The new programme - which runs from the beginning of March through to August - marks the start of the 60th anniversary year of the Theatre’s grand re-opening and features an exciting array of high-quality drama, classical and popular music, stand-up comedy and children’s shows.
“It is with great pride that we launch this season”, said the Theatre’s Manager Clare Allen. “Those people familiar with our history will know that the Theatre closed for regular performances in 1848 and was only restored to its original glory as a working playhouse in 1963.
“Thankfully, the Theatre has managed to remain open ever since and continues to be loved by the community it serves. It is particularly fitting that the 2023 Spring and Summer programme sees performances by Richmond Operatic Society, Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society, pupils from Richmond School and shows from our own Youth Theatre – all underpinned by top international acts and performers. We look forward to welcoming people through our doors”
Opening the season on Saturday 4 March is an evening with Tom McConville and Michael Biggins – two BBC Folk Musicians of the Year, both in Britain and Scotland. Together on fiddle, piano and vocals, they promise virtuosic performances combined with plenty of humour and fun. Other musical highlights include two Swaledale Festival events. Enoch Arden is a deeply touching narrative poem written by Tennyson and set by Richard Strauss for narrator and piano (30 May). Cardboard Carnival (31 May) is a puppet show for the whole family based on the fabulous Carnival of the Animals music. Towards the end of the season, internationally renowned musicians Albert Lau and Philippa Mo come together to perform works by Edward Elgar and Ottorino Respighi in Devastation, Romance and Hope on 8 July.
There is plenty to satisfy fans of top-quality drama. Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved novel Little Women will be dramatised on 11 March with all roles being played by just one woman. Athol Fugard’s The Island – one of the most famous plays of the second half of the 20th century set in South Africa’s top security prison Robben Island – will be staged on 15 March and the life of famous photographer and designer Sir Cecil Beaton will be explored in Cecil Beaton’s Diaries on 26 May. More drama follows with Sherlock’s Excellent Adventure on 10 June and Drama King – the compelling story of the great Victorian actor-manager Macready to whom Charles Dickens dedicated Nicholas Nickleby – is on 17 June.
The season also includes the return of some real audience favourites, such as the fabulous comedy troupe The Noise Next Door on 19 May. Other top stand-up comedy acts include Tom Davis (16 & 17 March); Ivo Graham (1 April) and Rosie Jones (9 June).
There is a welcome return for Arrival: The Hits of Abba, who were voted the ‘Best Abba Show’ and ‘Most Authentic Abba Show’ for the last 10 years running by the UK Abba Fan Club. This hugely popular act will be performing for three nights from 20-22 April.
Other class acts include a five-star-rated magic show with James Phelan The Greatest Magician: An Evening of Wonders on 30 March followed by The Very Best of Tommy Cooper which recaptures the essence of one of the UK’s most-loved comedians on 2 June.
Teenage audiences will be challenged by SHEWOLVES (9 May) – an uplifting, funny and empowering play about forging friendships – and Breathe (15 April) will delight younger audiences who will be taken through an extraordinary journey through a busy forest.
Also featured in the programme are Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society and Richmond Operatic Society. RADS presents Swive (Elizabeth), which shines a light on the only unmarried woman to have ever ruled England, from 23-25 March and then later in the season, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is catapulted into the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 against a background of share-dealing consumerism from 27-29 July and 3-5 August. ROS will perform a specially written piece telling the amusing and often sad tale of the Georgian Theatre itself with 1788 Tryphosa’s Triumph: A Pop Musical from 26-29 April and will go on to celebrate the Society’s illustrious one-hundred-year history with its Centenary Concert from 10-12 August.
Finally, the season is enhanced by performances from the students of Richmond School and Sixth Form College and The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre.
Details of all shows and events are given in the newly published programme brochure available at the Box Office, via the website or by calling the Box Office on 01748 825252.