Norwich Theatre is thrilled to announce its re-opening season including a celebration of women in theatre, exploring stories, experiences and creativity of those who identify as women. From the re-opening of its three buildings in September 2021, Norwich Theatre will present a programme of performances and activities platforming outstanding creatives and theatre makers and showcasing the amazing talent and diversity of women’s stories and voices.
SIX The Musical opens the season at Theatre Royal on 20 September. Nominated for 5 Olivier Awards, the 5-star show had its world premiere at Norwich Theatre Playhouse in 2018 and has been dubbed ‘the most uplifting piece of new British musical theatre (Evening Standard). The studio album is spectacularly successful in the UK pop charts, and now audiences will be able to experience the six wives of Henry VIII live on stage.
From 23 November, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World will visit the Playhouse. This brand new musical production from Kenny Wax (producer of SIX The Musical), follows a young woman who meets iconic women from history including Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst. Based on Kate Pankhurst’s smash-hit picture book the creative team includes Amy Hodge (director), Miranda Cooper (songwriter/lyrics), Jennifer Decilveo (songwriter/lyrics), and Chris Bush (lyrics/book).
Completing the line-up of strong female-led musicals, ‘The Dreams’ – Effie, Lorrell and Deena – will be coming to the Theatre Royal in May 2022. Directly from the West End, Dreamgirls tells the story of these talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s. A musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.
In Dance, from 20 October at Playhouse, Rambert2’s Double Bill features 11 early-career dancers with outstanding ability and individuality. This production unleashes their creative forces with Micaela Taylor’s brilliant Home and Sharon Eyal’s pulsating and uncompromisingly physical Killer Pig. Audiences can expect influences of hip hop, jazz, African dance and classical ballet in a totally fresh new dance show with all female choreographers. Rambert is a long-standing partner of Norwich Theatre.
A fantastic line-up of comedians joins the season, including Jenny Eclair, Sofie Hagen, Louisa Omielan, and Bridget Christie. Woman’s Hour legend Jenni Murray will host an evening of raw and honest conversation on what it’s like to be fat when society dictates that skinny is the norm. Songs and monologues of Joyce Grenfell, Ode to Joyce, is compiled and performed by Cheryl Knight, co-devised and directed by Paul Knight. One of the greatest female entertainers of the 20th Century, Joyce was loved world over for her hilarious and beautifully observed monologues and songs, becoming a great influence for comedians including Victoria Wood and Miranda Hart.
Alongside a celebration of women in theatre, the re-opening season also features a number of shows already on sale, including Disney’s classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Ronald Harwood’s riotously funny The Dresser starring Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly, and Northern Ballet’s magical Merlin as well as many more.
Other new shows on sale for 2022 today include hilariously funny spoof thriller Cluedo, two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and host of The Mash Report, Nish Kumar, and Fat Friends the musical, with further programming to be announced soon.
Wendy Ellis, Jane Walsh and Caroline Richardson, from Norwich Theatre Creative Programming Team, have brought together an exceptional wealth of talent and shows to keep Norwich Theatre’s audiences entertained, inspired and enriched as the organisation re-opens its doors.
Wendy Ellis, Norwich Theatre Creative Programmes Director, said:
“This season is a fantastic opportunity for us to illuminate and celebrate some of the women who inspire, lead, show resilience, passion and creativity in their role within the theatre industry. In placing the voices of women at the forefront, and giving visibility to their stories, this season celebrates all who identify as women in all of their humanity.”
Caroline Richardson, Norwich Theatre Playhouse Director, said:
“We have always rejoiced in the number of wonderful women who grace our stages. This new season, coming after such a long, sparse, dry time for theatre, brings back excitement, joy and sheer fun! We will see many strong women heading our new programme – come and safely enjoy live performance again!”
Jane Walsh, Norwich Theatre Programming Director & Executive Producer, said:
“It is so exciting to be finally announcing our re-opening season. Alongside showcasing the sassy wives of Henry VIII in SIX and the soulful powerhouses in Dreamgirls as part of our women in theatre season, we are welcoming back some long standing friends from Northern Ballet and Glyndebourne. Add in some comedy, drama and shows for our younger audience and we are truly back with a bang!”
On Sale From 10am:
Playhouse Shows Wed 19 May
Theatre Royal Shows Wed 19 May – GF/Corp/Supporters, Thu 20 May – Friends & Tue 25 May – General Public