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York Theatre Royal new season

York's 2023 Christmas season will be a joke-fest with Nina Wadia (centre), plus (l-r) Mia Overfield, James MacKenzie,  Robin Simpson and Matthew Curnier
York's 2023 Christmas season will be a joke-fest with Nina Wadia (centre), plus (l-r) Mia Overfield, James MacKenzie, Robin Simpson and Matthew Curnier

Emma Rice’s acclaimed Wise Children theatre company returns to York Theatre Royal next spring in a world premiere production of Blue Beard (February 27-March 9), bringing its own brand of theatrical magic to this most beguiling and disturbing of folk tales.

This co-production- between Wise Children, York Theatre Royal, Birmingham Rep, HOME Manchester (February 13-24) and the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, will be the fourth time the company has visited York.

Communications and development director at YTR, Vicky Biles, said: "We’re delighted to be collaborating with our friends Wise Children again. In Blue Beard, audiences can expect exactly the kind of brilliant spectacle that makes theatre the unique, collective experience people treasure.”

Other shows in the season include Merchant of Venice 1936 (November 14-18), starring Tracy-Ann Oberman (Eastenders, Doctor Who) as Shylock. Alongside this production, on November 18, Oberman will lead a lantern procession from YTR to Clifford's Tower - the site of the Jewish massacre in 1190 - to celebrate local communities coming together to stand against prejudice and persecution.

York’s legendary pantomime returns this Christmas with Jack and the Beanstalk (Dec 8-Jan 7 2024) starring Nina Wadia as Fairy Sugarsnap (EastEnders, Citizen Khan, Still Open All Hours, Goodness Gracious Me), James Mackenzie as the villainous Luke Backinanger (CBBC’s adventure

game show Raven and CBeebies' Molly and Mack) and York favourite Robin Simpson as Dame Trott.

York-based Pilot Theatre will return in February with its adaptation of David Almond’s A Song for Ella Gray (February 20-24), a co-production with YTR and Northern Stage. Recent Pilot co-productions with the York theatre include Run Rebel, The Bone Sparrow and Noughts and Crosses.

Whodunnit comedy Cluedo 2: The Next Chapter, runs March 12-16, and there are more laughs with the return of Le Nevet Bete, who use their inimitable style of comedy to retell the Arthurian legend in King Arthur (March 21-23).

For younger audiences, children’s theatre company Tall Stories bring its production of The Gruffalo’s Child (February 1-3), and there's more family fun at Easter with There’s A Monster in Your Show (March 26-28), adapted from the popular children’s books by McFly’s Tom Fletcher – who will provide music for the production. Northern Ballet returns to York with Tortoise and the Hare (April 2-3), and John Godber’s classic northern comedy Bouncers (April 5-6) completes the line-up so far.

More info and tickets here


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