Shows and performances on during spring/summer 2019 across Surrey
- Credit: Archant
Surrey theatres have packed schedules this spring and summer. We take a look at who and what will be treading the boards across the county
First class drama has always been applauded at the New Victoria Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and the Peter Hall Company have graced the stage. On the musical side, productions by Glyndebourne on Tour and Northern Ballet benefit from the wide stage, clear sight lines and fine acoustics. The glorious, award-winning Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake sweeps onto the stage this spring (Apr 30 – May 4).
Richmond Theatre is surely one of the most beautiful theatres in the UK. Built in 1899 as the Theatre Royal and Opera House and refurbished in 1991, it welcomes a quarter of a million theatregoers to over 40 outstanding productions annually. It also encourages young people to enjoy theatre with events, workshops and summer schools. In April, the darkly funny Glengarry Glen Ross starring Nigel Harman and Mark Benton hits the stage (Apr 15 – 20) and humour continues throughout the year with top comedians such as Jimmy Carr not once, but twice. (May 5 and Oct 4).
Also in Richmond, The Orange Tree, with its intimate in the round auditorium, recently won Most Welcoming London Theatre at the UK Theatre Awards for the third year in a row. With new executive director, Hanna Streeter, taking the helm at the end of last year, it continues to host excellent productions with the compelling Athol Fugard drama, Blood Knot (March 8 – Apr 20) and a major revival of Terence Rattigan’s comedy, While the Sun Shines, (Jun 7 to Jul 27). The theatre also champions opportunities for new plays such as Out of Water by Zoe Cooper (April 27).
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Kingston’s Rose Theatre celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, following the sad death of its founder Sir Peter Hall in 2017. The theatre continues to champion fresh talent thorough its Emerging Artists Fellowship and has a varied programme of performances from both homegrown and visiting talent. In April, the first major stage adaptation of Louis de Bernières’ best-selling novel has its world premiere at The Rose (Apr 23 to May 12). Looking ahead, the theatre’s Christmas show in December provides an interesting alternative to the annual family panto.
Having recently welcomed Joanna Read as director and chief executive, Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre looks forward to an exciting year ahead with literary classics such as The Remains of the Day (April 9 – 13) and Equus (May 7 – 11). The theatre’s pantomime in December is a highlight of the year, featuring celebrities such as Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon, who dons fabulous frocks as the Panto dame.
This month Cranleigh Arts Centre, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019, transforms into the Cranleigh Literary Festival (Mar 5 – 9) with author talks and workshops. Looking to summer, Oysters is performed live (Jun 12). This dark comedy shines a powerful spotlight on composer Johannes Brahms, with a seething cauldron of passionate recriminations and hilarious outcomes, while an open-air production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, set in the Rectory Garden, is sure to delight (Aug 2).
The Leatherhead Theatre, formerly known as The Thorndike Theatre, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Opened in 1969, it boasts Sir Michael Caine as its patron and in 1999 the building was awarded Grade II listed status. There’s always a hint of magic in the air at Leatherhead: The Up Close Show, presents an intimate evening of close-up magic and sleight of hand featuring world class magicians from The Magic Circle.
Also celebrating 50 years, Camberley Theatre plays host to some of the biggest names in showbiz and is a favourite with tribute bands. From the Jam (May 26) and Cash & Carter (Nov 3) celebrate musical icons from very different genres.
From little porches, mighty theatres grow. Five years ago, the Trustees of the Barn Theatre in Oxted built a porch on the back door to keep the heat in during productions. This tiny project morphed into a total redesign of the backstage area and this enterprising little theatre now has modern dressing rooms and up-to-date ‘facilities’, all funded with the help of bucket collections at previous shows. Joyful productions are planned with Blues Brothers Little Brother (May 24) and Barber, Bilk & Ball (June 7).
A packed programme of comedy, music, dance and drama is always on the bill at the Epsom Playhouse. The main Auditorium seats up to 450 and hosts leading theatrical companies, while the smaller Myers Studio is perfect for Studio Jazz evenings, children’s shows and community events. The original Steeleye Span bring their great music to Epsom (Apr 16).
Since opening in 1989, Riverhouse Barn in Walton-on-Thames has built a reputation as a high-quality arts centre offering a year-round programme of events. It welcomes back the UK’s premier improvising comedy troupe The Noise Next Door with their brand spanking new, adult show At Sea (Jun 1).
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