What's on at The Dukes Lancaster over the winter season

The Dukes in Lancaster has announced its plans to celebrate the theatre’s 50th Anniversary over the winter season.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:30 pm
Staff team, board members and volunteers in Dukes' The Round Theatre. Photo by Jess Turton.
Staff team, board members and volunteers in Dukes' The Round Theatre. Photo by Jess Turton.

Since opening the doors in 1971, The Dukes has been committed to placing arts and culture at the heart of the Lancashire and Lancaster City district. As Lancashire’s only producing theatre over the years, The Dukes has welcomed the likes of Dame Harriet Walter, Gloria Grahame, Andy Serkis and most recently, Sir Ian McKellen.

Beginning a year of celebration until summer 2022, the 50-year-old theatre will debut two new productions: a new retelling of the infamous Buck Ruxton case, Belle & Mary (November 18-20), and this year’s annual in-the-round Christmas production, Beauty & the Beast (December 3-31).

The Dukes’ chief executive Karen O’Neill said of leading the theatre into its next 50 years: “It is so wonderful to be celebrating the Dukes 50th Birthday! This is a milestone year for the Dukes and we are so pleased to be sharing it with our team, volunteers, audiences, artists and community.

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Belle and Mary at The Dukes.

“The Dukes has been at the heart of Lancaster since 1971 as both a theatre and independent cinema and has achieved so much since then.

“We are so proud of the Dukes’ legacy and thank everyone who has been part of the journey so far. We are so excited for the future and we look forward to creating more memories, creative projects and continuing to be part of what makes Lancaster a great place to visit or call home.

“Thank you to our core funders Arts Council England and Lancaster City Council and to all our supporters, partners, funders, audiences and creative professionals. Here’s to the next 50 years!”

The festivities will also celebrate the theatre’s long-standing team members including data & audience development manager Karen Chandisingh and technical manager Brent Lees, who have both worked at the theatre for over 25 years, as well as The Dukes’ team of volunteers who have supported the venue for many years.

Karen Chandisingh said of the anniversary and time with the theatre: “I feel so lucky to have spent much of my working life with The Dukes. Over the past 30 years I’ve worked with the most amazing people and have been privileged to see some amazing theatre. I’m so happy to be celebrating my 50th along with The Dukes and I am very much looking forward to our next chapter.”

Marketing & communications manager Jay Walton said of The Dukes’ volunteers: “For many years our volunteers have supported The Dukes, welcoming our wonderful audiences and theatre companies. They mean a lot to us and we can’t thank them enough for their support. We are delighted to be celebrating our 50th birthday with them as much as our beloved audiences.”

The theatre will also welcome touring productions to Lancashire over the coming months including Double Life: Guy in VR ( November 13), The Little Prince (November 27) and Christmas Gothic (December 3-4).

Tickets for all productions are available here or by calling the box office on 01524 598500.