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Autumn Winter 2017 Season Announced



RYAN O’NEAL & ALI MACGRAW; VINCENT SIMONE & FLAVIA CACACE; SIÂN PHILLIPS & DEREK GRIFFITHS; EDWARD FOX, LAURENCE FOX, DAVID BADDIEL, ELAINE PAIGE and MARTIN SHAW- a line-up of much-loved stars and a feast of top quality entertainment will be coming to Bath later this year…

Postal Booking from 13th June; Online Booking from 15th June; Telephone & Counter Booking from 19th June

Jonathan Church, the new Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Seasons, will direct two productions this summer: David Hare’s multi award-winning masterpiece RACING DEMON and Alan Bennett’s touching and wonderfully funny story of THE LADY IN THE VAN. RACING DEMON is a richly intelligent and extraordinarily prescient play about the state of the Church in modern-day Britain. The cast includes DAVID HAIG (The Madness of George III, King Lear); PAAPA ESSIEDU (RSC Hamlet, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Tobacco Factory); ANTHONY CALF (King Charles III on Broadway) and REBECCA NIGHT (Fanny Hill). SARA KESTELMAN, who has been garnering rave reviews for her performance in Filthy Business at Hampstead Theatre stars in Alan Bennett’s THE LADY IN THE VAN, the true story of Miss Mary Shepherd, the homeless woman who parked her clapped out Bedford van on Bennett’s drive in 1974 and remained there for the next fifteen years.

Following an acclaimed sell-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, EDWARD FOX (The Day of the Jackal, Edward and Mrs Simpson) returns to Bath to play poet John Betjeman in SAND IN THE SANDWICHES. Written by Emmy Award-winning writer, Hugh Whitemore this joyous play, directed by Gareth Armstrong, brings to life the much-loved poet’s sharp wit and vivacious personality, giving a hugely entertaining insight into his life and work.

The Summer Season also includes the UK premiere of a breathtaking stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s thrilling comedy of suspense, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, in which film and theatre collide live on stage. Starring international star JONATHAN WATTON, whose recent screen credits include David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars and Murdoch Mysteries, this adaptation by Carolyn Burns is directed by Simon Phillips who directed the World Premiere production in Melbourne in 2015. The spectacular production retains all the thrills and spills of the classic film which starred Bristol’s Cary Grant – including the crop dusting plane!

In the Ustinov Studio, LOOKING AT LUCIAN is the World Premiere of a new drama about Lucian Freud, widely considered to be the greatest portrait painter of our time. HENRY GOODMAN (Olivier Awards for The Merchant of Venice and Assassins) stars as the hugely charismatic artist in this compelling insight into the relationship between the artist and his sitter, written by Alan Franks and directed by Tom Attenborough.

Theatre Royal Bath Productions will be presenting two plays in the new season. The first is a brand new staging of Alfred Uhry’s award-winning DRIVING MISS DAISY starring SIÂN PHILLIPS and DEREK GRIFFITHS. The story of the relationship between an elderly Southern matriarch and the man who is employed to be her chauffeur, this moving and funny piece traverses changing times and attitudes in the course of 25 years. TRBP also presents THE REAL THING, Tom Stoppard’s witty, tender and touching play about love and infidelity which stars LAURENCE FOX and is widely considered to be a modern classic. In a contrasting story about love, Hollywood superstars, Love Story's ALI MACGRAW and RYAN O’NEAL, open LOVE LETTERS in Bath, an enduring romance about first loves and second chances which they performed in a critically-acclaimed Broadway run and a sell-out US Tour.

MARTIN SHAW is hugely popular with Bath audiences and returns to play a presidential party candidate in THE BEST MAN, the timely UK premiere of Gore Vidal’s award-winning drama of political intrigue. Also back (their first visit was one of the best-selling ever at Theatre Royal Bath), dancers and Strictly Come Dancing favourites VINCENT SIMONE and FLAVIA CACACE perform TANGO MODERNO. Lovers of dance will also enjoy Rambert’s programme which includes Christopher Bruce’s masterpiece GHOST DANCES, and BalletBoyz’ FOURTEEN DAYS.

In a season which undeniably includes something for everyone, Headlong and the National Theatre co-present PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS, Duncan Macmillan’s extraordinary new play about addiction which will also be opening on Broadway in October; Alan Ayckbourn’s smash hit comedy HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES visits direct from the West End with an all star cast that includes ROBERT DAWS, CAROLINE LANGRISHE, MATTHEW COTTLE, SARA CROWE, CHARLIE BROOKS and LEON OCKENDON. Also direct from the West End is THE KITE RUNNER, an acclaimed adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s haunting best-selling novel set in Afghanistan about the friendship between two childhood friends; Ruth Rendell’s A JUDGEMENT IN STONE will be presented by the Classic Thriller Theatre Company and brings a star cast which includes SOPHIE WARD, DEBORAH GRANT, SHIRLEY ANNE FIELD, ANTONY COSTA and BEN NEALON; English Touring Opera presents both parts of JULIUS CAESAR, Handel’s exhilarating epic; Bath Light Operatic Group presents the dazzling musical PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT and the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society return with THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, a brilliantly choreographed spoof thriller back after a sold-out run in January.

Sunday concerts will include the First Lady of Musical theatre, ELAINE PAIGE IN CONCERT; and DAVID BADDIEL brings his West End hit show to Bath: MY FAMILY: NOT THE SITCOM is a hilarious and moving show about his late sex-mad mother and dementia-ridden father.

For those who believe it’s never too early to think about Christmas, there will be a range of festive entertainment on offer starting with THRILLER - LIVE, the spectacular concert which celebrates Michael Jackson’s music with two hours of non stop hits; the UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN will present two festive concerts in WITH BELLS ON – with a chance for Ukulele players to bring along their instruments and play or sing along to some Christmas classics; this year’s traditional family pantomime SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS returns for only the third time ever in the Theatre Royal’s illustrious pantomime history. The spectacular show will star much-loved comedian JON MONIE, back by popular demand, and NICK WILTON (EastEnders) who returns as dame. Seven short actors will play the magnificent seven with further star casting to be announced. Snow White is sponsored once again by the Bath Chronicle and Moore Stephens will again be sponsoring the goody bags.

Also for families, the Main House presents two West End shows for Half Term week, a stunning new stage adaptation of E.Nesbit’s THE RAILWAY CHILDREN complete with video projections, beautiful costumes and ingenious designs and the West End hit THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA, adapted by David Wood from the book by Judith Kerr.

As it heads into the West End, Daniel Kehlmann’s The Mentor leaves the Ustinov Studio as the most successful show in its history. For Autumn 2017, the Ustinov Studio’s Artistic Director, Laurence Boswell will also be directing Kehlmann’s latest work, CHRISTMAS EVE, a timely and gripping thriller about a police interrogation. This will be a new translation of the German original by Christopher Hampton, who adapted both The Mentor and another tremendous Ustinov success, Florian Zeller’s The Father.

The SEASON OF INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES continues with THE OPEN HOUSE, American Will Eno’s wildly subversive and darkly hilarious take on the archetypal family drama, which will be directed by former RSC Artistic Director, Michael Boyd.

In the egg, the Theatre Royal’s much acclaimed theatre for children, young people and their families, coming events include this year’s Summer Company’s new adaptation of Washington Irving’s spooky classic THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Miriam Battye, in which forty young people will work alongside a professional team. The very youngest children can explore a landscape amongst fallen leaves in LEAF, and in CHIFFONADE a huge chrysalis bursts open into a fabulous dancer.  Children aged from three years can enjoy a visit from the CBeebies favourites in SARAH AND DUCK’S BIG TOP BIRTHDAY; whilst in FLIT, FLAP & FLY audiences follow a young chick’s journey from the nest; Italian company La Baracca returns to the egg with LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, a wonderfully imaginative take on the well-known tale, whilst egg favourites Lyngo Theatre present HANSEL AND GRETEL with their own special magic; Peut-Être Theatre presents a dance performance which sees order turn to chaos; Metta Theatre visits Bath with BLOWN AWAY, a joyous stage adaptation of Rob Biddulph’s story of Penguin Blue and THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK is a side-splittingly funny musical comedy based on Lewis Carroll’s classic poem.

For children aged from five years Hot Coals Theatre brings its unique brand of cartoons to the stage in FINDERS KEEPERS; Theatre Alibi returns with APPLE JOHN, which wordlessly tells the connected stories of a man called John and an apple tree, and Macs Arcadian uses British Sign Language, live music and puppetry in GREAT ODDS, a story about following your dream.

For older children double Fringe First winners Curious Directive present FROGMAN, a supernatural coming of age thriller set in Australia which uses virtual reality headsets to create an extraordinary experience and Zest Theatre and Half Moon present WHAT ONCE WAS OURS, an immersive show about identity which uses the words and opinions of young people to explore how politics and national values impact on one family.

Christmas shows in the egg will be LITTLE MERMAID, the story of a scruffy mermaid who doesn’t fit in which is inspired by the story by Hans Christian Andersen and which has been written by award-winning Bea Roberts. This magical and very funny show is an adventure for all the family and is set to a soundtrack of classic 80s pop. (The show is sponsored by King Edwards School). AURORA offers an invitation to younger children and their families to journey into the Northern Lights on a multi-sensory adventure. Both of these productions are part of the Incubator Programme for the Leverhulme Arts Scholarship.

During the Jane Austen Festival, Special Events include PAULA BYRNE with a look at varied adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels in THE GENIUS OF JANE AUSTEN – Her Love of Theatre and Why She is a Hit in Hollywood, and Moonstone Theatre Company returns with LUNCH AT LONGBOURNE, a comedy lunch with characters from Pride and Prejudice. Other Special Events include RICHARD III – BROTHER, PROTECTOR, KING, a talk from Fellow of the Royal Historical Society CHRIS SKIDMORE on the last Plantagenet king; CHARLES SPENCER discusses TO CATCH A KING, the action-packed true story of the young Royalist’s attempts to escape with his life; JAMES HAMILTON talks about his exhilarating new biography of the society artist – GAINSBOROUGH: A PORTRAIT and former Bath MP CHRIS PATTEN returns to talk about his new memoir, FIRST CONFESSION.

Events organized by the Theatre’s Fundraisers, and open to the general public, include a tour of Fussels rapeseed farm in Rode; CHEFS MASTERCLASS: BASQUE AND BRETON with RICHARD BERTINET and JOSÉ PIZARRO and the annual event, CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT.

As part of the Engage programme of participatory activities for adults, actors from the TRB Theatre School will perform a mini season of new plays by some of the South West’s best authors in FOUR and Ten Women and a Man, the inaugural company to form from the Theatre School, will perform LET’S GET CLINICAL, an affectionate look at the NHS.




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