New work festival returns to Derby Theatre

Steve Orme

A festival of “fresh and exciting theatre” as well as a number of touring productions are among the highlights at Derby Theatre during summer 2017.

For the fifth year, the theatre will stage DEparture Lounge, a festival of new work with a bumper line-up of shows, workshops, talks and Edinburgh previews.

As part of the festival, Derby Theatre and the HopBarn in Southwell, Nottinghamshire will team up to offer an emerging theatre company a “package holiday” to develop its work.

The theatre is looking for a piece that is between 50 minutes and an hour long that fits into a studio space. Anyone interested should apply to Dan Nicholas at d.nicholas@derby.ac.uk by Friday 14 April. DEparture Lounge runs from Thursday 20 until Sunday 23 July.

Touring shows include Tim Luscombe’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, presented by Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, from 10 until 12 April; Deborah McAndrew’s adaptation of Edmund Rostand’s romantic comedy Cyrano, a Northern Broadsides and New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme production, from 16 until 20 May; and Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone with a cast featuring Andrew Lancel who was Brian Clough in the 2016 production of The Damned United at Derby Theatre, from 12 until 17 June.

The Derby Theatre youth theatre groups will present four plays: The Blue Road by Laura Lomas in four venues across the UK, Daffodil Scissors by Philip Ridley, Stay Brave Bryony Gravy by Carl Grose and Dark Age by Richard Hurford.

Derby Theatre’s artistic director and chief executive Sarah Brigham said, “I’m absolutely thrilled that we continue to attract record numbers of audiences and members of our community seeing, enjoying, supporting and participating in our work here at the theatre.

“As we look to the summer and beyond, these numbers look set to soar further with the exciting and diverse programme of productions and events we have on offer over the next few months.”

Looking ahead to the autumn, the theatre will present Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, adapted by Neil Bartlett and directed by Sarah Brigham from 30 September until 21 October.