Taming of the Shrew

IN A REIMAGINED 1590, ENGLAND IS A MATRIARCHY.

Baptista Minola is seeking to sell off her son Katherine to the highest bidder. Cue an explosive battle of the sexes in this electrically charged love story.

Justin Audibert (Snow in Midsummer, The Jew of Malta) turns Shakespeare’s fierce, energetic comedy of gender and materialism on its head to offer a fresh perspective on its portrayal of hierarchy and power.

Measure for Measure

‘TO WHOM SHOULD I COMPLAIN?’

When a young novice nun is compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that no one would believe her.

Shakespeare wrote this play in the early 1600s, yet it remains astonishingly resonant today. Artistic Director Gregory Doran directs this new production.

As You Like It

COME INTO THE FOREST; DARE TO CHANGE YOUR STATE OF MIND.

Rosalind is banished, wrestling with her heart and her head. With her cousin by her side, she journeys to a world of exile where barriers are broken down and all can discover their deeper selves.

Kimberley Sykes (Dido, Queen of Carthage) directs a riotous, exhilarating version of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.

Kunene and the King

South Africa, 2019. Twenty-five years since the first post-apartheid democratic elections, two men from contrasting walks of life are thrust together to reflect on a quarter century of change.

This is a moving and funny new play by the South African actor, activist and playwright John Kani (The Island, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Black Panther). Fellow South Africans Janice Honeyman (Vice Versa; The Tempest, 2009) directs and Antony Sher (King Lear, 2016 & 2018; Death of a Salesman) performs opposite John Kani in this important world premiere.

Timon Of Athens

In a world driven by greed, what do we truly value?

Timon has it all – money, influence, friends. Surely it can’t last?

When the money runs out, Timon soon finds her influence and friends have also gone. Left alone, she flees Athens to take refuge in the woods, cursing the city she once loved.

This is a rare chance to see Shakespeare’s comic tragedy, which asks us to question our values and the credit culture we inhabit today.

Simon Godwin (The Two Gentlemen of VeronaHamlet) returns to direct Kathryn Hunter as Timon in this dark satire, which forces us to question where happiness really lies.

Oliver

‘Consider yourself one of us’ and join Colchester Operatic Society and Colchester Operatic Society Second Edition for a new and exciting venture in association with the Mercury Theatre. Celebrate as we join forces to bring you one of London’s most popular musicals Oliver! in the Mercury’s brand new off-site temporary location, Mercury at Abbey Field. The Mercury has worked with Colchester Operatic many times in the past, but this will be the first full collaboration, combining professional creatives with local community actors and children.

Poor Oliver is stuck begging for more supper in a workhouse until he pushes his luck one too many times and is sold to a cruel undertaker. Unsurprisingly, this life proves to be just as bad, so Oliver soon escapes to London. Here, he is taken in by Fagin and the Artful Dodger who show him just how to ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’; he then meets the charming Nancy, who may turn out to be his only true friend in this wild and exciting world. But, when Oliver’s intended ‘mark’, Mr Brownlow, takes pity on the boy and offers him a new life, Fagin’s henchman Bill Sikes gets word and plots to kidnap the boy, to disastrous effect…

Book, Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart.

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe)
All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI Europe www.mtishows.co.uk

West Side Story

New York City, West Side, 1957. In the midst of gang rivalry and racial tensions, love at first sight strikes between Tony, a founding member of the White-American Jets and Maria, the sister of Bernardo, leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks. In the face of danger, the two young lovers continue to meet in secret – but the Jets and the Sharks have one last rumble to fight out.

War Horse

At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert’s beloved horse, is sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France. He’s soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary journey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man’s land. Albert, who remained on his parents’ Devon farm, cannot forget Joey. Though still not old enough to enlist he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.

Based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and songs, is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-sized horses by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

Grease

The world’s best-loved musical is back! Grittier and more glamorous than ever before, this brand-new production is direct from a sell-out and critically acclaimed run at Leicester Curve.

After a whirlwind summer romance, leather-clad greaser Danny and girl-next-door Sandy are unexpectedly reunited when she transfers to Rydell High for senior year. But can they survive the trials and tribulations of teenage life and find true love once more?

The Color Purple – Musical

This unforgettable story told over the course of 40 years follows courageous heroine Celie, as she journeys through joy, despair, anguish and hope in her own personal awakening to discover her unique voice in the world.

With a profoundly evocative score drawing inspiration from jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, this moving family chronicle set in racially divided southern America, celebrates life, love and the strength to stand up for who you are and what you believe in.