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There’s never a dull month when it comes to theatre in the Midlands. Check out our selection of shows coming to venues across the region during the next few weeks...

​CHARLES DICKENS' THE HAUNTING

Charles Dickens’ ghost stories are the inspiration for this spine-chiller of a play from Hugh Janes. 

Employed by a former associate of his uncle to catalogue a private library, book dealer David Filde encounters more than he bargained for when he visits a crumbling mansion on a desolate moorland...

New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, until Saturday 15 June

Charles Dickens' The Haunting


FRANKIE GOES TO BOLLYWOOD

Frankie never wanted to be a star; she just wanted a family. But after a chance encounter with an up-and-coming director, she finds herself transported to Bollywood...

Described as a breathtakingly colourful journey of romance, sweeping songs and vibrant dance, Frankie Goes To Bollywood has been inspired by real stories of British women who’ve been ‘caught in the spotlight of the biggest film industry in the world’.

The show is a Rifco Theatre Company, Watford Palace Theatre and HOME Manchester co-production.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, until Saturday 15 JuneBelgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 2 - Saturday 6 July

Frankie Goes To Bollywood


THE WIZARD OF OZ

Craig Revel Horwood (Hippodrome) and The Vivienne (Grand Theatre) star as the Wicked Witch of the West alongside Aston Merrygold as the Tin Man in this classic story from the imagination of L Frank Baum.  

A marvellous mix of magic, mayhem and munchkins, the terrific tale tells the story of Kansas resident Dorothy Gale and her unexpected trip over the rainbow to the colourful land of Oz. 

Once there - and accompanied by a literally brainless scarecrow, a tin man who’s missing a heart and a cowardly lion in urgent need of some courage - she determines to travel along the Yellow Brick Road, visit the Emerald City, and ask the Wonderful Wizard of Oz to help her find her way back home to Kansas... 
Only trouble is, the aforementioned Wicked Witch of the West has other, far more sinister plans for her...

Featuring the iconic original score from the Oscar-winning MGM film - including Follow The Yellow Brick Road, We’re Off To See The Wizard, and of course Over The Rainbow - this hit show visits the Midlands direct from the London Palladium and includes additional songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Birmingham Hippodrome, until Sunday 16 June; Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tuesday 30 July - Sunday 4 August

The Wizard of Oz


WINDRUSH: THE JOURNEY

With a well-deserved reputation for championing diverse talent in opera, Pegasus turn their attention to the journey of Windrush, showcasing a tapestry of music and storytelling while at the same time celebrating three Black classical composers: Chevalier de Saint Georges, Richard Thompson and Des Oliver... 

A free exhibition, featuring photographs, music and local Windrush testimony, will be on display at the Hippodrome during the week of the show.  

Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome, Thursday 13 - Saturday 15 June 

Windrush: The Journey

 


ZOG AND THE FLYING DOCTORS

Freckle Productions’ hugely popular stage version of the much-loved Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler story finds accident-prone dragon Zog providing an air-ambulance service with the assistance of his ‘flying doctor’ crew - namely, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout. But Pearl’s uncle, the king, doesn’t believe that princesses should be doctors, so before too long she finds herself locked up in the castle and once again forced to wear a crown and a ‘silly frilly dress’. Needless to say, help is soon at hand...

Crewe Lyceum Theatre, Friday 14 - Saturday 16 June; William Aston Hall, Wrexham, Saturday 22 - Sunday 23 June

Zog and the Flying Doctors


PSYCHEDELIGHT: MOHAND & PETER

Mohand Hasb Alrosol Abdalrahem and Peter Pearson visit Birmingham with this critically acclaimed play, a family-friendly work of physical theatre which celebrates the country and culture of Sudan, the home of refugee Mohand.

“Every day for the past five years, I witnessed how much my cast miss their homes,” says Sophie Bertrand Besse, whose participatory theatre company, PSYCHEdelight, is producing the show. “I saw pictures of beautiful lakes, mountains and ancient buildings; videos of family gatherings, birthdays and silly cats. I Facetimed brothers, sisters, but also nieces and nephews - those kids that we spoil at weekends but that the people I work with have never held in their arms because they are not allowed to go back. Not for a wedding, not for a funeral, never. Their country is not just a war zone or a Taliban nest, it’s their homes. With Mohand and Peter, we aim to celebrate them.”   

Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham, Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 June

PSYCHEdelight: Mohand & Peter


THE MASSIVE TRAGEDY OF MADAME BOVARY

Vermin, visual absurdity, wild animals and a nun are brought together in Ha Hum Ah and Minack Theatre’s version of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. 

Described by its publicity as irreverent, irrepressible and irresistible, the production sees four actors battling ‘hilarious mishaps and misbehaving props to tell the (massively) tragic story’ of a woman who’s desperately in need of a little fun in her life. 

Lichfield Garrick, Monday 17 & Tuesday 18 June  

The Massive Tragedy Of Madame Bovary

 


ODDSOCKS: JULIUS CAESAR

When Roman emperor Caesar is assassinated by a group of prominent senators, one of his staunchest supporters, Mark Antony, manages not only to turn the crowd against the conspirators but also to defeat them in battle... 

But let’s avoid getting too bogged down in the whys and wherefores of Shakespeare’s extremely serious tale of conspiracy and bloody murder - given that it’s here being presented by zany funsters Oddsocks! 
The ever-entertaining band of theatricals are promising their audiences thrills and spills aplenty, including the tearing of togas, the swishing of swords, some splendidly preposterous puppetry and the biggest battle scene ever created by five actors. 

In short, it’s time to brace yourself for the kind of laughs you have no right to expect in a production of Julius Caesar... 

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Monday 17 - Wednesday 19 JuneAvoncroft Museum, Bromsgrove, Wednesday 26 JuneBowring Park, Telford, Sunday 7 JulyCompton Verney, Warwickshire, Thursday 12 JulyVictoria Gardens, Tewkesbury, Sunday 14 JulyBrueton Park, Solihull, Tuesday 13 August  

Oddsocks: Julius Caesar


THE SYNDICATE

With their jobs and livelihoods under threat, five supermarket workers have a stroke of luck when their lottery syndicate numbers come in. But will a share of the jackpot make their dreams come true - or their nightmares a reality?... This stage adaptation of the popular Kay Mellor-written television series is being directed by the late playwright’s daughter, the actress Gaynor Faye. 

“Mum’s shoes are big ones to fill,” says Gaynor, “but I understand what her vision was for this production because I had been by her side from the very beginning. I’m excited for everyone to see it.”

The show stars two familiar faces from the world of television soap operas: Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster in Coronation Street) and Samantha Giles (Emmerdale’s Bernice Blackstock).  

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, Tuesday 18 - Saturday 22 June; The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tuesday 25 - Saturday 29 June

The Syndicate


KYOTO

Written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Kyoto is being produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with Good Chance - of which the aforementioned Joes are founders and co-artistic directors. The organisation started life in the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in the mid-2010s, where thousands of people were waiting for their ‘good chance’ to reach the UK. When the Joes visited the camp, they decided to build a dome theatre there, so that people of all nationalities could come together to share stories, music and art. 

Having since enjoyed a major critical success with a play about the refugee experience (The Jungle), Murphy and Robertson have now turned their attention to another highly topical subject: climate change... 
Described as a fast-paced political thriller, their new play takes audiences into the heart of the historic 1997 climate summit, which took place in the Japanese city of Kyoto (hence the title). 

With time running out, the world’s nations scrabble to agree the first-ever legally binding emissions targets. They’re desperate to get the deal signed, sealed and delivered - but American oil lobbyist and master strategist Don Pearlman has other ideas... 

Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Tuesday 18 June - Saturday 13 July

Kyoto


AUSTEN'S WOMEN: LADY SUSAN

Tudor queen. Shell-shocked soldier. Hollywood icon... Dyad Productions’ Rebecca Vaughan portrays a dazzlingly diverse array of characters in her critically acclaimed solo shows. With previous theatrical offerings having included Elizabeth, Female Gothic and A Room Of One’s Own, Rebecca now returns with a brand-new show about Lady Susan Vernon, the coquettish, black-widow protagonist of an early novella by Jane Austen, believed to have been written in 1794 but not published until 1871.

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, Wednesday 19 June

Austen’s Women: Lady Susan


THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA

Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairytale is here given an imaginative makeover by the New Vic’s artistic director, Theresa Heskins, who has not only adapted the story but also co-helms the production. 
Directing alongside her is Vicki Dela Amedume, who previously collaborated with Theresa on Astley’s Astounding Adventures. As with that critically acclaimed show, leading circus practitioner Vicki will be bringing her expertise to this latest production’s ‘breathtaking acrobatics and clowning’. 
The Princess And The Pea is suitable for children aged two-plus.

New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Wednesday 19 - Saturday 29 June

The Princess And The Pea


TWELFTH NIGHT: A CORNISH DELIGHT

Comedian Seann Walsh takes on the coveted role of Malvolio in this Stafford Festival Shakespeare production, the second to be performed in the Gatehouse theatre rather than outdoors in the grounds of the town’s castle. 

As with many Shakespeare comedies, Twelfth Night is based on a case of mistaken identity, with Viola disguising herself as a boy and causing all manner of awkward romantic shenanigans. However, the play’s continuing popularity can mainly be attributed to its hilarious (well, by Shakespeare’s standards anyway) comic sub-plot, in which the merciless Sir Toby Belch and his foolish companion, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, seek to humiliate the pompous Malvolio (and achieve their aim in fine style)... 

As the show’s subtitle makes clear, this particular version of Twelfth Night comes complete with a Cornish theme. 
Natalie Anderson and the Bafta-winning Molly Windsor also star.

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Friday 21 June - Sunday 7 July

Twelfth Night: A Cornish Tale


IN THE NIGHT GARDEN LIVE!

If your little ones are big fans of the much-loved CBeebies television series, they’re certain to adore this live version as well. And it’s not only the kids who’re in love with the stage shows; according to audience surveys and parents’ reviews, nine out of 10 adults consider In The Night Garden Live to be a five-star theatrical experience. 

The show lasts for 55 interval-free minutes, sees Igglepiggle looking for his friends in the Night Garden (by following their funny sounds), and features a very special visit from ‘the amazing flying Pinky Ponk’.

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Friday 21 & Saturday 22 June; Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, Wednesday 4 & Friday 5 September

In the Night Garden Live


RUSH

Subtitled A Joyous Jamaican Journey, Rush is written and narrated by John Simmit and features ska, rock steady, calypso, gospel, lovers rock, dancehall and Reggae music, all played live by the JA Reggae Band.  

The Rep, Birmingham, Tuesday 25 - Saturday 29 June

Rush


SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

The Burton-based Little Theatre Company here present a stage version of the Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard-scribed Oscar-winning film of the same name. 

The story finds the usually brilliant bard of Stratford struggling with writer’s block. Meanwhile, Viola De Lesseps - desperate to be an actor even though women are forbidden to be on stage - disguises herself as a boy and auditions for Will’s new play. When the two meet by chance, the encounter becomes the inspiration for one of the greatest love stories ever told... 

Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton upon Trent, Tuesday 25 - Saturday 29 June

Shakespeare In Love


PARTY GAMES!

With a general election on the not-too-distant horizon, what better time to check out a play about the chaos of government and the state of politics in the UK? 

It’s the year 2026, and John Waggner, the newly elected leader of the centrist and hastily formed One Nation Party, presides over a hung parliament, a discontented electorate and a workforce of striking cheese makers.

He and his power-hungry MPs must cling onto authority through whatever shaky means possible. Can one man, a Svengali spin doctor and some dodgy data unite the country? And what role can his wife, the King and a large spider play in keeping the lights on? This acerbic new comedy stars Matthew Cottle, Debra Stephenson and Ryan Early.

Malvern Theatres, Tuesday 25 - Saturday 29 June

Party Games!


THE MOUSETRAP

Not only has everybody heard of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, everybody’s seen the show as well - haven’t they?... 

Okay, maybe not, but as the production recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, it’s fair to say its capacity to put bums on seats is absolutely beyond question. 

Not surprisingly the world’s longest-running show, its touring version is now making a welcome return to the Midlands. EastEnders’ Todd Carty top-bills in Shrewsbury, and is then joined in Wolverhampton by Only Fools And Horses favourite Gwyneth Strong.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tuesday 25 - Saturday 29 June 

The Mousetrap


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

Anybody turning up at the Gatehouse expecting to see a conventional version of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest is in for a bit of a surprise. Sure, the show is based on Wilde’s oft-performed Victorian comedy, but the company behind it, the interestingly named Say It Again, Sorry?, have very much put their own interactive spin on events. 

When a traditional production of Earnest gets under way, everything seems to be going according to plan… until, that is, the lead actor fails to arrive on cue. His non-appearance sees the situation quickly descend into chaos, with the company desperately needing the audience’s assistance as they battle to get the performance back on track...

Lichfield Garrick, Thursday 27 - Saturday 29 June

The Importance of Being… Earnest?


UNFORTUNATE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF URSULA THE WITCH

Marketed as a tell-all tale of sex, sorcery and suckers, Unfortunate has a subtitle that makes it pretty clear what the show is all about. 

Ursula, for those who’ve never come across the character before, is a villainous sea witch and the main antagonist in the 1989 animated film, The Little Mermaid. 

A Disney Diva par excellence, she’s been making waves in her very own stage musical for the past five years and visits Birmingham this month in the form of Orange Is The New Black’s Shawna Hamic.
The show features strong language, partial nudity, scenes of a sexual nature and plenty of trademark filthy humour - so if you’re of a decidedly delicate disposition, you may want to go swim in a different sea.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Thursday 11 - Sunday 14 July

Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch


CHARLIE COOKE'S FAVOURITE BOOK

Given the success of so many other stage adaptations of Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s hugely popular stories (see, for example, Zog And The Flying Doctors elsewhere on this page), it’s a real no-brainer to mount a live version of Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book. 

Presented via the ever-popular combination of clever puppetry and enchanting songs, the show follows Charlie’s attempts to get his sister to read. 

Charlie himself loves reading. For him, there’s nothing better than settling down to enjoy a favourite book about a pirate... who also has a favourite book... about Goldilocks... who also has a favourite book... about a knight... who also has a favourite book... You get the idea?... 

Created for children aged between three and eight, the show has a running time of one hour.

Palace Theatre, Redditch, Tuesday 16 - Wednesday 17 JulyTheatre Severn, Shrewbury, Friday 27 - Sunday 29 September  

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book


THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA

Everybody’s favourite tea-guzzling tiger is back in town, dropping in on Sophie and her mum just as they’re settling down for an afternoon cuppa... Adapted by David Wood from the late Judith Kerr’s 1968 book of the same name, this 55-minute show features singalong songs and plenty of magic - not to mention a big, stripey tiger, of course!

Worcester Swan Theatre, Wednesday 17 & Thursday 18 July

The Tiger Who Came To Tea


MINISTRY OF SCIENCE LIVE

An anarchic approach to science communication is the name of the game when the Ministry Of Science comes to town. 

As well as taking a look at the inventors and engineers who’ve shaped and inspired the modern world, the show’s presenters will be conducting clever demonstrations aplenty - so expect the occasional loud bang! 

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Sunday 21 July

Ministry Of Science Live


CLUEDO 2

Inspired by the success of the original Cluedo play, this brand-new comedy whodunnit is based on the famous detective boardgame of the same name. 

Heartbeat and Casualty star Jason Durr and Strictly champion Ellie Leach top-bill in a Swinging 60s-set show that features a new house, new suspects, and plenty of dead bodies...

The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tuesday 23 - Saturday 27 July

Cluedo 2


FIREMAN SAM

Now an impressive 37 years into his firefighting career, Fireman Sam is still putting out blazes in Pontypandy and lighting up children’s eyes with delight. 

In this brand-new adventure, perpetual troublemaker Norman Price follows two famous animal explorers into the mountains and ends up stranded in a cave. As ever, it falls to Fireman Sam to come to the rescue and save the day...

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Thursday 25 JulyWilliam Aston Hall, Wrexham, Saturday 3 AugustRoses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Saturday 24 August

Fireman Sam


PEPPA PIG'S FUN DAY OUT

If you’ve taken your little ones to any of the previous Peppa Pig stage shows - and enjoyed the experience of watching them having a fantastic time - you’ll be in no doubt that this latest production is well worth catching.

The show sees Peppa, along with her family and friends, enjoying a fun-packed day at the zoo and the beach. 

Parents are advised to prepare their children for all manner of cracking capers, including singing and dancing with colourful scarecrows, feeding penguins, building big sandcastles, and swimming in the sea! 
Looks like an oinktastic time is going to be had by all!

The Alexandra, Birmingham, Wednesday 31 July & Thursday 1 AugustBelgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wednesday 28 & Thursday 29 AugustRegent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Wednesday 18 & Thursday 19 SeptemberPalace Theatre, Redditch, Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 SeptemberMalvern Theatres, Wednesday 16 - Thursday 17th October

Peppa Pig's Fun Day Out


AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN THE MUSICAL

If you’re a nostalgia buff with a soft spot for the 1980s, this is a night out at the theatre not to be missed.  

Based on the same-named Academy Award-winning film starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger, Leicester Curve’s well-reviewed show tracks the heady romance that develops between Zack Mayo - a United States Navy Aviation Officer Candidate - and a young, captivating and seriously fiery woman named Paula Pokrifki. 

The story unfolds against a backdrop of classic 1980s pop songs from the likes of Blondie, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. It also features the Oscar-bagging hit, Up Where We Belong, which was recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Monday 23 - Saturday 28 September  

An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical


DEAR ZOO

First published in 1982, Dear Zoo - a lift-the-flap book by Rod Campbell - has delighted generations of children and accumulated millions of sales worldwide. 

This hugely popular stage version of the story features music, child-friendly puppets and lots of audience participation.

Worcester Swan Theatre, Saturday 28 - Sunday 29 September

Dear Zoo Live!


SCIENCE MUSEUM LIVE

This brand-new family-friendly stage production - touring to Shrewsbury courtesy of London’s world-renowned Science Museum - aims to ‘ignite your curiosity, fuel your imagination, and inspire you in new and exciting ways’.

Albany Theatre, Coventry, Saturday 12 October

Science Museum Live


THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN WHO SWALLOWED A FLY

The People’s Theatre Company - highly rated creators of the fabulous Don’t Dribble On The Dragon - here bring one of the world’s best-loved nursery rhymes to life. 

Their show comes complete with colourful animal characters and numerous singalong songs, including If You’re Happy And You Know It and Incy Wincy Spider... 

Festival Drayton, Market Drayton, North Shropshire, Saturday 12 OctoberArena Theatre, Wolverhampton, Friday 18 & Sat 19 October