Old Lancashire on film

Stuart Maconie brings The People's Songs to The Dukes on February 28
Stuart Maconie brings The People's Songs to The Dukes on February 28
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Dukes unveils an impressive calendar for new season...

Once upon a time, The Dukes announced plans for a fairytale summer and a spring tribute to Lancashire’s greatest film-makers.

Lancaster’s awardwinning theatre has just revealed details of its forthcoming new season including the title of the outdoor walkabout show presented in Williamson Park next summer.

Hansel & Gretel And More Tales From The Forest will see audiences discover a world of magic and folklore as The Dukes presents a collection of time honoured tales from July 4-August 16.

The story of Hansel & Gretel will be central to the park show which will also feature other familiar fairytales providing a treat for all the family. The premiere of a play celebrating the life and times of Lancashire factory gate film-makers, Mitchell & Kenyon, runs from April 19-May 10. The Life And Times of Mitchell & Kenyon by awardwinning Lancaster-based writer Daragh Carville will be full of songs, laughter and the original films themselves.

Lancaster film projection specialists – imitating the dog – who produced Sea Breeze at Morecambe’s Winter Gardens this summer and The Breaking Light at Lancaster Castle for Light Up Lancaster also help tell this unique tale of the birth of modern cinema. The Dukes marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a bold and thrilling theatre experience courtesy of its Young Actors & Young Company.

From March 18-22, Your Country Needs You!(But I don’t need my country…) explores what it means to go to war and what nationalism means to young people now.

Spring also sees The Dukes continue to bring the best of touring drama to Lancaster. Filter Theatre’s explosive version of Twelfth Night, which sold out during its previous Dukes run, makes a return from February 11-15 as part of the city’s Season of Shakespeare this spring.

And Northern Broadsides are back with An August Bank Holiday Lark(March 4-8), a moving drama set in rural Lancashire in the summer before World War One begins.

Other dramatic highlights include: Nosferatu(March 14); Killing Roger(May 15) and a second chance to see the Olivier award-winning play Morecambe, the heartwarming story of Eric Morecambe on May 20 and 21.

Comedy and music combine in The People’s Songs fronted by popular presenter and journalist, Stuart Maconie, who tells a social history of modern Britain through pop singles on February 28.

Also on the musical menu are Blazin’ Fiddles(March 12) and the welcome return of The Lancashire Hotpots(May 24).

There’s more comedy in store too with Robin Ince and Josie Long joining forces on January 30; and a Fringe Comedy Double Bill(February 22) featuring Lancaster’s own Kriss Foster and Rob Auton who won the funniest joke award at this year’s festival. Another comedy highlight is Andy Kirkpatrick, bestselling author, comedian and climber(April 5).

Following their successful debut at The Dukes this year, Northern Ballet return on April 4 with their ballet for children – Three Little Pigs.

There’s other family theatre – Blast Off! – on April 9 and more dance as hip-hop dance theatre production In My Shoes comes to town(March 29).

The Dukes’ Senior Youth Theatre presents The Rest Is History; Junior Youth Theatre and Playmakers will perform The Fantastical; and its company of actors with learning needs, Shattering Images, asks When. Will. I. Will. I. Be. Famous?

In January, The Dukes also hosts two shows by the University of Cumbria drama students – And Then There Were None and Romeo & Juliet - and Queen Elizabeth School’s Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Lancaster’s two grammar schools present Sweeney Todd in February and Lancashire Youth Dance Festival returns in May.

To book tickets for any of the new season events, ring 01524 598500 or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org.

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