Drama dance, comedy and more in Theatre Royal Winchester’s 2023 line-up

Drama dance, comedy and more in Theatre Royal Winchester’s 2023 line-up

Theatre Royal Winchester is looking forward to a new year and a line-up set to put a smile on everyone’s faces – with drama, dance, comedy, magic, music, circus, song, children’s theatre and performance from local groups.

The season begins with local theatre company, Blue Apple, taking to the stage with children’s adventure, Lashings of Ginger Beer (06 – 08 Jan), followed by The Henry Beaufort School with Matilda the Musical JR. (17 – 19 Jan) and Encore Youth Theatre’s rendition of iconic British musical, Kipps – The New Half A Sixpence Musical (16 – 18 Feb).

For drama, Blackeyed Theatre presents Teechers Leavers ’22 (02 – 04 Feb), bringing to life terrifying teachers and hopeless pupils; SHE (21 Feb) charts the experiences of different women from childhood to old age across seven short plays with two actors performing over 14 characters. London Classic Theatre perform Mike Leigh’s black comedy about 1970s British life, Abigail’s Party, pictured top (01 – 04 Mar); Rebecca Vaughan’s one-woman rendition of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (08 Mar) explores literature, feminism and gender; and Rumpus Theatre Company present The Tell-Tale Heart (16 – 18 Mar), based on writer Edgar Allan Poe’s classic Victorian murder mystery. While the whole family will enjoy Le Navat Bete and Barbican Theatre’s swash-buckling smash-hit comedy, Treasure Island (23 – 25 Feb) and Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (11 Apr) is an evening of stories full of fun and danger from The Arabian Nights, with live music performed by actor-musicians.

Queen Rhapsody.

Big names in music are celebrated – from Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons in Oh What A Night (20 Jan) to Freddie Mercury in Queen Rhapsody (22 Jan) – described as a high energy show featuring hits including Under Pressure, The Show Must Go On and It’s A Kind Of Magic. The UK’s ultimate Michael Jackson tribute star, Ben Bowman, appears in Michael starring Ben (29 Jan) – supported by a live band and with stunning costumes and iconic dance moves; while Bowie Experience (05 Feb) is a must-see for all fans. Queer cabaret legend Dr Adam Perchard performs hits from stars like Whitney in bold costume in Bathtime for Britain (10 Feb); and popular opera and musical show tunes, iconic classical and original songs made famous by the likes of Pavarotti and Buble are performed by the award-winning Tenors Unlimited in Celebrating Twenty Years (22 Feb).

Relive favourite musical numbers from beloved shows like Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia with stars from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat with Dreamcoat Stars (05 Mar). Blues legends – singer-songwriter musicians, Dave Kelly and Bob Hall reunite with emotive singer Hilary Blythe (09 Mar) to celebrate their illustrious, award-winning careers; and celebrating more 60s music, All or Nothing Experience (31 Mar) tells the story of iconic Mod band, Small Faces. Fans of recent hits, Watermelon Sugar and As it Was will want to hurry to get tickets for a Harry Styles tribute (06 Apr) that also includes classics from One Direction. Hurn Court Opera showcase some of the finest young singers in the country in La Boheme (15 Apr) – Puccini’s opera about friendship, love and passion (sung in Italian with English subtitles); while finally, for this season, a ‘Young Elton’ takes the stage in The Elton John Show (28 Apr) – the UK’s newest Elton John tribute show, celebrating the most successful singer-songwriter of his generation, with over 300 million records sold.

Dan Snow.

Once more the theatre welcomes a host of well-known comedians, including Hal Cruttenden (28 Jan), Danny Baker (09 Feb), Best Newcomer nominee Maisie Adam (11 Feb); while Winchester Comedy Festival’s Spring Gala 2023 (10 Mar) features comedian/magician Pete Firman, BBC New Comedy Award finalist Sikisa, Sean McLoughlin – who recently supported Ricky Gervais, and observational comic Mike Cox as MC. Star of hit podcast The Socially Distant Sports Bar, Mike Bubbins presents his first ever solo UK stand-up tour, Throwback (14 Mar) and Have I Got News For You and QI regular, Mark Steel (30 Mar) takes to the stage. The theatre also welcomes TV comedy gameshow regular, Rhys James (23 Apr) and the return of The Scummy Mummies (25 – 27 Apr) who celebrate ‘ten years of scumminess’ and sell out performances around the country.

Dance enthusiasts will delight in Ballet Theatre UK’s production of the ever-enchanting Beauty and the Beast  (10 – 11 Jan), with a stunning classical score, new choreography, sets and costume; and by popular demand, the return of their passionate portrayal of one of the world’s greatest love stories, Romeo and Juliet (05 Apr). One of Europe’s most in demand dance companies, James Wilton Dance, presents The Four Seasons  (31 Jan) – with a blend of capoeira, acrobatics, martial arts and classical dance set to Max Richter’s recomposed version of Vivaldi’s seminal work of the same name; while Dotdotdot Dance’s Blue Ghost  (25 Mar) is a contemporary flamenco dance show with live electronic music that explores the light and dark of the natural world through the beauty of the blue ghost firefly.

For evenings with famous faces, audiences can choose from TV presenter and podcaster Dan Snow (14 Jan) – who will talk about a career visiting historical battlefields and travelling the world; and international bestselling author, Kate Mosse (15 Mar), whose first ever theatre tour will look at how history is made and celebrate trail-blazing and inspirational women.

Room on the Broom.

There is plenty of general entertainment for all ages to enjoy – from The Hat Fair Cabaret (15 Jan), which will see Hat Fair veterans Streetcomedy and other Hatters performing comical circus and magic routines; Michael Jordan’s High Jinx Magic & Illusion Family Show (21 Jan) comes direct from the Blackpool Tower Circus, with amazing tricks and grand illusions; while Hat Fair headliners Motionhouse return to the stage with Starchitects (27 – 28 Jan) – the story of five children who dream of reaching the moon, featuring dance, circus and stunning digital projections. More magic comes from The Greatest Magician (19 Feb), James Phelan – most famous for predicting the lottery and a show directed by the late Paul Daniels; plus Britain’s Got Talent finalist, who has had sell out runs at the Edinburgh Festival – Magical Bones, with Soulful Magic (16 Apr).

Finally, children’s theatre comes in the form of Tall Stories’ Olivier Award-nominated adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-selling Room on the Broom (11 – 12 Feb), while the writer and illustrator’s Tales from Acorn Wood (03 – 04 Apr) is also brought to the stage by the team behind Dear Zoo Live – with toe-tapping songs and life-size puppetry. Morgan & West present Unbelievable Science (14 Apr) – containing captivating chemistry, phenomenal physics and bonkers biology for audiences from seven to 107 and everyone’s invited to Molly and Bingo the puppy’s birthday party, with favourite songs and games in I Spy With My Little Eye (23 – 24 Apr) – based on Steven Lee’s picture book.

The theatre has also programmed a number of shows that allow audiences to pick the price ticket that works best for them, and to encourage others to experience shows a little different. Shows include The Hat Fair Cabaret (15 Jan), The Four Seasons (31 Jan), Dr Adam Perchard’s Bathtime for Britain (10 Feb), SHE (21 Feb), A Room of One’s Own (08 Mar) and Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (11 Apr). 

Plus, livestream has become an option so that audiences can watch shows from the comfort of their own home, starting with Blue Apple’s Lashings of Ginger Beer (on 7 Jan).

For tickets and more information, visit: www.theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk/


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