takes our favourite patchwork pachyderm from the page to the stage.
Another picture book classic returns with We’re Going On a Bear Hunt (Tue 19– Sun 24 Mar), a much loved and mischievous production, which is fabulous family fun. Later in the year, we move from swishy-swashy grass to shimmery-shiny bubbles with The Amazing Bubble Man (Sat 13 Apr), who will astound with square, tornado and rocket bubbles.
For the older children, The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps (Sat 27 Apr) is a gothic tale of poetry and eccentricity, in the vein of A Series of Unfortunate Events, created by Murray Lachlan Young. Honk! (Sat 4 & Sun 5 May) imagines Hans Christian Andersen’s Ugly Duckling into an Olivier Award winning musical egg-stravaganza.
Spectacular theatre for adults also abounds: Unmythable (Sat 9 Feb) combines all the Greek myths with an all-female cast into one unmissable show, Dad’s Army Radio Show (Thu 21 Feb) features two talented actors playing 25 characters from the quintessential sitcom. Radio 4 favourite Miles Jupp plays David Tomlinson: Mr Banks in Mary Poppins, Professor Emilius Brown in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, in The Life I Lead (Fri 1 –Sat 2 Mar). Orlando (Wed 6 Mar) takes Virginia Woolf’s classic gender-shifting adventure and sets it on stage, whilst The Paper Cinema’s Macbeth (Tue 12 Mar) uses illustration, puppetry and a live score to present Shakespeare as you’ve never seen it before.
Elio Pace Presents Elvis Presley (Sat 9 Mar) in another of his renowned performances, Dietrich: Natural Duty (Fri 29 Mar) reveals the life of a legend through theatre, cabaret and drag, whilst Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope (Fri 12 Apr) pays tribute to that extraordinary raconteur. The acclaimed Norfolk Youth Music Theatre return to present beloved classic The Sound of Music (Wed 17 – Sat 20 Apr), and multi award-winning gig theatre Electrolyte (Fri 14 Jun) comes fresh from the fringe.
Caroline Richardson, Director of the Playhouse, says: “It’ll be a splendid Spring! So many superb shows – the Playhouse is very lucky to attract such high quality work.”
It wouldn’t be the Playhouse without a hefty dollop of comedy brilliance. Graham Fellows (Wed 23 Jan) is out of his Shuttleworth character, Gary Delaney (Sat 2 Feb & Sat 23 Mar) is the ultimate gagster, Stephen K Amos (Mon 4 Feb) promises feel-good comedy to cheer us up, Lee Nelson (Tue 19 & Wed 20 Feb) is a serious joker and John Finnemore (Thur 28 Feb) is trying out brand new material for his Radio 4 sketch show. Seann Walsh (Sun 3 – Tue 5 Mar) dances into our fine city, Robin Ince (Fri 8 Mar) presents an evening of chaotic delight and Barry Cryer (Sat 16 Mar) celebrates not being dead, yet.
Viral sensation Rachel Parris (Wed 20 Mar) plays pretend, Ivo Graham (Wed 27 Mar) holds onto his crown as politest man in comedy, Kieran Hodgson (Tue 9 Apr) presents the surprising tale of how Britain joined Europe and Tom Stade (Thu 11 Apr) carries on where he left off in his new show. Britain’s Got Talent stars Micky P Kerr (Sat 13 Apr) and Lost Voice Guy (Mon 29 & Tue 30 Apr) also join us in Norwich, as well as Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Adam Riches (Fri 3 May) brings a unique show of off the wall absurdity and Shappi Khorsandi (Wed 8 & Thu 9 May) is back from the jungle, and in her element.
Acclaimed classical guitarist Eduardo Niebla (Fri 15 Mar) will perform in two concerts, with one designed to enchant aspiring musicians. The Playhouse also welcomes two stunning poets, with local boy Luke Wright (Sat 30 Mar) vying to become Poet Laureate in his new show, and Murray Lachlan Young (Sat 27 Apr) celebrating the zeitgeist in satire. The Welsh National Opera play in Norwich for the first time in almost fifty years, bringing Don Pasquale (Thu 20 & Sat 22 Jun).
To view the full line-up of Spring shows, visit norwichplayhouse.co.uk or pick up a brochure from the venue. To book, visit the Playhouse website or call 01603 598598.