The first homegrown production will be A Tender Thing, a re-telling of the Romeo and Juliet story set in Morecambe and staged in The Round.
Running from October 1-17, it imagines what might have happened to Romeo and Juliet had they lived beyond their youth. Using Shakespeare’s original text and a sprinkling of sonnets, it is written by the National Theatre’s associate director, Ben Power, and re-imagined by Dukes associate director, Louie Ingham.
The Christmas production – Beauty & The Beast – is penned by Lancaster comedy and comics writer, Eddie Robson.
Following the success of recent Christmas shows, it’s another feelgood show performed in The Round with illusions, songs and storytelling from November 20-January 2.
Other highlights of the season include Northern Broadsides’ return , above, with The Winter’s Tale (November 10-14) and Nosferatu, written by Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan, which tells the story of Dracula, but not as you know it, on October 27, just in time for Halloween.
The Dukes recently launched theatre in development programme – Kick Start – continues on October 14 with an opportunity to be part of the creative process of bringing Mr & Mrs Macbeth to the stage.
And the venue’s comedy line-up boasts Sarah Millican (already sold out) and Patrick Kielty (October 29) plus the returns of Mark Thomas on October 17 with his new show, Cuckooed, and climber turned comedian Andy Kirkpatrick (December 2).
Lancaster Jazz Festival’s headline event by Empirical is hosted on September 26 and The Unthanks mark their 10th anniversary by performing in the city on October 24.
Besides Beauty & The Beast, young theatregoers are also treated to Chicken Licken (October 31) and Shakespeare For Schools (November 25).
Slight Fat Features are also back on December 10 and 11 with their award-winning brand of cabaret variety.
Call the box office on 01524 598500 or see www.dukes-lancaster.org
In among Manchester International Festival, currently being hosted by the city, there’s also Flare15, a week-long international festival of new theatre at the Contact venue from July 13-18.
Bringing together award-winning companies from across the world, its aim is to showcase some of the most daring and innovative theatre being made today.
The Manchester-based festival was inundated with 270 applications from 47 different countries in response to its open-call for submissions, more than double the 121 applications it received for its first festival in 2011.
From shows that present the human body as both comic and tragic, to humorous conversations on the vulnerability of language itself, Flare15 presents audiences with a series of challenging, innovative and exciting work across Manchester venues including Contact, the Royal Exchange Theatre, Z-arts and the Martin Harris Centre.
It is deemed suitable for over 14s.
Box office: 0161 274 0600 or www.contactmcr.com