Rose Theatre to Reopen in June

Programming will feature: Theatre Royal Bath’s Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, Rhum and Clay Theatre Company’s The War of The Worlds and more.

By: May. 05, 2021
Rose Theatre to Reopen in June

Rose Theatre has announced it is reopening its doors once again on 27 June 2021. Following three national lockdowns, the Rose is reopening to the public with a series of summer shows and events, including:

The International Youth Arts Festival by Creative Youth from 1 July 2021

Theatre Royal Bath's Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, directed by Emma Howlett and starring Philip Arditti, Haydn Gwynne and Malcolm Sinclair, playing 20 - 24 July 2021

Rhum and Clay Theatre Company's The War of The Worlds from 28 July - 1 August 2021

Additional performances announced for Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's Zog in August

A Shakespeare in the Sun Festival and the return of our popular Summer Schools programme as part of our learning and participation branch, Rose Participate.

Rose Chief Executive Robert O'Dowd said:

"I am very pleased to be able to confirm our summer reopening plans today, following what has been an extraordinarily difficult year for theatre. All of us at the Rose look forward to welcoming back artists and audiences."

This season of shows is launching on a socially distanced basis. We await updates on Step 4 of the Government's roadmap and hope to reopen safely at full capacity. Even if measures do allow a return to full capacity, socially distanced performances will be available for most shows in the season. Check the individual show listings for details. Our audiences' safety and wellbeing will always be at the forefront of our planning.

Artistic Director Chris Haydon's first season will be announced soon for autumn 2021.

The summer programming is as follows:

Live at the Rose with Ed Gamble

27 June 2021

In association with Avalon

Join us for the latest in our series of live comedy at the Rose, as we continue to bring you the very best line-ups featuring some of your favourite stars.

Ed Gamble is known as a regular on Mock the Week (BBC Two) and for being the co-creator and co-host of the incredibly successful mega-hit podcast Off Menu with James Acaster. He was crowned the series nine champion of the hugely popular television show Taskmaster (UKTV/Channel 4), and his other appearances include Live at the Apollo (BBC Two) and The Russell Howard Hour (Sky).

Flo & Joan are a multi-award winning musical comedy duo who you must see live. They have headlined and played to sold-out audiences across the UK, North America and Australia. Their hour-long special is now streaming in over 200 countries on Amazon Prime. The pair have appeared on Live at the Apollo (BBC Two) and The Royal Variety Performance 2019 (ITV), are regulars on Radio 4, and their songs regularly go viral online racking up millions of views, most recently with The 2020 Song and A Song for Anti-Vaxxers.

Your host for the evening is Travis Jay. A creative, animated, and intelligent performer, Travis has built a reputation as an entertaining and sometimes controversial storyteller. Nominated for Comedian of the Year at the Leicester Comedy Festival, he made his Edinburgh debut in 2019, has since featured on Comedy Central and is now one of the hottest acts on the live comedy circuit.


28 - 30 June 2021

Written by Apphia Campbell and Meredith Yarbrough, this award-winning production is a new story about the 20th Century African American experience.

The play follows two women's fight for civil rights. One is notorious Black Panther Assata Shakur; the other, a present-day university student enrolling as the Ferguson riots begin.

Set against a powerful soundtrack of original music and traditional gospel and blues sung live, the two women challenge the American justice system, become criminalised through political activism, and ultimately are faced with the same choice: stay and fight, or flee?

Woke won the coveted Scotsman Fringe First Award for its premiere season, and was highly commended by the judges of the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award.

Apphia Campbell is the creator of the hit show Black is the Color of My Voice, which toured to sold-out audiences in Shanghai, New York, the UK and at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

International Youth Arts Festival

2 - 11 July 2021

International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) celebrates the return of live performance in 2021 with a summer filled with theatre, circus, puppetry, music and more by talented emerging artists from across the country. (Full programme to be released shortly.)

IYAF welcomes audiences back to Rose Theatre for the 13th annual Festival. Festival Director, Petra Jane Tauscher said: "After this difficult year here is the chance for young people and families to enjoy the spectacle of theatre again with this year's festival highlight, Hotel Paradiso, a critically acclaimed, hilarious and fun circus spectacular for all the family."

Hotel Paradiso

09 - 11 July 2021

International Youth Arts Festival presents

Presented by Lost in Translation in association with Jacksons Lane and The Oak Circus Centre

Check into the quirkily ineffective Hotel Paradiso with Lost in Translation's highly acclaimed family production.

Spectacular circus skills blend seamlessly with physical comedy and theatrical storytelling in this colourful, loud and hilarious show. Expect heart-stopping aerial, stunning acrobatics and extraordinary juggling with thrills, laughs and drama for all the family.

The Three Musketeers: A Comedy Adventure

16 - 17 July 2021

Le Navet Bete and Exeter Northcott Theatre presents

From the award-winning Le Navet Bete, creators of the smash-hit show Dracula: The Bloody Truth, comes a comedy adventure that will have you rolling with laughter from here to the French countryside!

Armed with only a baguette and his questionable steed join hot-headed d'Artagnan as he travels to Paris to become a musketeer. Will things go to plan? It's unlikely! Featuring hilarious heroics, raucous romances and some bonkers fun with BMX bikes, Le Navet Bete condense Dumas' 700-page classic into two hours of non-stop comedy gold.

Supported by a top notch band of brothers and sisters including long-time co-conspirator (and funny man director) John Nicholson (Peepolykus, BBC Radio 4) internationally renowned choreographer Lea Anderson MBE (The Cholmondeleys) and critically acclaimed set designer Ti Green (Touching the Void Bristol Old Vic/ national tour) this show is company's biggest and most riotous to date.

Rose Participate presents Shakespeare in the Sun

17 - 18 July 2021

Rose Youth Theatre's first live performance of 2021!

Join us for a two-day outdoor Shakespeare Festival in the scenic grounds of Claremont Fan Court School. Expect an afternoon of immersive entertainment followed by evening double bills of The Tempest & Twelfth Night - Shakespeare's tales of love, loss and fantastical islands. There will be stalls, workshops and raffles, all fundraising for our wonderful Youth Theatre Bursary.

Bring your friends, bring your families and bring your picnics!


20 - 24 July 2021

A Theatre Royal Bath Production

Written by Michael Frayn, originally directed by Polly Findlay

Starring Philip Arditti, Haydn Gwynne and Malcolm Sinclair

In Nazi occupied Copenhagen in 1941, a clandestine encounter took place between two Nobel Prize winning physicists, Dane Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, a German. The men were old friends and long-term colleagues, but now found themselves on opposite sides of the divide.

Under the watchful eye of Bohr's wife, Margrethe, Frayn speculates on the debates which might have taken place, an exchange of transformative ideas which had huge implications for both the Nazis and the Allies, and for our world today.

This totally absorbing historical detective story, conjured from a smattering of scientific facts, is a daring, fascinating and stimulating drama that enjoyed a hugely acclaimed run at The National Theatre before transferring to the West End and Broadway and winning the 2000 Tony Award for Best New Play.

Rose Participate presents Summer Schools

26 July -28 August 2021

Rose Youth Theatre will open its doors for our summer schools season once again. Young people aged 7 - 10 have the chance to take part in our fun filled three-day course. Those over 11 have the chance to be part of a play rehearsed and performed in a week. This year we will also introduce our CREATE YOUR OWN play in a week for one week only where students will work with a director to devise their very own brand-new production.

The War of the Worlds

28 July - 1 August 2021

Presented by Rhum and Clay Theatre Company, written with Isley Lynn

Directed by Hamish Macdougall and Julian Spooner

"No-one would have believed in the early years of the twentieth century that this world was being watched..."

But we did believe.

We believed that Martians landed in New Jersey. We believed a water tower was an alien war machine. We believed a man walked on the moon. We believe everything the internet tells us and now the end of the world is being broadcast live...

There is nothing more alluring than a good story. When Orson Welles adapted The War of the Worlds, he wanted to create a thrilling radio drama that would 'feel' real. In fact, it felt so real that it caused hysteria amongst a public just getting used to the outside world invading their living rooms via the radio. Fast forward to 2021, and the internet has replaced the radio as the medium through which we make sense of the world. We remain just as susceptible...

Inspired by H.G. Wells' sci-fi novel and Orson Welles' classic radio play, this legendary science fiction thriller is playfully reimagined for our era of Fake News and 'alternative facts'.


4 - 11 August 2021

Written by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Large in size and keen in nature, Zog is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon's school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet...a duel with knight, Sir Gadabout the Great!

The smash-hit stage adaptation from Freckle Productions (the team behind Stick Man, Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Tabby McTat) is back and promises to be bigger, brighter and more roar-some than ever before! With lively songs from Joe Stilgoe (The Jungle Book, The Midnight Gang) and directed by Emma Kilbey, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's much-loved Zog is a magical production for all ages.

Educating Rita

17 - 21 August 2021

David Pugh presents a Theatre by the Lake production

Written by one of our greatest ever playwrights Willy Russell and starring one of our best loved actors Stephen Tompkinson as Frank and introducing Jessica Johnson as Rita. This production, directed by Max Roberts of Live Theatre, has garnered rave reviews and returns to the Rose for one final time this August.

When married hairdresser Rita enrols on a university course to expand her horizons, little does she realise where the journey will take her.

Her tutor Frank is a frustrated poet, brilliant academic and dedicated drunk who's less than enthusiastic about taking Rita on but when these two people come together they soon realise how much they have to teach each other.

This hilarious and heart-warming comedy won the Olivier Award when it was produced in London's West End by the RSC and was adapted into the multi award-winning film which starred Julie Walters and Michael Caine.

Photo credit: Rachael Lowndes