Tickets for Exeter Northcott Theatre’s Spring/Summer 2013 season are now on sale. With comedy, drama, dance and children’s shows, the season has something for everyone.
Among the highlights is a collaboration between Exeter-based company Theatre Alibi, Exeter Northcott Theatre and the Oxford Playhouse, in a modern take on Charles Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop.
The new play, Curiosity Shop (Friday 8 – Saturday 16 March), adapted by Daniel Jamieson, has been imaginatively translated to the present day where Little Nell and Granpa run a vintage record store. Dickens’ story of love, human frailty and downright wickedness is playfully staged, featuring film projection and a soundtrack that takes in hits from Bach to Bowie, and shows England to be as much a cultural curiosity shop as it ever was in Dickens’ day.
There are 40-plus shows in the Spring/Summer 2013 season, including community shows by student and locally-based societies. Here is just a taster of some of the season highlights:
The season gets off to a cracking start, with two shows which are part of Exeter’s Laugh Out Loud Comedy Festival. Rannel Theatre Company bring us FhlipFhlop (Saturday 12 January) – classic comedy routines updated for the hip-hop age. That’s followed by Alaska (Thursday 17 & Friday 18 January), presented by Black Fish and makin projects in association with Exeter Northcott Theatre.
Alaska brings together the trio of Giles King, Craig Johnson and Carl Grose (Kneehigh Theatre and Squashbox Theatre). Boldly following the intrepid footsteps of Bear Grylls and Ray Mears, and using film, firelight, shadow, a whole host of forest wildlife, and a fantastic soundtrack, the audience is transported into The Unknown. Alaska is a tragi-comedy of Pythonesque dottiness!
There is more fun to be had, with Puppetry of the Penis (Tuesday 28 February) – this show does exactly what it says on the packet.
And there are further treats in store for fans of stand-up comedy later in the season, with Chris Addison (Sunday 24 February), Al Murray The Pub Landlord (Saturday 11 May), and Richard Herring (Monday 20 May) all appearing at Exeter Northcott Theatre.
Shakespeare’s magical tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tuesday 29 January – Saturday 2 February) – is guaranteed to be a Midwinter warmer. The Bard’s great comedy is retold in a thrilling production which moves from a bleak, inner city school detention room to the fantastical world of princes and lovers and forest and fairies.
The play is brought to Exeter Northcott Theatre by Custom/Practice and TEG Productions, in association with the Almeida Festival.
The Bard is back in June, with the return to Exeter Northcott Theatre of the hugely popular Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 June). The nationally renowned company presents Two Gentlemen of Verona – a darkly comic romance in which friendship and love, and loyalty and betrayal are all big players.
The temperature is turned up a few notches, with the production of Some Like It Hotter (Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 July). As the title suggests, the play re-introduces to us the stars from the hit movie, Some Like It Hot – Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and, of course, Marilyn Monroe. The story is set in April 2013 … welcome to the most surprising comeback in entertainment history!
English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse present The Misanthrope (Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 April) – Moliere’s classic mockery of manners and morals set in 17th century French aristocracy. Master wordsmith Roger McGough dips his quill into the comedy, in which poet Alceste embarks on a one-man crusade against frippery and fakery.
Another highlight of the season is Running on the Cracks (Wednesday 20 – Saturday 23 February). Written by Julia Donaldson, this is an entirely different story to those she is most famous for – The Gruffalo and The Snail the the Whale. Adapted for the stage by Andy Arnold, the story focuses on Leo, whose parents are gone and whose bird-loving uncle is getting too close for comfort. She heads off on a quest to find the grandparents she never knew… but ends up penniless in Glasgow.
The play is brought to the stage by Pilot Theatre and the Tron Theatre. Running on the Cracks is part of the Extreme Imagination event – a festival of writing for and by young people.
Miki (Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 January) is based on the book by Stephen Mackey and follows the fortunes of Miki, Polar Bear and Penguin. Featuring underwater creatures, live action, puppetry and song to sing-along to, the show will appeal to children aged three and up.
The Gruffalo’s Child (Sunday 5 and Monday 6 May) is another collaboration by the book’s creators, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and Tall Stories and is bound to be another firm favourite with young families.
Philip Pullman’s I Was A Rat! (Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 May) is another real highlight of the season. Combining humour, fantasy and adventure, this moving and darkly comic tale slowly reveals its connection to one of the most famous fairy tales of all time.
The story is brought to life on the professional stage for the first time in the UK by international Teatro Kismet and Birmingham Rep.
Temple Theatre presents Unmythable (Saturday 30 March) in a show which is for everyone aged eight to 88. Following a triumphant Edinburgh Festival run, Temple revive their new fun-filled show on a 2013 UK Spring tour. Get set for all the greatest Greek myths – told in just 60 minutes!
For the first time ever, direct from its London HQ, Guinness World Records arrives on stage with its amazing, record-breaking, science-mad all live show (Friday 1 March). T
his new show explores the best, the worst and the weirdest world records ever in an event for anyone aged seven and over.
Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures comes to Exeter Northcott Theatre on Monday 1 April. Adapted from her own book of children’s poetry, the TV presenter will take families on a delightful journey through an alphabet jungle of animal rhyme in a show suitable for children aged three to eight.
Then, in late May, there are two shows for young children: Varmints (Tuesday 28 May) and The Elves and the Shoemaker (Wednesday 29 – Friday 31 May).
Varmints is a brand new dance-theatre show for everyone over aged eight and tells the poignant tale of one small creature’s struggle to preserve a world in danger of being lost forever.
The Elves and the Shoemaker is the lovely story of how two elves help failing shoemaker Sam Lacey turn his business around.
Richard Alston Dance Company (Tuesday 26 – Wednesday 27 February) have created a new, diverse and entertaining trio of dances for their 2013 visit. The pieces are entitled Madcap, Buzzing Round the Hunnisuccle and The Devil in the Detail, the latter being inspired by the music of Scott Joplin.
Jasmin Vardimon Company presents JV2 – Tomorrow (Tuesday 16 – Wednesday 17 April), in an evening of brand new works created specifically for JV2 – an international group of young performers hand-picked by award-winning choreographer and artistic director Jasmin Vardimon. Expect an evening of powerful and emotional dance theatre.
Cassa Pancho’s award-winning Ballet Black (Wednesday 8 – Thursday 9 May) have been receiving accolades for their work and, having established a huge following during their first 10 years, they are now an associate company of the Royal Opera House. This, their third visit to Exeter Northcott, features a mixed bill of premieres with new work from up-and-coming choreographers Ludovic Ondiviela (The Royal Ballet) with a new score by Fabio D’andrea; Robert Binet (National Ballet of Canada); and world-renowned dance maker Javier De Frutos.
English Touring Opera present a trio of operas in March: Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte (Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20); Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (Thursday 21 and Saturday 23) and The Siege of Calais by Donizetti (Friday 22).
Exeter Northcott again plays hosts to a number of community shows, including Exeter University Footlights Society’s production of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (Wednesday 23 – Saturday 26 January); Amadeus by Exeter University Theatre Company (Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 February); Exeter University Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s presentation of The Pirates of Penzance (Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 February); and Guys & Dolls by Exeter Musical Society (Monday 29 April – Saturday 4 May).
Call the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office on 01392 493493 or book your seats online at the Exeter Northcott Theatre website. Alternatively buy in person from Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, EX4 4QB, or from Exeter Visitors Information and Tickets, Dix’s Field, Exeter, EX1 1GF.