So much to enjoy in Derby Theatre’s summer season

Selladoor Productions present Monty Pythons Spamalot
Selladoor Productions present Monty Pythons Spamalot

Fabulous festivals and family shows, top quality produced and touring productions, plus some cracking one-nighters, are all at Derby Theatre this summer season.

This summer, Derby Theatre will produce and present two fabulous festivals, a summer festival of fresh, new and exciting theatre for emerging artists and audiences alike, and one specifically aimed at 11-25 year olds, plus a charming new family show, play host to top quality touring productions and an exciting and eclectic season of cutting edge and thrilling Studio shows and some great one nighters.

As ever, there will be a vast amount of opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in the work they do.

You can see Spamalot, the hugely successful and popular Monty Python musical, and the multi award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong. Both of these productions are selling extremely well, so booking soon is highly recommended.

Other top-class touring productions for spring/summer 2018 include: Terra Firma, presented by national Dance Company Wales which tells stories drawn from the very ground on which we build our communities; Mountains- The Dreams of Lily Kwok, a stylish and evocative new play by award-winning writer In-Sook Chappell which tells the extraordinary story of the women behind the famous Manchester-based restaurant, Sweet Mandarin; Brighton Rock presented by Pilot Theatre and York Theatre, an unmissable version of Graham Greene’s classic novel and Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, the hit, critically acclaimed production show based on the world famous novel presented by The Original Theatre Company.

The Case of the Frightened Lady from the “King of the detective thriller”, Edgar Wallace is presented by The Classic Thriller Theatre Company.

For the theatre’s first festival of the spring/summer season, Derby Theatre is thrilled to once again be the East Midlands’ host to National Theatre Connections, an annual festival of new writing, performance, workshops plus much more for

ages 11 - 19. As part of the Festival, Derby Youth Theatre (years 10-13) will also perform Blank by Alice Birch. National Theatre Connections festival will run from April 10-14.

The theatre’s younger Youth Theatre groups (in years 4-6) will present, and bring to life, two imaginative stories where audiences can expect thrilling adventures, imaginative characters and surprising plot twists. This Youth

Theatre double bill will play in the Studio on July 27-28.

Other productions perfect for young and family audiences this summer include: Holiday, a brand new, charming family show produced by Derby Theatre, a perfect summer treat for ages 3-5 and their grown-ups which, through the magical power of imagination, explores the whole concept of ‘being on holiday’; Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, a new spin on a classic story about two misfits who just want to fit in, suitable for age seven-plus; Rufus Longbottom and the Space Rabbit, a show presented by Filament Theatre using song, music and a bit of magic to delight and enchant audiences young and old alike; Nick Sharratt’s Big Draw-Along, a pencils-at-the-ready practical afternoon for young book and illustration enthusiasts in the company of the much-loved children’s writer and illustrator, where young audience members (aged 6+) are invited to bring pencils, paper and something to lean on!

Ugly Duckling presented by Northern Ballet, is a wonderful re-telling of the famous Hans Christian Anderson fairy-tale, a perfect opportunity for little ones (aged three-plus) to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre for the first time; The

Selfish Giant for ages three-plus, presented by Yorkshire-based theatre Company, Wrongsemble, a fantastic family theatre production for all ages packed full of original music, puppetry, magic and adventure, and Kubla Khan, an intimate

and interactive multi-sensory performance based around Coleridge’s acclaimed poem, suitable for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, those on the autism spectrum and young people who are deafblind (with or without any cognitive impairment).

The second big festival for the summer is the return of (for a sixth year) Departure Lounge, Derby Theatre’s hugely successful summer festival of fresh, new and exciting theatre, produced by In Good Company. See the theatre transformed into a fun, luscious green festival site where you can immerse yourself in the wonderful surroundings and get a summer dosage of new and exciting performances plus, take part in arts and industry related workshops

and talks – where everyone, including audiences and artists alike, is welcome.

One-nighter highlights for next season includes evenings with: Count Arthur Strong (Alive and Unplugged), Henry Blofeld (78 Retired), Kate Rusby, Rich Hall’s Hoedown, An Audience with Kate Humble, Bridge Christie: What

Now?, Ken Clarke in conversation with Alan Johnson, The Bookshop Band with Louis de Bernieres and Joanne Harris, The Mozart Question, An Evening with England’s World Cup winner, Sir Geoff Hurst; BBC’s ‘History Guy’ Dan Snow and The Big Chris Barber Band.

Studio highlights for next season include: The Laramie Project and Fugee (both presented by University of Derby Theatre Arts students); Coconut, a play centring around Rumi, a British-Pakastani woman who constantly feels as though she is disappointing the family and people in her life, and whose world looks set to spin off its axis; On Behalf of the People, a powerful play based on extensive research and the true stories of those who lived in a Yorkshire mining village post WWII; The Class Project, a show about belonging, tribes, families, class mobility, social mobility and being a Thatcher’s child; The Bee Project, a show filled with movement, glitter and friendship; Patrick Monahan Rewind Selector 90s, a show of two halves, a club set and a fun audience participation set, from award-winning Patrick, inspired by his Irish/Iranian/Teeside teens in the 90s; and Barbara Nice, Edinburgh’s Fringe’s favourite housewife, an evening of proper good fun guaranteed to put a smile on your face, a spring in your step and a complimentary raffle ticket (where you might just win a prize!).

For more information and to book tickets call 01332 593939, visit the box office in person or visit

Photo by Barry Rivett