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Storyhouse Reveals Spring 2020 Season Programme

Storyhouse Reveals Spring 2020 Season Programme

The first phase of exciting shows heading to Storyhouse in Chester for spring 2020 have been announced.

Next season has a strong focus on comedy, dance and musicals, as well as shows for younger audiences to guarantee a real family experience.

The new season starts in January, making it the ideal time for festive gift ideas to visit Storyhouse in the New Year to experience a live show.

Season highlights include the return of Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet this time presenting the stunning Swan Lake; comedy from female trio Fascinating Aida; the new stage production of The Sound Of Music; and a real musical treat from the BBC Big Band performing The Music Of Bond.

Storyhouse's Season 11 of original drama continues in February and March with new adaptations of black comedy The Suicide; psychological thriller Miss Julie; and Jess Swale's acclaimed drama Blue Stockings.

The new season gets off to a fun start in 2020 with Peter Pan Goes Wrong from Tuesday 21 January to Sunday 26 January 2020.

Storyhouse welcomes Mischief Theatre for a third visit following successful runs with The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery - this time they present Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are back on stage battling technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes. Will they ever make it Neverland? This is no pantomime, but audiences should expect a riotous take on this timeless JM Barrie tale.

There is also a welcome return for Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet who present the spectacular production Swan Lake from Thursday 30 January to Saturday 1 February 2020.

Swan Lake tells the story of Prince Siegfried and the Swan Princess, a tragic tale of love that triumphs over evil. The world's most romantic ballet is magnificently brought to life by Tchaikovsky's stunning score, performed by a live orchestra. The acclaimed company combines classical training and technique with outstanding soloists.

Madame Ovary on Friday 7 February 2020 features Rosa Hesmondhalgh in this moving, uplifting play being staged in the Garret Theatre.

It's January 2018 and Rosa Hesmondhalgh is writing her New Year's resolutions. She vows to stop dating plonkers, start doing yoga, and write - but before she's had time to delete her dating apps and start practising those yoga moves, her world changes. She is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Suddenly faced with hospitals, chemotherapy and her own mortality, Rosa's new goal for the year ahead is to survive it. Madame Ovary is Rosa's experience.

The Storyhouse Originals Season 11 starts on Saturday 8 February 2020 and runs through to Sunday 15 March. The run features three productions - The Suicide, Miss Julie, and Blue Stockings - performance days and times vary.

The Suicide focuses on Simon and his dream to play the tuba. When that fails, he contemplates his own end. What should be a simple tragedy, becomes a total farce - and now everyone is out to profit from his misery. A classic Russian comedy.

Miss Julie is a new adaptation of August Strindberg's thrilling psychological drama. Amy Ng presents this newly politically-charged version for Storyhouse. Set at Chinese New Year in 1940s Hong Kong, Julie is the daughter of the island's British Governor. With her father away for the weekend, Julie heads downstairs to join the servants as they party. The result is a fight for survival among power, money and race.

Blue Stockings is set in 1896, Tess Moffat and her fellow first-years are determined to win the right to graduate from university. This acclaimed drama by Jessica Swale, tells the story of four defiant young women battle the cruelty of class divides, the distractions of love, and the men ready to do anything to stop them as they fight to change the future of education.

The season's exciting comedy line-up starts with Josh Widdicombe - Bit Much Tour on Thursday 26 March 2020, followed the next evening by Jack Dee: Off The Telly on Friday 27 March 2020.

Josh Widdicombe's Bit Much Tour has been extended due to phenomenal demand. Described as a show that will change lives and how theatregoers perceive their place in the world - with plenty of laughs and Josh grumbles about hot comedy topics. Josh is best known for the twice BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning show The Last Leg, as well as his critically acclaimed sitcom Josh, panel shows QI, Have I Got New For You, A League of Their Own, and podcast Quickly Kevin Will He Score.

Jack Dee: Off The Telly is back on tour - and tickets for his Storyhouse date have already sold out. As well as his comedy status, Jack has starred in TV sitcoms Bad Move, Lead Balloon and Josh; Jack Dee's Helpdesk, The Jack Dee Show, Jack Dee's Saturday Night, Jack Dee's Happy Hour, and Jack Dee Live at the Apollo.

Poet Hollie McNish presents an evening of readings on Saturday 28 March 2020.

With fans ranging from Emma Watson, Pink and Benjamin Zephaniah, poet Hollie McNish has attracted millions of fans through her online poetry readings on YouTube. Famously, she was the first poet to record at London's iconic Abbey Road Studios. Hollie has toured the UK and Europe, and has published three poetry collections - Papers, Cherry Pie, and Plum. Hollie will host a booksigning after the show, books will be available to buy.

Multi-award winning comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean continues the comedy theme on Saturday 28 March 2020 in the Garret Theatre.

Known for her appearances on Have I Got News for You, Live At The Apollo, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Frankie Boyle's New World Order, Kiri Pritchard-McLean brings her fourth full-length show to Storyhouse. Not afraid of tackling hard-hitting subjects, Kiri has a talent which will turn even the most serious topic on its head.

Making their Storyhouse debut on Sunday 29 March 2020 is the BBC Big Band with The Music Of James Bond.

Joined by special guest vocalists Emer McParland and Iain Mackenzie, the internationally acclaimed BBC Big Band jazz orchestra will celebrate the music of the world's most iconic movie franchise, James Bond. The programme will feature classics Diamonds Are Forever, Thunderball, View To A Kill and Goldfinger, as well as contemporary numbers from the James Bond library including Adele's incredible Skyfall ­- and not forgetting John Barry'sa??iconic James Bond theme.

Storyteller and comedian Mark Thomas presents his new show 50 Things About Us on Saturday 4 April 2020.

Mark Thomas uses his trademark style of storytelling and stand-up to entertain. New show, 50 Things About Us, is about a whole host of subjects including songs, gongs, loot, tradition, wigs, statues, art, and identity - and is dubbed a funny national edition of Who Do You Think You Are?

With hysterical songs, Fascinating Aïda are back on tour and visiting Storyhouse on Sunday 5 April 2020.

The Fascinating Aïda trio of Dillie Keane, Adèle Anderson and Liza Pulman return to the stage with a selection of old favourites and new additions - but all hilarious and topical. With three Olivier Award nominations and more than 25 million YouTube and Facebook hits for Cheap Flights and their risqué Christmas song, it's a show not to miss.

English Touring Opera returns to Storyhouse between Tuesday 7 April and Thursday 9 April 2020 with a repertoire of thrilling shows.

Handel's Giulio Cesare opens the run on Tuesday 7 April 2020. A story of passion and revenge, featuring a treasure trove of great arias with immense dramatic intensity. The opera follows the events surrounding Julius Caesar's conquest of Egypt and his uneasy alliance and romance with Cleopatra. There will be a pre-show talk at 6.30pm in the Garret Theatre. The opera is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Next is Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte on Wednesday 8 April 2020. This combination of glorious music and farcical comedy make this story of young love a favourite. It is thought to be Mozart's most perfect opera, and was his third collaboration with librettist Da Ponte, following their successes with The Marriage Of Figaro and Don Giovanni. There will be a pre-show talk at 6.30pm in the Garret Theatre. The opera is sung in English with English surtitles.

Bach's St John Passion completes the run on Thursday 9 April 2020. This performance will be immersive and semi-staged. Professional soloists perform with more than 30 choirs from across the country as well as period orchestra, the Old Street Band, for this distinctive and reimagined production. The opera is sung in English and German with English surtitles.

Britain's Got Talent 2019 finalist Ben Hart visits Chester as part of his debut solo tour on Saturday 11 April 2020.

The West End star and multi-award-winning magician was described by BGT judge David Walliams as "the living embodiment of magic". He has since gone on to perform for Royalty, heads of state, celebrities, as well as in the West End, international arenas, and numerous television appearances. Audiences can expect mind-blowing and exciting magic using the simplest of props.

A season highlight is Bill Kenwright stage show The Sound Of Music, which runs from Tuesday 14 April through to Saturday 18 April 2020.

One of the greatest musicals of all time, this Roger's And Hammerstein classic returns to the stage in a magnificent production to enchant theatregoers of all ages. Based on Baroness Maria von Trapp's 1949 autobiography, this lavish staging of The Sound Of Music tells the true story of the world-famous singing family. The unforgettable score features timeless classics Edelweiss, My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, and of course, The Sound of Music. Casting will be announced shortly.

Fun duo Morgan & West present family show Unbelievable Science on Sunday 19 April 2020.

Morgan & West present captivating chemistry, phenomenal physics, and bonkers biology in this fun family science extravaganza. The pair have a secret past - they are genuine scientists, who now bring their love of enlightenment to the stage. On television, Morgan & West have fooled Penn & Teller; competed to be the Next Great Magician; and even attempted to escape The Slammer.

Body positivity is high on the agenda for show Beach Body Ready on Friday 24 April 2020 in the Garret Theatre.

Join The Roaring Girls for a defiantly feel-good show about body image - and audiences are invited to celebrate how they look and feel. As part of the Storyhouse Women weekend, the cast will be joined by Emi Lou Howe from BodEquality for a post-show chat about body positivity.

In a sneak preview of the summer 2020 programme, Storyhouse has also unveiled two exciting new shows - comedian Stewart Lee in June and family spectacular Dragons & Mythical Beasts in July.

Stewart Lee presents a double-bill on Sunday 21 June 2020 of two new 60-minute sets entitled Tornado and Snowflake, posing topical comedic questions and demolishing liberal views through the eyes of a giant from stand-up.

Dragons & Mythical Beasts on Wednesday 15 July and Thursday 16 July 2020 will see youngsters invited to enter into a magical world of myths and legends in this new interactive family show. The show comes from the creators of the West End smash hit, Dinosaur World Live, which also came to Storyhouse in April 2018. Expect magnificent monsters, terrifying beasts, adorable unicorns, and majestic griffins.

Storyhouse Artistic Director Alex Clifton commented: "We enter the new decade with another diverse programme that will welcome some of the world's finest performers and productions to Chester. During our Season 11 of original drama, we are proud to offer a season of shows that celebrates our creative communities and tells powerful personal stories about living here and now. We can't wait to welcome audiences old and new back to Storyhouse."

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