The Mix: theatreland raises its curtains and turns on its lights

In May 2021 theatreland will slowly start to open up and come out of lockdown, after over a year of closure (bar a few productions here and there which were largely curtailed by legislation and tier imposition).

In a series of features under the umbrella of The Mix I will try and capture what theatres across England are doing to get their audiences back to live shows. I apologise in advance if I miss out any venue but will do my best to capture performance venues across the country.

First I will concentrate on the fifty cities in England other than London.

Nottingham Playhouse

Theatres in Bath

The Theatre Royal’s three spaces reopen starting 20th May: you can see Nora: A Doll’s House or Marie Antoinette at The Egg; Four Quartets (with Ralph Fiennes) or Copenhagen in the Main House; or Club Supreme in the Ustinov Studio.

The Mission Theatre opens on 25th May with The Memory of Water, which is followed by The Importance of Being Earnest, showing as part of the Bath Fringe.

You’ll have to wait until 2nd June to return to the Rondo Theatre, where you can see Dirty Bath.

Theatres in Birmingham

The Highbury plans to open as soon as possible after the 17th May with Nell Gywnn, while Birmingham Repertory Theatre welcomes Rosie Kay on the 19th.

Into late June, The Old Joint Stock has The Nobodies on the 22nd. The Crescent welcomes Cinderella from the 26th, while the Old Rep presents Adam Buxton on the 27th, and Beyond Broadway is set to play at The Alexandra.

July has The Noise Next Door at the Midlands Arts Centre on the 4th; but there’s currently a longer wait at the Hippodrome, which has Tell Me on a Sunday at the end of August.

Theatres in Bradford

Although Theatre in the Mill currently has no shows planned, the other three venues are set to reopen in July. Here Come the Boys opens at St George’s Hall on the 1st; Dirty Dancing is at the Alhambra from the 13th; and Mighty Atoms is playing at Bradford Playhouse from the 14th.

Theatres in Brighton & Hove

The Brighton Dome kicks off with live shows in the Brighton Festival from the 17th May (also look out for live shows acorss the city for the Brighton Fringe from the end of the month).

You can catch A Lark in the Park at the Open Air Theatre from the 20th May, while the Theatre Royal currently has shows listed from the end of June (starting with Lesley Garrett and Dirty Dancing).

The Marlborough Pub and Theatre currently has no shows listed.

Theatres in Bristol

You can visit the Tobacco Factory from 20th May to see Caresses or The Place at the Bridge. The Bristol Old Vic has Touching the Void from the 26th and Outlier from 12th June.

The Winston in the Student Union at Bristol University has nothing programmed.

Theatres in Cambridge

The ADC Theatre reopens on 25th May wirh No Quarter and Goblin Market. The Cambridge Arts Theatre receives three productions in June: Oleanna from the 8th; The Woman in Black from the 18th; and Four Quartets from the 28th.

Theatres in Canterbury

The Gulbenkian comes back to life with Funny Kunts on 19th May. The Marlowe welcomes the touring production of SIX from 8th June. The Malthouse at King’s School has nothing programmed at present.

Theatres in Carlisle

Although the Green Room, the Stanwix at the University of Cumbria, and the Cosmic Studio have nothing planned at present, Carlisle’s other theatres start to reopen from the end of June.

The Sands Centre plays host to Here Come the Boys on the 22nd; the Harraby has the League of Ukelele Gentlemen on the 26th; and the Richard Whiteley Theatre has Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat from 29th June.

You’ll have to wait a bit longer to visit the Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre to spend An Evening with Anne Widdecombe, at the end of July. The Old Fire Station has no productions listed until Bird on a Wire in September.

Theatres in Chelmsford

The Ballet Central comes to the Civic on 24th June, but nothing is planned yet at the Old Court, and the Cramphorn has nothing listed until October, with Mrs Churchill – My Life with Winston.

Theatres in Chester

The Storyhouse comes back with niece and aunt Rosa and Julie Hesmondhalgh, in their respective shows Madame Ovary and The Greatest Play in the History of the World, from 21st May. Meanwhile the Grosvenor Park Open Air theatre opens a new season with The Jungle Book from 29th May.

Theatres in Chichester

Chichester Festival Theatre has a new season starting with South Pacific on 5th July.

Theatres in Coventry

First to open is the Belgrade on the 17th May with April in Paris, and The Albany welcomes AAAAA on 30 May. Another month to wait for 3 Women on 26th June at the Criterion.

Theatres in Derby

You can enjoy Absurd Person Singular from 16th June at the Derby Theatre. Although the Derby QUAD is not a theatre but arts and film, keep an eye on what is on there.

Theatres in Durham

Early June (6th) sees Meeting Point at the Assembly Rooms. The Thrill of Love plays at the City from 12th July, and Horrible Histories is at the Gala from the 23rd.

Theatres in Ely

The Maltings has not posted any recent updates.

Theatres in Exeter

Exeter Northcott opens with The I In Ally and Horrible Histories from 20 May. The Barnfield welcomes Bonnie and Clyde from 20th July.

Theatres in Gloucester

Kings Theatre has not posted any recent updates.

Theatres in Hereford

Neither The Courtyard or Tomkins Theatre have posted a reopening date.

Theatres in Hull

You can watch April in Paris from 20th May at Hull New Theatre, while Hull Truck Theatre has The Tortoise and the Hare on 29th May.

Theatres in Lancaster

The Dukes has Petrichor and Sleeping Beauty when it reopens on 21st May. The Grand has Shakespeare’s Secrets in mid-June. The Fulton currently has no productions listed.

Theatres in Leeds

The Leeds Playhouse showcases new writing in Decades from 19th May, while City Varieties receives Judy & Liza on the 20th. The Carriageworks has CYTM on the 22nd.

The Grand opens with Swan Lake on 17th June.

The Pyramid at the University of Leeds currently has nothing listed.

Theatres in Leicester

You can choose from Belshazzar’s Feast at the Y Theatre (17th May), Resident Creatives – New Work at the Curve (21st May), or Spread a Little Happiness at the Little Theatre (22nd May).

There is no current programming at the Sue Townsend or Upstairs at the Western, and sadly the Haymarket has closed down.

Theatres in Lichfield

The Lichfield Garrick reopens on 20th May with A Black Country Night Out.

Theatres in Lincoln

Strictly Cabaret reopens the New Theatre Royal, (21st May), and you can watch Prism or Maybe This Time at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (20th May).

The Lincoln Drill Hall, has recently been saved from closure, and there are no productions currently listed at the Terry O’Toole.

Theatres in Liverpool

You’ll have to wait until June to see Al Murray or Adam Buxton at the Playhouse (9th), or Y’MAM at the Everyman (16th).

In the first week of July the Unity presents Swan Song and the Royal Court has Ellen and Rigby. The Liverpool Empire welcomes Frank Skinner on the 25th.

The Epstein has nothing listed at the moment, and the Shakespare North is a brand new theatre you can keep an eye on.

Theatres in Manchester

The Hope Mill Theatre is first out of the gate on the 25th with Meet Me At Dawn. The Dancehouse is also hosting music events in May.

HOME presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the start of June; and on the 10th the Contact reopens with Saturnalia.

The Palace and the Opera House reopen in August with Hairspray (2nd) and Adam Kay / The Rocky Horror Show (21st/24th) respectively.

There is currently no opening date confirmed for the Royal Exchange.

Theatres in Newcastle

The Tyne Theatre is in panto mood with Jack and the Beanstalk (29th May). The Theatre Royal welcomes Here Come The Boys and SIX (20th June and 12th July).

Northern Stage currently has nothing listed until the end of 2021, while the Live Theatre, People’s Theatre and Jubilee Theatre currently have no productions listed.

Theatres in Norwich

The Norwich Arts Centre has a Homecoming season from 20th May, and the Sewell Barn presents Put Your Shorts On from 9th June.

The Playhouse welcomes Adam Buxton on 21st June, while the Theatre Royal has Carlos Acosta followed by Here Come The Boys from 16th July.

The Puppet Theatre currently has no productions listed, and the Maddermarket has music events listed from September.

Theatres in Nottingham

The Nottingham Playhouse opens with BOAR on 27th May. The Lace Market Theatre presents Absent Friends from 10th June, and the Theatre Royal has Ben Nickless, then Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote from 11th June.

The Arts and New Theatres have no productions currently listed.

Theatres in Oxford

At the Oxford Playhouse, you can see Blindness from 28th May. Arts at the Old Fire Station presents Here 4 U on 22nd June, and the New Theatre welcomes Dirty Dancing at the end of July.

Nothing is currently listed at the North Wall, the O’Reilly, or the university’s Sheldonian.

Theatres in Peterborough

The Cresset has the Socially Distanced Comedy Club on 28th May. The New Theatre opens in August with Agatha Christie’s Spiders Web.

There is currently nothing listed at the Key Theatre.

Theatres in Plymouth

The Plymouth Pavilions opens with Strictly Come Dancing: Professionals on 18th May with the Theatre Royal welcoming the Rambert dance company on the 27th.

Theatres in Portsmouth

The New Theatre Royal has Daisy Pulls It Off on 16th May. The Kings Theatre currently opens with Postman Pat in August.

Theatres in Preston

Preston Playhouse has its Curtain Up on 16th July.

Theatres in Ripon

Ripon Operatics Hall currently has no productions listed.

Theatres in St Albans

All four venues in St Albans reopen in May. The Abbey has productions of Endgame (18th May), with Two following on the 1st June. The Alban Arena welcomes the UK Rock Show on the 23rd.

The Maltings stages Peter Pan for a month from 28th May; the Sandpit has Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake on the 29th.

Theatres in Salford

The Lowry kicks off with Circuit 2 at the end of May.

Theatres in Salisbury

At the end of May, the Salisbury Arts Centre has a young people’s performance, SHIFT Hub. On the 8th June, the Playhouse has an FE Performing Arts Showcase.

Theatres in Sheffield

The Crucible has Desert Island Discs on the 24th May, with Chicago visiting the Lyceum on 22nd June. There is currently nothing programmed in the Studio.

The Lantern has nothing programmed until October, and the recently refurbished Merlin has no productions listed yet. There is currently nothing planned for the University’s Drama Studio.

Theatres in Southampton

The Mayflower welcomes Rambert and Hair the Musical at the end of June. The Nuffield is set to reopen under new management.

Theatres in Stoke-on-Trent

Third Time Lucky: Eric reopens the New Vic on 17th May. The Regent has Here Come the Boys on 7th July. The Victoria Hall hosts the Organ Proms in August.

Theatres in Sunderland

Friends – the Musical Parody is on at the Empire in mid-July, but there are no productions currently listed at the Royalty.

Theatres in Truro

Fisherman’s Friends – the Musical is on at the Hall for Cornwall/Playhouse but not until October. There is nothing listed at the Burrell.

Theatres in Wakefield

You’ll have to wait until the end of August to watch Oklahoma at the Theatre Royal. Nothing is listed yet at the Mechanics at Wakefield College.

Theatres in Wells

No news yet from the Little Theatre.

Theatres in Winchester

The Theatre Royal opens with Music and Lyrics on 19th May, while the Chesil presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream outdoors from 13th July.

Theatres in Wolverhampton

The Arena Theatre has Phrases and Footnotes and The Librarian (16th May). The Grand currently opens with an Elvis Tribute on 4th July.

Theatres in Worcester

The Swan Theatre showcases Judy & Liza on 19th May. Huntingdon Hall presents the play Chinese Boxing at the end of July.

The John Moore at King’s School currently has nothing listed.

Theatres in York

The Theatre Royal has Love Bites from 17th May, while the Barbican hosts Here Come The Boys on 30th June and Adam Buxton visits the Grand Opera House in July.

Bristol Old Vic

Please check the links to each venue and keep an eye on their social media for production announcements. Many are offering livestream or filmed performances as well as live shows, so do watch and support of you are able to do so.

Another round-up will follow soon. Good luck to all venues on their re-emergence.