Two stunning new dance productions are set to seduce Norwich theatregoers in the newly-announced programme for the 2017 Spring season at Norwich Theatre Royal which features everything from ballet and musicals to top-notch drama.
Audiences are set to be entranced by renowned choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne’s new and magical adaptation of an iconic film, The Red Shoes, which will arrive on stage from February 21-25. An intoxicating story, it tells of one girl’s consuming dream to be the greatest dancer in the world and has been set by Sir Matthew to a new score by Terry Davies, with sumptuous set and costumes designs by Lez Brotherston.
Another tale of all-encompassing passion will also be brought to Norwich by Northern Ballet when they present their new ballet Casanova from April 4-8, in a tale which combines 18th century decadence with stunning choreography from one of the company’s premier dancers Kenneth Tindall. Northern Ballet will also present the children’s ballet Goldilocks & The Three Bears on April 7.
There’s more modern dance from Richard Alston Dance Company, who present a programme of new critically-acclaimed pieces including An Italian In Madrid and Tangent on February 10 & 11; while The Russian State Ballet of Siberia brings three classical pieces from January 26-28, presenting Coppélia, La Fille Mal Gardée and Swan Lake.
With excitement building for the already announced and on sale smash-hit feel-good musical MAMMA MIA! at the theatre from February 28-March 25, audiences can also now look forward to La Cage Aux Folles which is set to brighten up the dreary days after the Christmas & New Year celebrations. Arriving in Norwich from January 17-21, the colourful musical follows Georges and the drag artiste Albin to St Tropez where drama and hilarity unfold, and there is a show-stopping score which includes The Best of Times and I Am What I Am.
Two other exciting musicals due in town are the winner of the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Musical Sunny Afternoon from April 11-15, featuring the music of The Kinks with classics such as You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset, Dedicated Follower of Fashion and, of course, Sunny Afternoon; and direct from London’s West End, Thriller Live returns to Norwich from February 13-18 with the music of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.
The Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society also offers its own musical comedy version of The Witches of Eastwick from January 31-February 4.
The National Theatre brings two stunning dramas to Norwich Theatre Royal with Jane Eyre from July 17-22, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which makes a return from August 29-September 2, 2017. Jane Eyre is an innovative re-imagining of Charlotte Brontë’s novel by the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic, while Curious Incident, a murder mystery about a boy with an extraordinary brain, was a sell-out hit with Norwich audiences on its first visit to the city in September 2015.
Two other engaging plays also heading for Norwich are the delightful Babe The Sheep-Pig, on April 16 & 17, based on the best-selling book by Dick King-Smith and adapted for stage by Olivier Award winner David Wood who was responsible for the stage versions of Goodnight Mister Tom and James and The Giant Peach; and Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black returns from April 18-22 and is a firm favourite with local audiences and schools alike.
And also already announced is A Room With A View, from November 7-12 this autumn, based on the novel by E.M.Forster and starring one of the UK’s most popular actresses Felicity Kendall.
Casting has also been announced for another page to stage adaptation – Pride and Prejudice from September 27 to October 1. Felicity Montagu, best-known as Alan Partridge’s long-suffering PA Lynn, will play Mrs Bennet, while Matthew Kelly, one-time presenter of Stars In Their Eyes and seen earlier this year on the Theatre Royal stage in Toast, returns to the city as Mr Bennet, with further casting to be announced.
Other casting updates include: The Rocky Horror Show from September 12-17 will star Paul Cattermole (S Club 7), Liam Tamne (The Voice), and Steve Punt (Punt and Dennis) who will be the narrator; while casting for The Full Monty from October 10-15 includes Joe Absolom (Doc Martin/EastEnders), Andrew Dunne (Dinner Ladies/Coronation Street), Louis Emerick (Brookside/Last of the Summer Wine),Chris Fountain (Coronation Street/Hollyoaks) and Kai Owen (Hollyoaks/Torchwood).
For those with a spare night, then one of the theatre’s ‘one-nighters’ may prove enticing with a host of comedians mixing it up with rock and pop tribute concerts. There will be musical theatre songs with Beyond The Barricade – January 5; Classic Rock Show presents its A-Z of Rock World Tour 2017 – January 22; Irish singer Nathan Carter – January 25; Whitney – Queen of the Night celebration – February 6; ever-popular comedian Stewart Lee – February 7; Rumours of Fleetwood Mac – February 12; and 1970s rock favourites 10CC – April 9.
Judy Foster, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said:
“After the excitement of hosting Mary Poppins throughout July, and with MAMMA MIA! all set to come next year, the newly-announced 2017 line-up will carry on the high standards of programming at the theatre. With some exceptional dance productions in Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes and Northern Ballet’s Casanova, exciting drama with Jane Eyre and the return of Curious Incident, plus the best of West End musicals, comedy and much more, there is lots to look ahead to.”