WHEN the curtains rise on the new fall season at the Georgian Theater Royal in Richmond, audiences will not only be able to celebrate the return of the theater live, but they will also be able to enjoy comfortable new seating in a revitalized auditorium.
During the lockdown period, the theater received a grant of £ 375,000 from the Hamish Ogston Foundation to fund an ambitious auditorium development project, which replaced the old benches and chairs from the 1960s with new seats comfortable, with a better view of the stage.
Other grants from the Theaters Trust, Pilgrim Trust, Foyle Foundation and Normanby Trust also enabled the Theater to install a modern building management system as part of the works.
This will significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ventilation and heating in the Grade I listed building, including the ability to distribute 100% fresh air into the auditorium.
The season itself offers a huge range of shows to suit all tastes, including festival performances, cutting-edge plays, top-notch comedies, music, and children’s entertainment.
It begins on September 3 with a performance by international pianist Albert Lau, a young Steinway artist, who visited the theater shortly before the first lockdown. Its program will include Beethoven’s Appassionata and works by Clara Schumann, Ravel and Chopin. Other musical delights are offered by opera star Graeme Danby and Friends on October 9 and critically acclaimed violinist Philippa Mo on October 23.
Classic drama Jane Eyre stars Charlotte Bronte’s much-loved novel on September 10. It is followed by A Perfect Likeness, which centers on the intriguing relationship between two titans of English literature, Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll on September 17, and The Silence of Snow, an exploration of the life of Patrick Hamilton, one of the great English writers of the interwar period on September 23. For something a little different, there will be a comedic thriller The Killer Question on September 24th where audiences will decide who plays whom that night.
To mark the city’s 950th anniversary, the theater is hosting a special evening on September 13 with Moira Cameron – the first female Yeoman Warder, better known as Beefeaters of the Tower.
Next is the Richmond Walking and Book Festival, where the theater will host a number of fascinating lectures, starting with Henri Ward – researcher for Horrible Histories – on September 18. Other speakers included Lady Hale, former President of the Supreme Court. September 20; Laura Wood, author of the Georgian Theater Royal-inspired young adult fiction bestseller A Snowfall of Silver (September 21); and writer and TV presenter Sally Magnusson on September 22. Another big name will follow later in the season as a encore event for the festival, when the theater welcomes British poet laureate Simon Armitage to its stage on October 15.
The Georgian Theater has a well-established reputation for stand-up comedy and the new season sees a welcome return of multi-award-winning comic book Troy Hawke with Tiles of the Unexpected (September 25) and acclaimed radio and TV comedian Simon Evans with his new show The Work of the Devil on October 30. The kids have their own Comedy Club 4 Kids show on October 31, which features some of the best stand-ups and cabaret stars on the circuit who will make a family show for ages six and up.
Those looking for a bit of fun nostalgia can enjoy an evening with the talented and popular History Wardrobe that will explore 1970s fashion, politics, art and literature in What Were Thinking? (October 16). Next comes the Abba Arrival tribute band. They will create a truly authentic Abba experience on October 21-22.
The Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society performs Tom Stoppard’s comedy masterpiece Arcadia from November 11-13 and the Richmond Operatic Society presents a new musical The Addams Family (November 18-20).
To close the season, the legendary pantomime of the Georgian theater Beauty and the Beast with its festive race from December 3 to January 9.
Details of all shows and events are given in the program available at the box office, via the website at www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk or by calling 01748 825252.