Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Hangman's tale and outlaw deeds part of Dukes 2013 spring season

Albert Pierrepoint - the focus of a
new drama at The Dukes
Famous names past and present play their part in The Dukes forthcoming season – and outlaw Robin Hood and England’s most famous hangman, Albert Pierrepoint, are central characters in two 2013 Dukes productions.

For its return to walkabout theatre in Lancaster’s Williamson Park, The Dukes has chosen Robin Hood, an all-new actionpacked production, running from 5th July 10th August 2013.

Robin Hood ends a season which begins with The Dukes co-production of Pierrepoint – The Hangman’s Tale from 31st January until 23rd February.

This play about England’s last hangman tells how Pierrepoint combined his job as a Lancashire pub landlord with being the country’s official executioner.

The Dukes second production of the season is Savage Children which features two plays. Mirad, Boy From Bosnia (21st - 22nd May) and Wild Girl (23rd - 25th May) are about children from very different worlds, based on real historical events and question the notions of family, freedom and children’s rights.

Making their Dukes debuts in 2013 are the nationally renowned company, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory with their full cast production of Two Gentlemen of Verona from 7th - 11th May; and Northern Ballet, one of the UK’s premier ballet companies with their bite-sized, child friendly show Ugly Duckling on 5th April.

The Waving Cat of Japan featuring sign language arts, puppets and traditional Japanese imagery is another treat for young children on 25th May.

Northern Broadsides return on 19th - 23rd February with Rutherford & Son directed by Jonathan Miller. This unflinching portrayal of an industrial Edwardian family stars Wendi Peters, who played Cilla Battersby Brown in Coronation Street.

Comedy continues its popular run at The Dukes with Jason Manford’s show in May already sold out. Other laughtermakers lined up are Hardeep Singh Kohli (1st March); Zoe Lyons (20th March) and John Shuttleworth (22nd March).

Agony aunt Virginia Ironside is Growing Old Disgracefully on 2nd May in one of two Listen Up at The Dukes events this season which also features recordbreaking British mountaineer, Kenton Cool on 27th February.

And the best of the Edinburgh Fringe is brought to Lancaster on 23rd - 24th April with The Trench, an awardwinning new play set in World War One.

Performances by and for young people are also an important strand of The Dukes new season.

University of Cumbria students return with Lady Windermere’s Fan from 16th - 19th January and Equus from 23rd - 26th January.

And Wasted, a play by Kate Tempest, the UK’s most exciting performance poet, on 12th March is followed on 25th March by Whole, a play about a group of Liverpool teenagers.

Also in March, The Dukes Senior Youth Theatre present We Lost Elijah as part of the 2013 National Theatre Connections Festival and the two Lancaster grammar schools Return to the Forbidden Planet.

The Dukes Young Actors & Young Company, who stormed the theatre with The Unsociables last spring, perform their version of Hamlet from 16th - 20th April.

Lancashire Youth Dance Festival is staged in May and The Dukes Shattering Images Theatre Company for young adults with learning disabilities present Diamonds Aren’t Forever in July.

At the other end of the age range, The Dukes collaboration with Age UK continues this spring with Mind Walking (27th-28th March), which combines aerial performance with an emotionally charged story about the enduring love of a mature couple.

The Dukes musical offering this spring continues to be varied. Wired In has proved so popular that it’s moved to The Round on 11th March and 22nd April.

Also striking a musical note this season are N’DOdO, Iain Hunter’s reincarnation of Afro/Jazz/Rock group NO DODO from the Nineties (16th March); Hope & Social, described by The Independent as one of the UK’s top five bands (30th April); and the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, whose rousing repertoire features a performance by a genuine Fakir on 4th May.

To book tickets for any of the new season events, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit

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