Something for everyone at theatre

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Political intrigue, plenty of laughs and classic performances are promised for Derby Theatre’s summer 2012 season.

West End comedy hit Yes, Prime Minister, critically applauded Edinburgh Fringe Festival drama 2401 Objects and War Horse writer Michael Morpurgo’s tale of The Butterfly Lion will be among the highlights of the theatre’s programme, running from April to June next year.

The overall theme of the new line-up announced this week is to provide something that will appeal to every part of Derby Theatre’s wide and varied audience, bringing everyone closer to greater entertainment.

The season’s programme will include:

• Comedy – the classic BBC TV series, updated toa West End hit, Yes, Prime Minister in April/May will be joined by Funny Peculiar, where a smalltown grocer’s extra-marital affair causes chaos (starring Coronation Street’s Craig Gazey and Vicky Entwistle), and Ivan Menchell’s The Cemetery Club, a life-affirming comedy about three widows, compared to TV’s The Golden Girls.

• Drama – in April the Edinburgh Fringe smash 2401 Objects, based on the true story of a man unable to make new memories, will come to Derby. This will be followed by a perennial favourite in the shape of Peter Shaffer’s Equus, in May, and political thriller Dead Ringer, about the replacement of the Prime Minister by an actor, in June.

• Children’s entertainment – a boy’s fight to be reunited with the orphaned white lion cub he rescued is told in War Horse author Michael Morpurgo’s The Butterfly Lion in May/June. Family entertainment will also be provided by Gulliver’s Travels in June, and the Horrible Histories take on Vile Victorians and Terrible Tudors – complete with a special effects recreated Spanish Armada.

• Home-grown productions – as part of its commitment to be a learning theatre and promote regional arts, Nubes (in June) will see Derby Theatre team-up with the city’s Dedá dance theatre to present a magical and funny performance inspired by the work of surrealist painter René Magritte. There will also be an original take on classic adventure Treasure Island by the university’s graduate theatre company Uncontained Arts (in association with Buxton Opera House), the Delirious Theatre student company will tackle Tom Stoppard’s witty Artist Descending a Staircase and amateur group The Watson Players will perform 1930s period piece Dancing At Lughnasa in the Derby Theatre studio.

Gary Johnson, theatre manager for Derby Theatre, said: “The summer 2012 season will mark a new chapter for Derby Theatre and I’m very proud of the variety we’ve managed to pack into our first independent season. From established favourites such as Yes, Prime Minister and Equus, to new drama 2401 Objects, to an original dance theatre production like Nubes, we’ve tried to create a line-up which will have something to attract everyone.”

For further information about Derby Theatre’s summer 2012 season and to book tickets, available now, call the box office on 01332 593939.