The Mercury Theatre has announced its packed 2017 Spring/Summer season which sees the theatre collaborate with one of Britain’s most revered comedy icons.
John Cleese collaborates with the Mercury Theatre in brand new adaption of Feydeau’s hysterical farce Bang Bang. Dale Superville is to star in award-winning musical Spamalot and Cheek by Jowl return with Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Dan Sherer returns to direct hard-hitting drama in the Mercury Studio Theatre.
Mercury Theatre Artistic Director, Daniel Buckroyd said:
“We’ve got one of the most varied seasons of theatre I think we’ve ever programmed on offer through Spring/Summer 2017. We kick off with uproarious comedy in the shape of Bang Bang – a classic French farce with a distinctly British twist courtesy of the incomparable John Cleese; award-winning musical theatre with a Made in Colchester production of the West End hit Spamalot”
The first Made in Colchester production of the season, Bang Bang, sees John Cleese partner with the Mercury Theatre, to bring his brand new adaption of Georges Feydeau’s hysterical farce to the stage. Bang Bang tells the story of Leontine, a respectable lady of high society who is in danger of being hoodwinked by her husband Duchotel. While Duchotel is out hunting back at home, his lifelong friend comes calling – and he’s on the hunt too.
Bang Bang will be directed by veteran of theatre, television and radio, Nicky Henson. Nicky was a founder member of the Young Vic Company and has worked extensively with the National Theatre, Young Vic, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, although his most recognizable role is as Mr Johnson, the open-collared, medallion-wearing playboy loathed by Basil Fawlty in the Fawlty Towers episode The Psychiatrist. He is also a prolific director of Alan Aykbourne plays.
John Cleese said:
“I love farce because it’s a little bit wild. This all comes from an idea I had forty years ago. The play itself is a typical French farce which means almost always that it’s about infidelity, which leads to ludicrous situations where people are trying to hide things which are happening, and pretend that things which are happening aren’t happening – it’s pure farce!”
Mercury favourite Dale Superville will return in the second Made in Colchester production of the season, Spamalot. Written by Python legend Eric Idle, and lovingly ripped off from the hugely successful 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen. Spamalot will be directed by Daniel Buckroyd.
After his critically acclaimed production of Bully Boy, Dan Sherer returns to direct the third Made in Colchester production of the season, The Events. Written by multi-ward-winning playwright David Greig, The Events follows the story of Claire, a priest who has survived an atrocity – a mass shooting. Rationality, reason and faith are thrown into doubt in one of the decade’s most incendiary and important new plays.
There is an incredible line up of visiting shows to look forward to in 2017, including the return of internationally renowned Cheek by Jowl who visit Colchester for the first time since 2014 with their production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, co-produced with the Barbican.
After nine years as an Edinburgh Fringe must-see phenomenon, and a critically-acclaimed West End run, the astounding Showstopper! The Improvised Musical heads to the Mercury in February. A brand new musical comedy is created from scratch at each performance as audience suggestions are transformed on-the-spot into an all-singing, all-dancing production with unpredictable and hilarious results.
There will be comedy from the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and Sigmund Freud meets Salvador Dali in Terry Johnson’s award-winning comedy, Hysteria. There’s family fun on offer with David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon, and children’s favourite The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Satirical impressionist Rory Bremner drops in, and Danny Baker comes to Colchester in his debut live tour. Showbiz legend Des O’Connor entertains as only he can, and Fascinating Aida’s Dillie Keane presents her first solo show in 58 years.
There’s plenty going on in the Mercury Studio Theatre with a variety of drama, comedy and new talent which includes: Still, Dame Nature, The Magnificent Bearded Lady, Jane Upton’s All The Little Lights, Packing Shed Theatre’s In Search of England, Hidden and A Regular Little Houdini.
Tamasha will present Made in India – a thrilling new play about motherhood and blood ties between women and nations in a brave new world. Tamasha will also work in partnership with the Mercury Theatre Young Company on Half of Me – a companion piece to Made in India.
[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]To see what’s on at The Mercury Theatre, visit: https://www.mercurytheatre.co.uk/[/box]