Miss Littlewood | Sam Kenyon

Joan Littlewood was the anarchic revolutionary of 20th century theatre. Born into poverty, she raged her way to have a lasting influence on British culture. Anti-establishment, communist, visionary, rude and glorious, Joan fired the imagination of a generation. Her unique Theatre Workshop was responsible for a raft of successes including Oh What A Lovely War!, and breathed new life into the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

This new musical of Joan’s life story, told with her own uncompromising candour, reveals a mighty love story at its heart.

The Duchess of Malfi | John Webster

In an attempt to prevent the fiercely independent Duchess from marrying the man she loves, her corrupt brothers go on a disturbing quest to destroy her.

Remarkable for its inventive and grotesque violence, yet full of dark humour, this violent revenge tragedy asks how anyone can survive in a world where masculinity has become toxic.

In 2016, Director Maria Aberg’s stylish modern dress production of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus received rave reviews and transferred to London’s Barbican in the winter. The Daily Telegraph described it as ‘pacy, eerie and full of trickery’ while The Times called it ‘soul-scouring theatre’. We are excited to welcome Maria back to tackle this gory tale of revenge in her own distinct style.

The Merry Wives of Windsor | William Shakespeare

Down on his luck in the suburbs, John Falstaff plans to hustle his way to a comfortable retirement by seducing the wives of two wealthy men. Unknown to him, it’s the women of Windsor who really pull the strings, orchestrating Falstaff’s comeuppance amidst a theatrical smorgasbord of petty rivalries, jealousies and over-inflated egos. For a fat Englishman, a Welshman and a Frenchman, the only way is Windsor…

David Troughton returns to the Company as John Falstaff, following his recent title role in Titus Andronicus and Gloucester in King Lear.

The Merry Wives of Windsor will be broadcast live to cinemas on 12 September 2018.

King Lear | William Shakespeare

King Lear has ruled for many years. As age overtakes him, he divides his kingdom amongst his children.
Misjudging their loyalty, he soon finds himself stripped of all the trappings of state, wealth and power that had defined him.

RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran’s critically-acclaimed production returns to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for three weeks only, with Antony Sher reprising his role as King Lear, one of the greatest parts ever written by Shakespeare.

Romeo and Juliet | William Shakespeare

What if your first true love was someone you’d been told you must hate?

Set in a world very like our own, this Romeo and Juliet is about a generation of young people born into violence and ripped apart by the bitter divisions of their parents. The most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion and an irresistible desire for change, but leads all too quickly to heartbreaking consequences.

Romeo and Juliet will be broadcast live to cinemas on 18 July 2018.

Macbeth | William Shakespeare

Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder.

Our contemporary production of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller marks both Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut and the return of Niamh Cusack to the company.

The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich or The Beau Defeated | Mary Pix

Mrs Rich, a wealthy widow, aspires to rub shoulders with the great and good and perhaps even gain a title. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one after Sir John Roverhead!

Unlike Aphra Behn, a fellow female playwright from the late 1600s, Mary Pix has been almost lost to history. But like Behn’s The Rover, a sell-out success in early 2017, Pix’s comedy of manners combines mischief-making and mind-bending plot twists with a sharp satirical and distinctly female wit. Her colourful cast of characters dupe and dissemble as the intrigue builds. Will Mrs Rich ever squeeze her way into high society?

Europe After The Rain

Imagine. The USA has pulled out of NATO and refugees from the Ukraine are flocking into Western Europe; while, on a ‘fake beach’ somewhere in Middle England, Will, Max, Yana and Marta are gathered to find out whether the unfolding general election is really going to put a populist party into power and change their lives forever.

Europe After The Rain is a highly theatrical and hugely funny exploration of what waking up in a post-EU Britain might feel like. Winner of the Mercury Playwriting Prize 2017, Oliver Bennett’s first full-length play is a comedy about immigration, globalisation, love and loss.

A new play by Oliver Bennett
Directed by Cara Nolan

Pieces of String

When Jane returns from her father’s funeral to start clearing the house she grew up in – packing away the family photographs, closing a chapter – she isn’t prepared for the untold story she’s about to discover threaded through her past, a story that threatens to unravel her relationship with her own children and shake her understanding of who she is.

A new musical set simultaneously in the 1940s and in the present day, Pieces Of String tells how Jane’s father, Edward, came back from the Second World War with a secret that would change his life forever – a secret that he would carry until the day he died.

With hauntingly beautiful music and a heart-rending human story, Pieces Of String is a tender, funny, emotionally-charged exploration of how three generations of one family learn to deal with a story that nobody’s been brave enough to tell until today.

Times may have changed but some battles still need to be fought.

Beauty and the Beast

Be our guest… as a tale as old as time gets a brand new twist this Christmas.

Starring Derby’s very own GWEN TAYLOR and BEN FAULKS (CBeebies’ Mr Bloom).

In the little french village of Spondon-on-the-Seine Belle is pursued by the handsome but not too bright local heartthrob Gaston (Aston Dobson). She yearns for adventure, but soon gets more than she bargained for when, along with her neighbours Idle Jacques (CBeebies’ Mr Bloom) and his mother Betty Brioche (Morgan Brind), she finds herself trapped inside an enchanted castle by a mysterious beast. Will true love conquer all? Will the Enchantress’ (Gwen Taylor) curse ever be broken? Will Betty Brioche burn her baguettes?

Featuring shimmering sets, outrageous costumes, magic, mayhem and monstrous fun, this brand new production promises to be Derby LIVE’s most spectacular panto yet!