Autumn 2018 Season Brochure Now Available



Derby Theatre looks ahead to the autumn and a fabulous feast of productions and events.

Derby Theatre’s autumn season promises to pack a theatrical punch post-summer. The season includes a Mike Leigh classic, a new play in the RETOLD series, top-class touring productions, two fabulous festive shows for the whole family, a co-production with award-winning British charity Karma Nirvana, great shows for young audiences, an exciting and eclectic Studio season, plenty of participation opportunities plus much much more.

New Deal – Book Early for the Best Prices

We’ve undertaken a comprehensive review of our pricing. Many of the shows in the autumn and beyond are priced using our new approach: 10% of all seats on sale will be at an ‘affordable’ lower price of just £10 or £15, depending on the show and as demand increases, other prices may rise so early booking is recommended to get the best seats at the cheapest prices.

Derby Theatre Productions

Derby Theatre’s big production for the autumn will be Mike Leigh’s hilarious masterpiece of situation comedy, Abigail’s Party, a co-production with Queens Theatre, Hornchurch, Wiltshire Creative and Theatres de la Ville de Luxembourg. This iconic classic was made famous by the BBC Play for Today starring Alison Steadman.  As a contemporary response to Abigail’s Party, and playing alongside Leigh’s comedy classic, will be Abi, the latest play in Derby Theatre’s RETOLD programme, a series of plays which aim to crack open the classics from the perspective of a female character. After one of her regular visits to see grandmother, Abigail in hospital, 15 year old Abisheera (Abi for short) decides to throw her one last party.

Once again this year, Derby Theatre will produce and present two fantastic Christmas productions perfect for the whole family. The big, lavish and large-scale production in the main house will be Hansel & Gretel, ideal for ages 7+. Derby Theatre’s Christmas production team and a wonderful cast of actor-musicians will deliver yet another magical and enchanting production, a deliciously festive treat with lashings of original music, sumptuous costumes and a huge dollop of charm, all mixed together to create a mouth-watering show. For younger audiences aged 3+ we will present a perfect, porridge-filled version of the children’s classic, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a brand new, bear-sized, hilarious and heart-warming version that is ‘just right’ for the whole family.

Touring Productions   

Topping the list of touring productions next season will be Rain Man, a brand new stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise presented by Bill Kenwright and the Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company and starring Mathew Horne and Ed Speleers. Other top-class touring highlights for the autumn include: The Case of the Frightened Lady by Edgar Wallace, a stage adaptation from the king of the detective thriller featuring an all-star cast; The Fishermen, a New Perspectives in association with HOME production, a powerful allegory of love, vengeance and fate in a new adaptation by award-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan, and Rifco Theatre Company, Watford Palace and Oldham Coliseum Theatre with their production of Dishoom, a new play about friendship and courage set in the summer of 1978 by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti.

Family Theatre

Family theatre in the main house and Studio this autumn includes: The Snail and the Whale, a magical, musical production inspired by the fantastic best-selling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler from the Olivier-nominated company who brought us The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom live on stage; Morgan & West: More Magic for Kids, a wonderful show for ages 5+ presented by the time-travelling magicians full of crazy capers; Leaf by Half Moon, a warm, intimate and playful new piece for under 3s inspired by nature and the seasons; One Item Only, an eventful and uplifting story of hope and resilience where the human spirit triumphs, recommended for age 6+; Knock Knock, a moving modern folk story using physical theatre and mask, created to be completely inclusive to  both deaf and hearing audiences, ideal for ages 9+; and The Missing Light, an educating show for ages 7+ about hopes, dreams, togetherness and true friendship.

One Night Events

Wonderful one-nighters for the autumn includes: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, One Man Stranger Things: A Parody, An Evening of Eric and Ern, Ross Noble, Neil Oliver: The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places, The BBC Big Band: A Swinging Christmas, Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads and Eugene Onegin by OperaUpClose.


Main highlights in the Studio this autumn include: Beyond Shame, a Derby Theatre and Karma Nirvana co-production, a heart-wrenching story of survival which shines a light on the controversial issues of honour-based abuse and forced marriage inspired by the experiences of real survivors; Come As You Are, a festival of trans, non-binary and gender queer theatre that will celebrate and interrogate all the world’s issues regarding female, male, between and beyond produced in association with Camden People’s Theatre and 4.48 Psychosis, New Diorama Theatre and the award-winning Deafintely Theatre with their celebrated bilingual approach to Sarah Kane’s lyrical and haunting play about mental health.

Other Studio highlights include: Moving Bodies, a one man show which follows the story of one brave man, turning from soldier to grave digger during The Great War; Burning Books, a powerful and humorous look at an education system buckling under government cuts and targets; The Flop, an anarchic, slightly rude, hilarious slice of stupidity set in Paris, 1657 with live music and unfeasibly large wigs; Felicity Ward: Busting a Nut, a brand new show ready to bust with a nutful of jokes from the multi-award-winning comedian; Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord, a brutally honest and unflinching show about the state of society from the critically acclaimed comedian; DadMan: The Bathtime Warrior, part quiz, part story with live music, partly fantasy about not not baby-sitting your own kids; Pop Music, an epic journey through thirty years of pop with a wedding, a free bar (in the story!) and a blast from the past; Darren Harriott: Visceral, a brand new show from the exciting and emerging comedian looking at subverting stereotypes, everyday observations and the juicy topic of politics and Declaration, a vibrant and daring adventure that examines when we want, need or are forced to declare our differences and the different faces we wear to fit in.

Associate Artist Events

Maison Foo will produce and present A Thing Mislaid presented by Déda in association with Derby Theatre, a piece which explores themes of migration, journey and home told through storytelling, clowning and humour. As part of this production process, Maison Foo and Derby Theatre will also work with the Derby Refugee Advice Centre to make theatres welcoming spaces for Refugees and those currently seeking asylum. This event will be performed at Déda and must be booked through their Box Office, please call 01332 370911.

Not Too Tame will present Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out, an outrageous site-specific show inspired by British panto that will be performed in social clubs in the region where audiences are invited to grab a pint and their mistletoe, shake their tinsel and laugh their bloody baubles off.

Announcements for Spring 2019

We are also thrilled to announce some fantastic productions for our audiences to look forward to in spring 2019 – including: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz, a Derby Theatre and Pilot Theatre co-production, a captivating drama of love, revolution and what it means to grow up in a divided world; Asylum, a Derby Theatre in association with Tamasha production, a smart new domestic drama about family, refuge, secrets and lies which explores the selfishness of charitable acts and our relationship with those we deem ‘other’ and Avenue Q, winner of the Tony Awards’ ‘Triple Crown’ for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book which is part flesh, part felt and all heart, a laugh out loud show that’s had sell out runs on Broadway, in the West End and all across the UK.

Next Easter, we are also incredibly excited to announce that Derby Theatre will produce and present a thrilling adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, a magical theatrical adventure for ages 6+ and their friends and family with original music, outstanding actor-musicians and a stunning set and costumes. Each performance of The Jungle Book will have fully integrated BSL interpretation and will be captioned, making it perfect for hearing and deaf audiences.

Lots of Opportunities to Get Involved

In addition to the productions we produce and present, the Theatre also offers a wealth of opportunities for all ages to get involved in the work we do, including: Youth Theatre, Young Technicians, DT Ambassadors and Theatre Unwrapped, Work Experience plus much more. For more information about how you can get involved please visit our Get Involved pages.

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