Watford Palace Theatre Announces Autumn Season

Watford Palace Theatre Announces Autumn SeasonArtistic Director of Watford Palace Theatre, Brigid Larmour, today announces the Autumn Season with the centrepiece being the theatre's first produced Shakespeare in 10 years - Much Ado About Nothing with an all-female cast. Directed by Larmour, the production opens on 9 October with previews from 4 October and running until 27 October.

In a co-production with Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Rifco Theatre Company, Watford Palace Theatre present the world première of Gurpreet Kaur Batti's Dishoom!. Featuring songs from the smash hit Bollywood film Sholay, this comedy drama, directed by Pravesh Kumar, opens on 13 September before heading out on a UK tour.

The second production in the season directed by Larmour is Alan Ayckbourn's classic Absurd Person Singular. Starring Jill McAusland and Terence Frisch the production opens on 12 March with previews from 7 March.

February see the return of Arinzé Kene's good dog which made its premiere at Watford Palace Theatre in February 2017. Directed by Natalie Ibu, it runs from 31 January to 2 February.

For families this year, Watford Palace Theatres' Christmas show Jack and The Beanstalk returns to the theatre directed by James Williams. In addition, Roald Dahl's classic The Witches is presented by the Hertfordshire County Council youth theatre from 2 - 4 November.

Brigid Larmour, Artistic Director and Chief Executive 'As part of Watford Palace Theatre's 110th celebrations, I'm delighted to be directing this all-female production of Shakespeare's classic comedy. We're setting it in 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, inspired by the new roles women found themselves playing in the Services during the War. I have a personal connection here, as my mother Nancy worked with the codebreakers at Bletchley Park. Expect lots of vintage fun as we welcome you to a 40s atmosphere front of house, including Dogberry recruiting for Home Guard volunteers. There's a Watford link too: Jimmy Perry, one of my predecessors as Artistic Director here at the Palace, based the character of Pike in Dad's Army on his own youthful experiences in the Watford Home Guard. '

Rifco Theatre Company, Watford Palace Theatre Company and Oldham Coliseum Theatre Present


By Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti

Director: Pravesh Kumar

Press night: 13 September

Summer 1978, Simon and his friends should be looking forward to leaving school, but the National Front are on the streets, Simon's Bibi is ashamed of him and his Dad spends his life hiding in the pub. When Simon's cousin Baljit comes to stay, she introduces him to the Bollywood classic, Sholay. Inspired by the film's dynamic duo, Jai and Veeru, Simon and Baljit find their inner superheroes and set out to change their world forever.

From the producers of Miss Meena & the Masala Queens, The Deranged Marriage and Britain's Got Bhangra, Rifco Theatre Company and Watford Palace Theatre with Oldham Coliseum Theatre present a new play about friendship and courage. Featuring music from the iconic Bollywood hit Sholay.

Watford Palace Theatre Company Presents

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare

Director: Brigid Larmour

4 - 27 October

Press night: 9 October

Shakespeare's sparkling comedy of misunderstandings, given a 1940s twist! Beatrice and Benedick love to hate each other, but their friends suspect them of deeper feelings... War hero Claudio is madly in love with Beatrice's pretty young cousin, but how well does he really know her?

Set at the height of the Battle of Britain, our affectionate homage to the servicewomen of World War Two is a playful salute to the all-male productions of Shakespeare's own time. Join us and step back in time to a Palace transported to the 1940s, complete with sandbags, Gin and It, and a Home Guard recruitment stall...

Watford Palace Theatre Company presents

Jack and The Beanstalk

By Andrew Pollard

Director: James Williams; Designer: Cleo Pettitt

5 December - 5 January

8 December, 6pm

The most magical event of the year is back, full of all the ingredients you've come to love about the Watford Palace Theatre Pantomime... A lavish spectacle with live musicians on stage, stunning sets and costumes, song, dance and slapstick, performed straight from the heart by a talented company of new faces and Palace favourites. This year join Jack, Dame Trott and their traditional pantomime cow on the most giant adventure of all! The ultimate seasonal treat for you, your family and friends, created especially for you in Watford by our devoted team. Christmas wouldn't be the same without it!

Tiata Fahodzi and Tara Finney Productions in association with Watford Palace Theatre Company presents

good dog

By Arinzé Kene

Director: Natalie Ibu

31 January - 2 February

Mum's promised him that bike so when life bites, he knows to keep his head down. Everyone who's good gets what they deserve. Don't they? good dog - set during the early noughties - tells the story of growing up in a multicultural community, and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control. Delicately observed and fearlessly told by writer Arinzé Kene (Netflix's CrazyHead, Eastenders, Channel 4's Youngers, West End smash Girl >From the North Country, and Misty at the Bush Theatre), good dog returns to Watford following its acclaimed premiere run in February 2017.

Watford Palace Theatre presents

Absurd Person Singular

By Alan Ayckbourn

Director: Brigid Larmour

7 - 30 March

Press night: 12 March

It's Britain on the make in 1971 and backstage at the party, three marriages are in the pressure cooker. Sidney wants to play party games, but he also needs a loan from Ronald. Marion wants to go home, but definitely needs another drink. Eva would (literally) rather be dead, but Geoffrey's certain she'll be happier once he's left her. Meanwhile Jane's still in her Marigolds, desperately trying to keep the kitchen ship-shape. A hilarious vintage gem from a master of comedy. We're thrilled to announce that Palace Pantomime stars Jill McAusland (pictured right in her rubber gloves) and Terence Frisch (our delightful dame, like you've never seen him before) will be reuniting to lead the cast in this hilarious new production. Book early to enjoy this comic feast, full of 70s kitsch and marital misunderstandings...

Watford Palace Theatre aims to inspire and entertain through inventive, ambitious and inclusive drama, new plays, musicals, dance and family shows; free outdoor festivals; diverse stand-up; and a much-loved traditional pantomime. It aims to reflect its diverse communities, and fully represent women, both onstage and behind the scenes celebrating and developing creativity and skill in the community and its young people. The theatres locally produced shows and home-grown talent have toured nationally and internationally, been seen on BBC iPlayer, won awards and transferred to the West End. Watford Palace Theatre - inspiration on your doorstep.

Great stories that entertain, provoke and inspire, on stage and in the streets.

Recent productions include Broken Glass, Glasses, Miss Meena & the Masala Queens, I Capture the Castle, good dog, Folk, Wipers, Poppy+George, Coming Up, Jefferson's Garden, Love Me Do, An Intervention, Shiver, Virgin, Override, Jumpers for Goalposts, Our Brother David, Our Father and Family Business. Creative Associates are central to Watford Palace Theatre's vision these include Resident Partner Company Rifco Arts; Creative Associate Companies tiata fahodzi; Scamp Theatre and Up In Arms; and Creative Associates Kate Flatt; Shona Morris; Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti; Charlotte Keatley; Gary Owen, Ruari Murchinson and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

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