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Theatre@41 Hits New Heights with Busiest Ever Winter/Spring Programme

Monday, January 23rd, 2023 5:36pm

By Barbara Constable

Theatre@41 is hosting everything from top comedians and touring productions to Yorkshire’s finest drama, musical theatre and dance in their busiest ever Winter/Spring programme.

Theatre@41 is hosting everything from top comedians and touring productions to Yorkshire’s finest drama, musical theatre and dance in their busiest ever Winter/Spring programme.

Comedy round-up kicks off with Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner Sofie Hagen in her new show Fat Jokes where you are invited to share an evening of laughter and storytelling with “an actual fat person at the top of her game!”

They  then welcome back the master of camp cabaret Linus Karp who brings us Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story.  With drag, multimedia, audience interaction, puppetry and a lot of queer joy we visit the People’s Princess in heaven for a totally fabricated but fun version of her extraordinary life.

Audiences get to choose the subject matter for Fooling Around – improv with the Fool(ish) troupe - and award-winning Rob Auton is next with his highly-acclaimed The Crowd Show described by the Guardian as “A genuine original. Poetical, philosophical, humane, completely charming and funny to boot.”

Acclaimed writer/performer Callum Hughes is next in line with Thirst which follows his problematic relationship with alcohol – a relationship that nearly saw him join the notorious “27 Club”.  Through original songs and storytelling join Callum in a letter to sobriety and a celebration of all things alcoholic…

Also returning to Monkgate is the wonderful pianist and performer Paulus from BBC1’s All Together Now.  Looking for Me Mate is a funny and touching tribute to the brilliant and much-missed Victoria Wood, revisiting all her famous characters and songs and hailed by Musical Theatre Review as a ***** “must see.”

Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer Nominee and New Act of the Year Winner Bilal Zafar brings us Care – a brand new show about his year working in a home for very wealthy people – fresh out of uni with a media degree and far too much responsibility for a 21-year-old who’s just spent the last three years watching films!

Frank Skinner thinks he’s “fantastic” and The Times gives him **** so don’t miss Garrett Millerick’s Just Trying to Help.  A showcase of no-holds barred comedy where the world’s angriest optimist returns for a bash at sorting out life’s inexplicable complications.

And last but obviously not least, Sophie Duker, star of Live At The Apollo and pretty much everywhere else on the comedy circuit, is touring her new show Hag.  She’s the sexy baby from Taskmaster – but no longer the round, sweet, pure Babybel of 2019…Now she’s a self-proclaimed extra mature cheddar hiding in your fridge.  You have been warned.

And on the subject of warnings, A Night of Face Melting Horror with Dorian Deathly is not for the faint-hearted. Winner of the Visit York Tourism Awards and Visit England Tourism finalist, Dorian and his guests will follow ghost stories through the ages, checking out spooks and spectres caught on film, listening to tales of hauntings, original music and generally bothering ghosts.

Unsettling for some…as is Gary Owen’s play Iphigenia in Splott – a powerful adaptation of the Greek myth in which the eponymous Iphigenia is sacrificed by her own dad to the gods.  Black Treacle Theatre bring the one-woman show to Monkgate where we will witness Effie stumbling drunk down the street, her life spiralling out of control through a mess of drink, drugs and hangovers…until one night gives her the chance to be something more. “Ferocious, theatrical poetry,” says The Telegraph.

Sticking with the theme of unsettling, we have The York Actors’ Collective production of Entertaining Mr Sloane.  Causing controversy since its premiere in 1964, Joe Orton’s ground-breaking play follows the amoral and psychopathic lodger Sloane as he plays brother against sister in a game fraught with sexual tension – catching their poor father, who is onto him – in the crossfire. 

The origins of We Are What We Overcome might also put some people’s nerves to the test.  Rather than see a psychiatrist, Matt, a musician on the verge of a mental breakdown with no theatrical experience, decides to perform at the world’s greatest arts event – the Edinburgh Festival.  This is one man’s journey to good mental health via a very bad idea, with upbeat music, comedy and thought-provoking stories.

New Girl, inspired by the children’s book “Mummy, There’s A New Girl” by Danielle Webb, is also set to get audiences thinking, with a story to provide young people and adults alike with an insight into how we can learn about each other and champion what makes us unique.

Will “Cavaliero” Kempe was pretty unique – one of the finest performers of the Elizabethan age – London’s finest clown creating Falstaff, Dogberry and Bottom, a juggling jester, headmaster of the Morris dancers.  Until he fell out with Will “git-faced” Shakespeare…Join Kempe in Shakespeare’s Fool for his “farewell performance” telling the tale of his rise to stardom and what really went down between him and the Bard.  Part of York International Shakespeare Festival.

Then it’s forward in time to 1914 for The Wild Birds – sequel to the famous 39 Steps – with Richard Hannay back in Blighty for a rip-roaring tale of espionage and adventure brought to York by **** company Livewire Theatre. All performances include a hot supper with the cast in the studio.

Sticking with WWI is Pick Me Up Theatre’s production of the classic musical Oh What A Lovely War! A satirical chronicle of the Great War told through songs and documents set in a seaside Pierrot show, this is the 60th anniversary of the much-loved show, made into a famous film by Richard Attenborough.

Another classic musical Sweet Charity is brought to us by York Stage, featuring famous numbers including Hey Big Spender, If My Friends Could See Me Now, Rhythm of Life and I’m a Brass Band.  The theatre’s John Cooper studio will be transformed into the seductively seedy Fandango Ballroom for Valentine’s day!

Little Shop of Horrors follows – the deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash hit about blood-eating plant Audrey II with plans for global domination, brought to the Monkgate stage by CHMS.

Then come and meet your favourite characters from under the sea led by Ariel herself in The Little Mermaid, an interactive show brought to life by senior members of the Spotlight Dance Academy.

And talking of interactive, Jiving Licence kick off our Programme with a dance night of classic rock and roll from the 50s and 60s.  Bring your dancing shoes, grab a drink at the bar, and join them for a night to remember.

For tickets and more details about the theatre and the shows head to https://tickets.41monkgate.co.uk

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