Manchester's vast Palace and Opera House theatres are set to reopen this month with their first shows since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020.
The theatres follow their sister ATG theatre the Liverpool Empire in announcing their first seasons in 18 months, and will offer a similar range of award-winning musicals, plays, dance and music.
At the Opera House the season begins on August 20 with Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt (Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor) seen by over 200,000 people across absolute sell-out UK tours, the Edinburgh Fringe and West End runs.
The Palace open a short time later, on August 23, with the crowd-pleasing thriller The Woman in Black, which has been thrilling audiences for over 30 years in the West End and on multiple tours.
The reopening season also features the first appearance in Manchester of musicals Heathers, Waitress and School of Rock and three new musicals Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Cher Show and The Osmonds will appear in the next few month.
The season also sees the return of Dirty Dancing, Hairspray and Grease, as well as large-scale shows such as Bat out of Hell and Rock of Ages. Winter sees the return of the hit show The Book of Mormon.
Theatres director Sheena Wrigley said: “It's thrilling to be able to welcome people back into our theatres. Our staff and production teams have pulled together and supported each other through the pandemic to ensure we have great shows for audiences to return to."
Both theatres will operate fully Covid-safe procedures, including a policy on admitting only adults who can prove their vaccinated status or who have passed a Covid test within a couple of days of their visit.