The Dukes theatre in Lancaster announces summer line-up after year-long closure

The Dukes in Lancaster are delighted to announce the much-anticipated return of live performance at their venue with an exciting new spring and summer season to welcome audiences back to their building.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 12:30 pm

On sale now on The Dukes’ website (www.dukeslancaster.org), the dynamic lineup features a mixture of family theatre, provocative dramas, guest speakers, dance and even some virtual reality.

Beginning in May, the season marks the first live performances at The Dukes since October last year, with shows resuming with safety measures in place.

The Dukes have embraced digital theatre and creativity during lockdown, with the likes of the upcoming The Importance of Being Earnest, their co-production with Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield which is streaming from April 19 – May 4.

Sleeping Beauty at The Dukes is just one of the productions in this summer's line-up.
Sleeping Beauty at The Dukes is just one of the productions in this summer's line-up.

It is fitting then that the season of live theatre gets underway with an immersive show rooted in virtual reality. Set in a dystopian world, Thick Skin’s Petrichor can be experienced in Moor Space, The Dukes’ second site on Moor Lane, on Friday May 21. Spaces for this show are limited and advised for people aged 13+.

There’s also an inventive and exciting new take on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, courtesy of co-writers and co-directors Sarah Punshon and Daniel Bye. Full of music, storytelling, joy and love, it’s a fun reintroduction to the theatre’s Round space. The show plays from Tuesday May 25 – Sunday June 6, with different seating pods available for people to book within their household in line with local and government guidelines.

The Dukes are also collaborating with fellow arts organisation Lancaster Arts to co-present two powerful pieces of contemporary drama in Moor Space, with Rebecca Atkinson-Lord’s autobiographical look at social mobility and belonging in The Class Project (Thursday May 27) and an exploration of the politics of division in performer Avital Raz’s My Jerusalem (Friday May 28).

Climber and British record holder Kenton Cool will be sharing stories of his adventures and ascents from across the world in Everest the Cool Way on Saturday June 12, while there’s vibrant and beautiful dance on offer on Thursday June 17 in Emergence, a triple-bill performance from Joss Arnott Dance (University of Salford) that was created in the throes of lockdown.

Sleeping Beauty at The Dukes is just one of the productions in this summer's line-up.

June also brings with it more family magic, as the warm and humorous When Another Dragon Roars sees a mother and son share stories together on a camping trip. There are performances at 11am and 2pm on Saturday June 26.

There is also a double dose of tender and bittersweet comedy-drama in July, with Sunnymead Court (Monday July 5), a lockdown romance conducted between balconies, and Jonathan Harvey’s revamped hit production Swan Song (Wednesday July 7), directed by BAFTA-winner Noreen Kershaw and starring TV and stage actor Andrew Lancel (Coronation Street).

The Dukes’ much-loved cinema programme is also set to restart in May, while other summer projects are in the pipeline and to be announced in due course. Tickets are also on sale for comedy performances from Sindhu Vee (September 15), Bridget Christie (October 16), Jenny Eclair (October 23) and Count Arthur Strong (March 31, 2022). Sarah Millican’s show on November 24 is sold out.

The Dukes’ Director, Karen O’Neill said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming audiences and the community back to The Dukes this spring and summer.

When Another Dragon Roars at The Dukes this summer.

“The team have worked hard to make our spaces safe and welcoming, with measures in place, and we have a great line up of fantastic films and brilliant theatre productions, both in-person and online, for audiences to look forward to. We can’t wait to have people back enjoying live theatre and the cinema experience with us again.

“It has been an incredibly hard time for everyone and we couldn’t have gone through the last year or so without the support of our audiences, supporters and funders – so, once again, a huge thank you to you all. We hope to see you here soon.”

Tickets are currently on sale via The Dukes website at www.dukeslancaster.org, with advanced booking required. As the café-bar remains closed for the time being, bookers can also pre-order refreshments when purchasing a ticket.

Bookers are encouraged to visit www.dukeslancaster.org/safety-measures to find full details of all safety measures.

Emergence Joss Arnott Dance at The Dukes this summer.
The Importance of Being Earnest at The Dukes.