Summer Season of Shows at The Playhouse, Norwich

Caroline Richardson, Director of the Playhouse, says “With some brilliant old favourites, and some fabulous newcomers, the Playhouse Summer season is not to be missed. We’re ecstatic to bring such a range of contemporary theatre, family, comedy, dance, and cabaret to Norwich!”

Starting the new Playhouse season in style is Ballet Central (Thur 2 May) with an exceptional repertoire of circus inspired and classical dance. Our summer dance programme is abrim with a range of brilliant choreography, including two performances of traditional Indian dance, the first Vahana (Sat 29 Jun) in the traditional form of Bharatnatyama, and the second from Natyapriya with Samudra (Sat 7 Sept), which tells the epic tale of Vishnu defeating demons. Edge Dance Company (Thur 11 Jul) present a triple bill of new works from award-winning choreographers, and The Garage bring Turnstyle 2019 (Thur 25 Jul) featuring pieces from their participation companies.

In September, Tangomotion (Sat 21 Sept) promise an evening of raw and intoxicating Tango (you might recognise them from Strictly Come Dancing). Theatre and dance combine in Come Dance With Me (Sat 28 Sept) a warm-hearted family saga told through the romance of ballroom dancing.

As always, there’s plenty of comedy lined up throughout the summer: Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner Adam Riches (Fri 3 May) promises a unique evening of off-the-wall comedy. Shappi Khorsandi (Wed 8 & Thur 9 May) shares confessions from a life of comedy (and a brief stint in the jungle), whilst The Vicar of Dibley co-writer Paul Mayhew-Archer (Fri 10 May) performs his debut stand-up show on Parkinsons and the therapeutic power of laughter.

Danish comedian Sofie Hagen (Fri 7 Jun) combines comedy with a reading from her first book. Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show (Wed 12 Jun) captures the magic of the comic genius, and we recommend getting in the mood for Norwich Pride with Suzi Ruffell (Sat 13 Jul). Following a February sell-out Dad’s Army Radio Show (Wed 24 Jul) return, ex-MP and QI star Gyles Brandreth (Fri 26 & Sat 27 Jul) is back on the stage, and Ruby Wax (Thur 5 & Fri 6 Sept) explains how to be human.

They’ve both taken the states by storm, and now they’re back in Blighty; The Tape Face Show (Mon 16 – Wed 18 Sept) and Paul Zerdin (Tue 1 & Wed 2 Oct) are sure to delight Norwich audiences with their respective miming and ventriloquism.

 Historian and bestselling author Ben Macintyre (Wed 5 Jun) shares the thrilling true-life story of Cold War agent Oleg Gordievsky, in a discussion based around his latest book The Spy and the Traitor. Journalist Caitlin Moran (Wed 10 Jul) promises a hilarious and thought-provoking evening of feminism, fame, and fiction.

For the younger generation, the classic fairy-tale Ugly Duckling is transformed with a heart-warming reimagining in Honk! The Musical (Sat 4 & Sun 5 May). Acrobatic chaos for kids comes to Norwich with Chores (Sat 8 & Sun 9 Jun), the story of two rascally brothers and their attempts to absolutely, definitely tidy their rooms.

Picture book favourite The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (Wed 3 – Sun 7 Jul) is crawling into the Playhouse, with some other of Eric Carle’s other brilliant characters for company, including 10 Little Rubber Ducks and Brown Bear.

It wouldn’t be a Playhouse season without some fabulous cabaret! Godfathers of alternative cabaret The Tiger Lillies (Sat 15 Jun) return to the Playhouse with a very special show celebrating their 30th anniversary, and jaded faded drag star Miss Hope Springs (Fri 12 Jul) sings fabulous comedy melodies in sequins. Cult sensation Bourgeois & Maurice (Fri 27 Sept) are back again, and diving deeper into their demented universe of hyper glamour and black comedy.

Theatre and music combines in Electrolyte (Fri 14 Jun) a multi-award winning piece of gig-theatre exploring mental health, which comes to the Playhouse in time for Norfolk Creativity and Wellbeing Week. We’re also welcoming Welsh National Opera to Norwich for the first time in almost fifty years with a very contemporary production of Don Pasquale (Thur 20 & Sat 22 Jun). This riotous new version of the classic includes a kebab van on stage, and has been described as Gavin and Stacey do opera!

For more traditional music, The Classical Duo Hayley Moss & Benjamin Lake (Thur 27 Jun) who made their name busking on the streets of Norwich, return with their popular ballards and classic repertoire. The Spooky Men’s Chorale (Tue 9 Jul) combine humour, improbable facial hair, and sonorous tunes for an evening not to be forgotten.

The Floyd Effect (Sat 31 Aug) return after a sold-out performance in 2018 for another evening of the Pink Floyd canon (and lasers). Featuring actual former Kinks, The Kast Off Kinks (Thur 12 Sept) play all the classics, whilst The Bob Dylan Story (Fri 20 Sept) celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dylan’s famous Isle of Wight comeback show with an aural and visual feast.

Norwich favourite Karl Minns (Thur 18 – Sat 20 Jul) brings his sort of stand-up, sort of biography back to the Playhouse. An Evening of Jazz and Cabaret (Sun 15 Sept) is back for the 17th year of fundraising, and satirical comedy The Screwtape Letters (Thur 26 Sept), adapts CS Lewis’ classic book for the stage.

To view the full line-up of Summer shows, visit or pick up a brochure from the venue. To book, visit the Playhouse website, or call 01603 598 598.