So much to look forward to in theatre’s autumn season

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Derby Theatre’s autumn season promises to pack a theatrical punch later this year.

The season includes a Mike Leigh classic, a new play in the RETOLD series, top-class touring productions, two fabulous festive shows for the whole family, a co-production with award-winning British charity Karma Nirvana, great shows for young audiences, an exciting and eclectic Studio season, plenty of participation opportunities, plus much much more.

Derby Theatre’s big production for the autumn will be Mike Leigh’s masterpiece of situation comedy, Abigail’s Party (pictured), a co-production with Queens Theatre, Hornchurch, Wiltshire Creative and Theatres de la Ville de Luxembourg, on from Wednesday September 26, until Saturday, October 20.

As a contemporary response to Abigail’s Party, and playing alongside Leigh’s comedy classic, will be Abi, the latest play in Derby Theatre’s RETOLD programme, a series of plays which aim to crack open the classics from the perspective of a female character. After one of her regular visits to see grandmother, Abigail in hospital, 15 year old Abisheera (Abi for short) decides to throw her one last party.

Once again this year, Derby Theatre will produce and present two Christmas productions, perfect for the whole family. The big, lavish large-scale production in the main house will be Hansel & Gretel, ideal for ages seven and over.

Derby Theatre’s Christmas production team and a wonderful cast of actor-musicians will deliver yet another magical and enchanting production, a festive treat with lashings of original music, sumptuous costumes and a huge dollop of charm, all mixed together to create a mouth-watering show.

For younger audiences aged three and over, there will be a perfect, porridge-filled version of the children’s classic, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a brand new, bear-sized, hilarious and heart-warming version that is ‘just right’ for the whole family.

Topping the list of touring productions next season will be Rain Man, a brand new stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise presented by Bill Kenwright and the Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company and starring Mathew Horne and Ed Speleers.

Other top-class touring highlights for the autumn include: The Case of the Frightened Lady by Edgar Wallace, a stage adaptation from the king of the detective thriller featuring an all-star cast; The Fishermen, a New Perspectives in association with HOME production, a powerful allegory of love, vengeance and fate in a new adaptation by award-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan, and Rifco Theatre Company, Watford Palace and Oldham Coliseum Theatre with their production of Dishoom, a new play about friendship and courage set in the summer of 1978 by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti.

Wonderful one-nighters for the autumn include: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, One Man Stranger Things: A Parody, An Evening of Eric and Ern, Ross Noble, Neil Oliver: The Story of the British Isles in 100 places,

The BBC Big Band: A Swinging Christmas, Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads and Eugene Onegin by OperaUpClose.

For more on the season, go to