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News: Durham Gala Theatre’s new season

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Packed programme for
Durham Gala Theatre’s new season

A packed programme of history and horror, drama and dance, stand-up and song awaits audiences at the Gala Theatre over the coming months, as the new autumn season is announced.

Currently, audiences are experiencing the theatre as never before, with the auditorium stripped of seats and transformed to house the immersive walkthrough experience 1916: No Turning Back.

The seats will be back in place ready for the new season starting in September when the theme of commemorating the centenary of The Battle of the Somme will continue, as the Gala Theatre prepares to premiere its first in-house production outside of their pantomime in six years.

Running from Thursday 8 to Saturday 17 September, The Fighting Bradfords, explores the lives of Roland, George, James and Thomas Bradford - the most celebrated brothers in British military service. Drawing on first-hand accounts, correspondence and family anecdotes, the production - which is written by Tyneside-based playwright Carina Rodney and directed by Psyche Stott - tells the story of this highly decorated family of First World War soldiers and explores what drove these remarkable brothers to become national, as well as very local, heroes.

To encourage audiences to try new theatre, the production will have a ‘Pay What You Like’ performance on Monday 12 September, meaning audience members can choose to pay whatever they want when ordering their tickets.

Sticking with biographical tales, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company’s Tony’s Last Tape arrives on Friday 7 October, following a successful London and Edinburgh Festival run. This new play is based on the diaries of Tony Benn, one of Britain’s most respected, divisive and celebrated politicians.

On Friday 28 October, the critically-acclaimed, illuminating portrayal of women in prison Key Change from Open Clasp Theatre Company comes to the Gala Theatre and audiences can benefit from the theatre’s new joint ticket offer where they can see Tony’s Last Tape and Key Change for just £20.

Following previous productions of Teechers and Not About Heroes, Blackeyed Theatre will return to the Gala Theatre with Frankenstein (Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 October). This brand new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror masterpiece fuses ensemble storytelling, live music and stunning theatricality.

A host of great stand-up comedy also comes to the stage this season starting with star of Rev. - and host of The News Quiz - Miles Jupp who brings his Songs Of Freedom tour to the Gala Theatre on Saturday 24 September.

The line-up continues with writer of popular BBC show Outnumbered Andy Hamilton on Wednesday 5 October and host of BBC Radio 4’s The Big Society Marcus Brigstocke stops by with his show Why The Long Face? on Thursday 6 October.

Omid Djalili returns to the Gala Theatre on Friday 14 October with Schmuck For A Night, and there’s more with I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’s Jeremy Hardy (Sunday 23 October), The Lie-In King Seann Walsh (Wednesday 26 October) and host of Sky 1’s Wild Things Jason Byrne (Saturday 29 October).

There’s also an offer available for fans of Gala Theatre’s regular slot The Comedy Store with a season ticket allowing bookers to save £2 per show when booking for Sunday 11 September, 2 October and 6 November.

Music fans are sure to be entertained with a wide-range of acts performing at the venue throughout the season. Grammy-nominated vocalist Stacey Kent (Tuesday 4 October) brings her jazz-classics to Durham and a brand new theatre experience You’ve Got a Friend (Sunday 9 October) celebrates two of the world’s all-time greatest songwriters – James Taylor and Carole King.

The Lindisfarne Story (Sunday 30 October) sees Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell perform a string of Lindisfarne’s most unforgettable hits and the multi-award winning a cappella group The Sons Of Pitches (Tuesday 1 November) bring their impeccable harmonies and sensational beat-boxing to the Gala Theatre fresh off their win on BBC Two’s The Naked Choir.

And with a career spanning over 40 years, Midge Ure comes to Durham on Saturday 5 November as part of his Something From Everything tour, a show that covers at least one song from every album he has released.

There’s a double-bill of opera on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 November with English Touring Opera performing the heart-warming Xerxes and, one of the certain masterpieces of Venice’s glory days, Ulysses’ Homecoming on respective dates.

Those interested in contemporary dance will be delighted by the announcement that Coal, produced by the Gary Clarke Company, graces the stage from Thursday 10 to Friday 11 November. This powerful and emotive piece marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the miners’ strike and explores the darker underbelly of the mining industry through the expression of contemporary dance.

As Christmas draws nearer, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained. Elf and Elfie are back in Durham in December and are getting into their usual muddle. A co-production between the Gala Theatre and Durham Scenic Workshops, Elf’s Christmas Wish (Monday 5 to Saturday 24 December) is a charming and interactive introduction to theatre for under-5s which engages the senses and inspires the imagination.

And after last year’s acclaimed and best-selling pantomime, Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley return to write, direct and star in this year’s giant Gala Theatre pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk(Thursday 24 November 2016 to Saturday 7 January 2017). With over 15,000 tickets already sold, audiences are encouraged to book their tickets early for this rollicking North East roller coaster of panto mayhem.

To view the full programme of events and to book tickets, please visit or contact the Box Office on 03000 266 600. 


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