Autumn sees the curtain being raised on a new season at the Royalty Theatre. Katy Wheeler takes a look at what’s in store
From a family fairytale to a thrilling murder most foul, the Royalty Theatre has something for everyone this season.
The season opens later this month with A Bedfull Of Foreigners and will run until June next year.
As well as a whole new set of plays, visitors to the theatre, off Chester Road, can also check out the venue’s recent facelift.
After receiving a grant of £30,000 from Biffa Award, the building has been given a makeover which includes a paint job and new outside lighting.
All tickets to shows cost £8 or £6.50 concessions from Tel. 0844 8700 887 or on line via www.royaltytheatre.co.uk.
A season ticket for all shows is available at £40 or £35 concession from the theatre direct on Tel. 567 2669
* A Bedfull Of Foreigners by Dave Freeman – September 23-28
The play is set in a French village near the German border on the eve of a local festival.
When an English couple, Stanley and Brenda, obtain a room for the night while on a motoring trip, they consider themselves lucky – but not for long.
In Brenda’s absence less than an hour later, Stanley finds himself learing an attractive girl stark naked from the window.
The arrival of Claud, the attractive girl’s husband, followed by his girlfriend, Simone, causes further chaos.
* Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – October 28 to November 2
Streetwise George and his big child-like friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California.
They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they’ll find a place of their own and live “off the fata the lan”.
However, dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn’t know his own strength and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss’s daughter-in-law.
* Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Dave and Tim Jasper – December 12 - 22
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a classic pantomime fairytale with a twist.
With an original script and music played by live band Unplugged, this is a show for all the family. Look out for the antics of buffoons Pott and Kettle, who do their best to make a mess of everything.
* A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie – February 10-15
The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29, at Little Paddocks at 6.30pm’.
A childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out.
What follows is a classic Christie puzzle of mixed motives, concealed identities, a determined Inspector grimly following the twists and turns and the inimitable Miss Marple, on hand to provide the final solution in a dramatic confrontation scene just before the final curtain.
* A Bolt From The Blue by David Tristram – March 24-29
Edward Jones was just an ordinary man, doing ordinary things – until the day before his 40th birthday.
What happened next was, quite literally, incredible. It defies belief. It defies logic. It defies the laws of science and nature. But it happened.
With his latest comedy, adapted from his novel of the same name, David Tristram brings his trademark hilarity to every page, but with a poignant and unusual story that tingles every nerve ending before reaching its extraordinary conclusion.
* Anne Boleyn by Howard Brenton – May 19- 24
Compelling, witty and often laugh-out-loud funny, this celebration of a great English heroine, Anne Boleyn leaps between generations to the life and legacy of Henry VIII’s notorious second wife.
Anne Boleyn is traditionally seen either as a pawn manipulated into the King’s bed, or as a sexually-licentious predator, even a witch.
Howard Brenton puts a very different Anne – and her ghost – on the stage. Witty and confident in her sexuality, she takes on the vicious world of Tudor Court politics.
* Up Pompeii by Miles Tredinnick – June 23-28
Based on the original characters devised by Talbot Rothwell and Sid Colin for the Frankie Howerd BBC comedy, this hilarious romp through ancient Pompeii brings back all the television favourites.
As Lurcio attempts to deliver his prologue and begin proceedings, he’s quickly caught up in the myriad of sexual liaisons in all quarters of his master’s house.