Three world premieres and the return of Kyiv City Ballet announced for York Theatre Royal’s 2023 Sovereign Season
- In summer 2023 a world premiere adaptation by Mike Kenny of C. J. Sansom’s acclaimed Tudor-set novel Sovereign (15-30 July) will be staged in and around the grounds of the historic King’s Manor in York, where the novel is set. As the city awaits the arrival of Henry VIII, lawyer Matthew Shardlake is plunged into a mystery that could threaten the future of the crown. Juliet Forster, Mingyu Lin and John R. Wilkinson will direct a professional cast together with a large community cast and choir.
- Mayflies (28 April-13 May) is a new musical from York-based award-winning composer, lyricist and playwright Gus Gowland, telling the story of a romantic relationship from its first flourish to its final goodbye. Gowland’s musical Pieces of String won The Stage’s best regional musical of the year and he won The Stage Debut Award for best composer and lyricist.
- Run, Rebel (7-11 March), an adaptation of Manjeet Mann’s celebrated novel in a co-production with Pilot Theatre. This follows Noughts & Crosses, The Bone Sparrow and Crongton Knights as a production made specially for audiences 11+
- An Evening With Kyiv City Ballet (30 March) sees the return of the Ukranian company following their sellout performance in June 2022. All funds raised will support Kyiv City Ballet and York Theatre Royal’s ongoing partnership.
Before that, an already-announced fourth world premiere debuts this month (October) with David Reed’s explosive comedy Guy Fawkes (28 Oct -12 Nov), directed by Gemma Fairlie.
York Theatre Royal’s production of Around the World in 80 Days (2-4 February) returns to the theatre before embarking on an extensive UK tour. The production was first staged in 2021 with the Jules Verne classic adapted and directed by Juliet Forster.
The Sovereign Season also includes Mark Gatiss directing Ian Hallard’s new comedy about devotion, desire and dancing queens The Way Old Friends Do (6-10 June) in which old school pals decide to form the world’s first ABBA tribute band – in drag.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s new production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (June 13-17) will be directed by Atari Banerjee in his RSC directorial debut. The production will feature a Community Leaders Chorus of six women recruited from the York community.
Northern Broadsides return with their production of Quality Street (16-20 May),whose tour was interrupted by the pandemic. Written by Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie, this farce gave its name to the UK’s most-loved chocolates.
Barrie’s boy who never grew up features in this year’s pantomime All New Adventures of Peter Pan (2 Dec-2 Jan) starring Maddie Moate from CBeebies and three of last year’s Cinderella stars – Robin Simpson, Paul Hawkyard and Faye Campbell.
For younger audiences, Easter fun brings a wealth of theatre for younger audiences including Zog (31 March-1 April), Fireman Sam Saves the Circus (4 April), Northern Ballet’s Ugly Duckling (6 April) and Amazing Bubbleman (15 April). Hey Duggee: The Live Theatre Show (29 June-2 July) finds Duggee touring for the first time with his friends including the Squirrels, Betty, Happy and Norrie.
Tom Bird, Chief Executive at York Theatre Royal said, “We’re hugely proud to bring you the Sovereign Season. An immense amount of work from the whole York Theatre Royal has gone into crafting this exceptional season of theatre, which is bookended by Guy Fawkes and Sovereign, two home-made York stories, as we continue to tell the long and winding tale of this wonderful city. In-between, we will host world-class performance from the likes of Kakilang, New Earth, Northern Ballet and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the midst of all this we are very proud to host the return of the Kyiv City Ballet to York in March. Join us!”
Tickets for The Sovereign Season are on sale to members from today (Wed Oct 12) and the general public from Saturday Oct 22 at 1pm.
Box office 01904 623568 | yorktheatreroyal.co.uk
Full details of the Sovereign Season can be found on the theatre website yorktheatreroyal.co.uk
To join the production of Sovereign – anyone interested in being part of the community play can sign up from November.