Exeter Northcott Theatre announces Autumn/Winter Season for 2018/19
To crown a year of 50th-anniversary celebrations, Exeter Northcott Theatre has put together a wide-ranging programme of powerful classical drama and modern adaptations alongside thrilling dance, opera, heart-warming musicals and comedy.
One of the highlights of the season is a stunning new revival of Schiller’s Don Carlos starring popular TV detective and musketeer Tom Burke, in the first co-production with his new company, Ara – now a Northcott associate. The magnificent tale of passion and power – written at the time of the French revolution but set in the court of the tyrannical King Phillip II – plays out against the chilling backdrop of the bloody and ruthless Spanish Inquisition.
To mark the first production from the new partnership, a special free-to-attend Spotlight talk with Tom Burke, director Gadi Roll and Schiller expert Gert Vonhoff, takes place on stage on July 12. BBC presenter Judi Spiers will chair the discussion, looking at theatre’s role in the 21st century, the new staging of Don Carlos and how the battle of ideas it portrays in the 18th century is relevant today.
There is an extraordinary new hip-hop musical, In the Willows by our associate company Metta, who were behind the smash hit street dance Jungle Book and circus spectacular Little Mermaid, with awe-inspiring acrobatics and spellbinding original songs. With epic show tunes and killer beats, the Edwardian classic The Wind in the Willlows by Kenneth Grahame is brought popping and locking into the 21st century.
In The Life I Lead, comedian Miles Jupp relates the remarkable bittersweet life story of cinema’s famously stiff English gentleman, Mr Banks – David Tomlinson’s character in Disney’s Mary Poppins. The one-man show, which tells of real-life heartbreak and his relationship with a father who held a stunning tragi-comic secret, it is the Northcott’s first co-production with acclaimed director Jonathan Church.
Exeter’s favourite panto dame Steve Bennett returns as writer, director and star of the Christmas pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, continuing the Northcott tradition of staging traditional home-grown panto for all the family. A special playful, interactive version of Hansel and Gretel by associate company PaddleBoat provides a morning alternative to the main show for early-years families.
Fresh from a record-breaking West End season, the hit The Wipers Times, by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, tells the true and extraordinary story of a satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the First World War.
Dance productions include Jasmin Vardimon’s Medusa, a deconstruction of the famous Greek myth in a visually stunning new work. Trailblazing choreographer Wayne McGregor makes his debut at the Northcott with the startling Autobiography, a grand and bewitching work suffused with body-shaking electronic beats and immersive lighting.
Madagascar the Musical is among the musical offerings, starring X-Factor winner Matt Terry, while Salad Days offers a delightful romp of a show which broke box office records in the 1950s and is credited with inspiring a seven-year-old Cameron Mackintosh.
For younger audiences, Tall Stories brings Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning sequel The Gruffalo’s Child to life in a magical, musical adaptation, while Horrible Histories will be live on stage using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects to look back in time to the Awful Egyptians and Terrible Tudors.
There are a string of comedy shows including North-east stand-up Chris Ramsay, Australia’s greatest comedy theatre export, Puppetry of the Penis and the Olivier nominated Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel performing their homage to Morecambe and Wise, An Evening of Eric & Ern
English Touring Opera returns with Handel’s story of a royal family in Armenia locked in conflict, Radamisto and a unique triple bill of works by Purcell, Carissimi and Gesualdo.
Paul Jepson, artistic and executive director at Exeter Northcott, said: “The quality and diversity of this autumn programme – in particular the work produced through our associates – shows how far the theatre has come in the past few years.
“Shows from the West End sit very comfortably alongside the uniquely innovative work we have created ourselves.
“We are thrilled that Tom has chosen to work so closely with us with his new theatre company, Ara, and cannot wait for the curtain to go up on Don Carlos, a genuine spectacle.
“We hope that our established audience will approve and that this engaging mix of work will also appeal to those who have not visited us before.”
Tickets for the Autumn 2018 season are now on sale. Call the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office on 01392 726363 or book your seats online at the Exeter Northcott Theatre website: www.exeternorthcott.co.uk. Alternatively buy in person from Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, EX4 4QB