World-famous actors and musicians will be treading the boards of the region’s most historic theatre as it announces a packed and varied programme for the coming season.
Renowned musician Julian Lloyd Webber; actors Edward Fox, Geraldine McEwan, Eileen Atkins and Helen Fraser; and singer/song-writer Hazel O Connor are just some of the stars performing in Richmond Georgian Theatre Royal’s 2014 Spring and Summer Season, which offers a sparkling collection of concerts, plays, musicals and comedy for all ages and tastes.
“The Georgian Theatre has a special place in theatre history – being the oldest working theatre in its original form in the UK – and as such attracts a loyal following from artists and audiences alike,” said Theatre Manager Warnock Kerr. “We are extremely lucky to be hosting acts of this calibre who relish the opportunity of performing on its celebrated and distinguished stage.”
Starting the programme on 2 February is a concert by Julian Lloyd Webber and his wife, fellow cellist, Jiaxin Lloyd Webber. The pair will present a brand-new concert featuring world-premiere performances of duets for two cellos, as well as featuring music from great composers across the classical spectrum. This show offers the rare chance to experience the intimate musical world of one of the greatest classical musicians of our time.
Another jewel in the crown is a series of Sunday afternoon sessions with three of Britain’s most popular actors who will be in conversation with Richard Digby Day – world-renowned stage director and international lecturer in theatre and dramatic art. Taking their place in the interviewer’s ‘chair’ will be Geraldine McEwan (9 March - familiar to television audiences for the Prime of Miss Brodie and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple); Edward Fox (13 April - best known for the hit film Day of the Jackal and television drama Edward and Mrs Simpson) and Dame Eileen Atkins (20 April - winner of the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in Cranford). This will be a unique opportunity to hear anecdotes and recollections of lives spent at the top of this most colourful of professions!
Memories of stage and screen will also be unveiled in An Evening with Helen Fraser on 14 June. Helen has an extensive theatre career, with many film and television appearances including Bridget in Polanski’s Repulsion and Barbara in Billy Liar; and the role as formidable prison officer from hell Sylvia ‘Bodybag’ Hollamby in Bad Girls.
Popular music lovers are in for a treat when Hazel O’ Connor – the award-winning singer and songwriter that strode into the spotlight with cult movie Breaking Glass – performs on 14 March. Accompanied by musicians from bands such as the Bellestars, Communards, David Bowie and the Eurythmics, she will present a passionate and soulful dip into some of the greatest songs of the 20th century. Also featured in the Spring and Summer Season are tributes to Queen (21 February) and The Beatles (30 May), as well as an exploration of the Jerry Lee Lewis Story (10 May) and a performance by one of the country’s most respected songwriters Chris Difford (29 March) who has co-written with a host of musicians and performers, including Elton John, Marti Pellow, Bryan Ferry and Jools Holland.
Comedy acts have a strong following at the Georgian Theatre Royal and connoisseurs will not be disappointed by the forthcoming line-up. Direct from a West End season comes Luke Kempner with The Only Way is Downton on 15 March. Luke made his name with YouTube hit Downstairs at Downton and won critical acclaim and sell-out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. An affectionate look at one of Britain’s best-loved comics Tommy Cooper comes complete with tricks from Magic Circle member Clive Greenway (8 March); and Tea with the Old Queen (5 April) is a hilarious one-man show based on the fictitious secret diaries of William Tallon – one-time Steward and Page of the Backstairs to HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Also featured in the Spring and Summer Programme are popular dramas ((The Diary of Anne Frank, I, Elizabeth and The Vicar of Dibley); musicals (The King and I); children’s theatre (The Worried Walrus, Journey of Turtle and Bin Men) and much more.
Details of all shows and events are given in the newly published programme brochure, via the website (www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk) or by calling the Box Office on 01748 825252.