The Lakes Season at York Theatre Royal
Sense & Sensibility, Tues 6 – Sat 10 November
By Jane Austen, adapted by Jessica Swale, directed by Juliet Forster
Single Spies, Tues 13 – Wed 14 November
By Alan Bennett, directed by Tom Littler
Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, 16 – 17 November
A play from the works of P. G. Wodehouse by the Goodale Brothers, directed by Philip Wilson
The Lakes Season in the Studio
Bold Girls, 13 – 14 November
By Rona Munro, directed by Bobby Brook
Rails, 16 – 17 November
By Simon Longman, directed by Clive Judd
Olivier Award-winning writer Jessica Swale, who adapted York Theatre Royal’s summer hit The Secret Garden, turns her attention to Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility in The Lakes Season, which runs at York Theatre Royal from 6 to 17 November.
Directed by York Theatre Royal’s Associate Director Juliet Forster, this production is one of five shows from the summer season at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, that transfer to York in November. The Lakes Season will see three Main House and two Studio shows travelling south for the two week season.
Sense & Sensibility, which opens the season (6 – 10 Nov), offers a fresh and funny adaptation that sees the Dashwood sisters cheated out of their inheritance and turfed out of their home. Banished to a chilly cottage in Devonshire, the arrival of a handsome stranger changes everything. But as the sisters chase their dreams of true love, circumstances conspire against them.
The second Alan Bennett play of the York season – following The Habit of Art with Matthew Kelly – is his Olivier Award-winning comedy Single Spies (13 and 14 Nov). This explores one of Britain’s most fascinating stories of espionage – that of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt: their secret identities, hidden motivations and a rather unexpected interrogation by the Queen.
Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (16 and 17 Nov) is a play from the works of P G Wodehouse by the Goodale Brothers in which artistocratic man about town Bertie Wooster and his dutiful valet Jeeves go for a weekend away at a country house. When Wooster is called on to play matchmaker, the ever dependable Jeeves is on hand to step in and save Bertie’s bacon.
Three actors play a multitude of characters in this inventive and totally bonkers send-up of P G Wodehouse’s iconic characters.
Two further shows in the Studio complete The Lakes Season. The sharply funny and moving Bold Girls is written by Rona Munro and set in 1991 West Belfast during the Troubles. With their husbands locked up or killed, Marie, Cassie and Nora are just trying to get on with their lives. Revelations ensue when a mysterious young woman turns up and disrupts their girls’ night out.
Director Bobby Brook said: “This wonderfully passionate play offers us a slice of what life was like for women during The Troubles. And that slice of life is beautiful, bossy, laugh-out-loud funny, wild and heartbreaking all at the same time. For me, most importantly, it’s about four individual, strong, hopeful and bold women.”
Rails (16 and 17 Nov) is Simon Longman’s funny, poignant and emotionally arresting play which was shortlisted for the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Mike is a 16-year-old who’s really into his scooter. He’s really into Sarah too. But she’s probably not that into him. His brother Ben is stuck working in a petrol station and dreams of escape and their mum can’t seem to speak anymore. Their lives collide one hot summer.
The company for the season is Thomas Richardson, Theo Fraser Steele, James Duke, Christine Entwisle, Toby Vaughan, Lydea Perkins, Oliver Mott, Alice Imelda, Sarah Kempton and Karen Ascoe.
Tom Bird, York Theatre Royal’s Executive Director, said: “The Lakes Season is an exciting part of our Autumn/Winter season that gives our audience the opportunity to see five top-class productions from another wonderful north of England producing house.
“Earlier this year the co-production with Theatre by the Lake of Hymn to Love with Elizabeth Mansfield proved an outstanding success with our audiences and the remounting of TBTL’s The Secret Garden proved a big hit at York Theatre Royal this summer.”