The Mercury Theatre today announced  its diverse Spring/Summer season, together with all of its Made in Colchester productions for the whole of 2014. The Spring/Summer season includes classic British drama and two very different musical comedies, plus some of the finest UK touring theatre, opera, burlesque, ballet, comedy, new talent, and a host of shows made for the whole family.

Made in Colchester
Betty’s Back! George Stiles and Anthony Drewe’s musical Betty Blue Eyes received rave reviews when Cameron Mackintosh first launched his production in the West End in 2011, picking up an Oliver Award nomination for Best New Musical. It’s ‘fair shares for all’ as director Daniel Buckroyd transports us back to 1940’s austerity Britain in a co-production between the Mercury Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Salisbury Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Daniel Buckroyd, Artistic Director at the Mercury Theatre and director of Betty Blue Eyes said: “The Mercury is bringing together four of England’s leading out-of-London producing theatres to create this tour of Betty Blue Eyes. Betty is a gem of a show which the audience in Colchester will love, and it’s a big step up in our ambition to create theatre which is recognised nationally.” Daniel continued: “This is a season of huge variety; not just our Made in Colchester productions but also the visiting shows we will host. We are attracting some of the finest touring companies in the UK to the Mercury next year, offering drama and opera, comedy and burlesque. There really is something for everyone.”

The spring season kicks off in spectacular style with a Mercury Theatre & Fiery Angel co-production of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder; a claustrophobic, edge-of-the-seat thriller starring Christopher Timothy, known to millions as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small.

Mercury favourite Tony Casement directs Saturday Night And Sunday Morning this May. Remembered by many from the BAFTA-winning film starring Albert Finney, this drama centres on the rise and fall of hard-drinking, double-dealing Arthur Seaton and promises an evening of funny, sexy, hard-hitting drama.

Other Made in Colchester shows coming up in 2014 include You Can Always Hand Them Back, the UK premiere of a touching musical comedy about grand-parenthood, and Daniel Buckroyd’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s evacuee drama Friend or Foe. Shakespeare’s classic Macbeth returns to the Mercury in a chilling new production, and Dracula – in hilarious 1940’s radio style, with all the blood-curdling sound effects made before your very eyes!

Following their sold-out production of Quadrophenia, the Mercury Young Company will return with their take on Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Visiting productions
Drama audiences will be spoilt for choice. Performed by ex-service men and women, The Two Worlds of Charlie F is a darkly comic and uplifting tale of survival which explores the effects of injury and its impact on others. The show harvested a string of five-star reviews following its debut outing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong will take to the stage in June. The national tour last year was seen by over 75,000 people and now it’s Colchester’s turn to experience this stunning production.
Critically acclaimed Cheek by Jowl present Tis Pity She’s A Whore. Described by Time Out Critics Choice as ‘gruesomely, wildly, alive’, this vivid and violent Jacobean tragedy which premiered at the Barbican shows a brother and sister’s passionate descent into hell. The National Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company will visit the Mercury with their adaption of Errol John’s witty play Moon on a Rainbow Shawl.

After two sell-out years at the Edinburgh Fringe and three critically-acclaimed London residencies, The Fitzrovia Radio Hour recreates the unique spirit of the 1940’s radio plays. Blending homage and satire with sharp contemporary humour, they produce a spiffing evening of entertainment. Other comedy includes the world-famous comedy club Jongleurs popping up at various points through the season, Punt and Dennis, and Eric and Little Ern which is playing London’s Vaudeville theatre in November.
Dance fans will be enthralled when Ballet Boyz – The Talent take to the stage in March. Following triumphant UK and international appearances, this phenomenally popular company features 10 exceptional young dancers as they present an exhilarating evening of exciting and explosive dance fused with stunning music and film.

Families will be well catered for this year with a host of family fun on offer. Dinosaur Zoo comes to us direct from the West End bringing an array of awesome prehistoric creatures to the stage, from cute baby dinos to the teeth-gnashing giants, in this hilarious and imaginative live show. Other family shows include Champions of Magic, Splosh, Nana’s Jumble and Pirate Gran.

 

Tickets are available to Priority Members from Monday, November 18th and on general sale from Wednesday, November 27th.
For more information, including performance times, prices and to purchase tickets, please contact the Ticket Desk on 01206 573948 or visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk

Made in Colchester Listings Information

Dial M For Murder
Thursday, February 6 to Saturday, February 15
Evening performances at 7:30pm Monday to Saturday
Matinees at 2:30pm on Saturdays and Thursday, 13 February
Tickets from £10 to £25

Betty Blue Eyes
Friday, March 14 to Saturday, April 5
Evening performances at 7:30pm Monday to Saturday
Matinees at 2:30pm Saturdays and Thursdays
Tickets from £10 to £25

Saturday Night And Sunday Morning
Friday, May 9 to Saturday, May 24
Evening performances at 7:30pm Monday to Saturday
Matinees at 2:30pm Saturdays and Thursdays
Tickets from £10 to £25

You Can Always Hand Them Back
Friday, June 13 to Saturday, June 28
Evening performances at 7:30pm Monday to Saturday
Matinees at 2:30pm Saturdays and Thursdays
Tickets from £10 to £25

The Wall
Thursday, August 21 to Saturday, August 23
Evening performances at 7:30pm
Matinees at 2:30pm Friday and Saturday
Tickets from £10 to £12.50

Friend Or Foe
Friday, 29 August to Saturday, September 13
Performance times vary
Tickets from £10 to £25

Macbeth
Thursday, October 2 to Saturday, October 18
Evening performances at 7:30pm Monday to Saturday
Matinees at 2:30pm Saturdays and Thursdays.
Tickets from £10 to £25

Dracula
Thursday, October 30 to Sunday, November 16
Performance times vary
Tickets from £10 to £25