Laughs and tales aplenty

Patrick Kielty.
Patrick Kielty.

Top comedians and a series of ‘Made In Lancashire’ adaptations of classic stories have been announced for The Dukes’ autumn season.

The Lancaster theatre’s first homegrown production of the autumn 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, A Tender Thing imagines what would have happened to Romeo and Juliet had they lived beyond their youth. Using Shakespeare’s original text and a sprinkling of sonnets, this play is masterfully written by the National Theatre’s Associate Director, Ben Power, and is re-imagined by Dukes Associate Director, Louie Ingham.

The Dukes Christmas production – Beauty & The Beast – is penned by Lancaster comedy and comics writer, Eddie Robson who has worked extensively for BBC radio and has also written short stories and audio plays connected to Doctor Who.

Following the great success of recent Dukes Christmas shows, Beauty & The Beast promises a feelgood seasonal treat performed in The Round and full of illusions, songs and storytelling from November 20 to January 2.

Other dramatic highlights of the autumn/winter season include Northern Broadsides’ return with The Winter’s Tale (November 10 to 14) and Nosferatu, written by the 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 Dukes commitment to comedy carries on with shows by 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 by The Dukes on September 26 and The Unthanks mark their 10th anniversary by performing in the city on October 24.

Young people are not forgotten either for as well as Beauty & The Beast, The Dukes sees the return of Chicken Licken (October 31) and Shakespeare For Schools(November 25).

And it wouldn’t be Christmas at The Dukes without a crazy cabaret so following their celebrated run in London’s West End last year, Slight Fat Features are back on December 10 and 11 with their awardwinning brand of variety.

To book tickets for any of the new season events, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit