Princess & The Hustler, Twirlywoos Live!, Tom Gates, Into The Light, Equus

Princess & The Hustler – tour starts 9 February

Princess & The Hustler is set against the backdrop of the 1963 Bristol bus boycott, one of the pivotal moments in the history of the Black British civil rights movement, but an event that remains little known outside of the South West.

The boycott, which led to the first Equalities and Discrimination laws, was triggered when Guy Bailey was refused a job interview by the Bristol Omnibus Company because of the colour of his skin.

Kudzai Sitima, who plays Phyllis ‘Princess’ James, is joined by Romayne Andrews, Donna Berlin, Emily Burnett, Seun Shote, Fode Simbo and Jade Yourell. There will also be a community chorus recruited through local workshops.

The play, which was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award, is written by Bristol-based Chinonyerem Odimba, and directed by Eclipse Theatre’s artistic director, Dawn Walton.

Princess & The Hustler is a co-production by Eclipse Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and Hull Truck Theatre.

The plays visits Bristol Old Vic, New Wolsey Ipswich, Hull Truck Theatre, Nuffield Southampton Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, Liverpool Playhouse and Live Theatre Newcastle.

Twirlywoos Live! – tour starts 12 February

CBeebies hit Twirlywoos comes to the stage for very young audiences.

Featuring Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo there is mischief, music and surprises in this new adventure onboard the Big Red Boat.

Twirlywoos Live! is co-created by Anne Wood and Steve Roberts and written by Zoe Bourn.

It opens at Churchill Theatre Bromley then tours to The Lowry Salford, Epstein Theatre Liverpool, Birmingham Town Hall, Regent Theatre Stoke, Lowther Pavilion, Thameside Theatre Thurrock, Theatre Royal Winchester, Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, The Spotlight Broxbourne, Central Theatre Chatham, Lincoln New Theatre Royal, The Albany Coventry, Mansfield Palace Theatre, Palace Theatre Redditch, Broadway Theatre Letchworth, White Rock Theatre Hastings, The Forum Billingham, Johnstone Town Hall Johnstone, St George’s Hall Bradford, Civic Hall Ellesmere Port, Hertford Theatre, Palace Theatre Southend, South Holland Centre Spalding, The Castle Theatre Wellingborough, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Trinity Theatre Tunbridge Wells, Royal Hippodrome Theatre Eastbourne, Royal Spa Centre Leamington Spa, Swan Theatre Worcester, Theatre Royal St Helens, Grand Theatre Lancaster, Falkirk Town Hall and South Hill Park Bracknell.

Tom Gates – tour starts 14 February

Children’s author and illustrator Liz Pichon's best-selling series of books Tom Gates has been adapted for the stage for young audiences.

Adapted by Pichon with Neal Foster and featuring music by Mark Flannery, the show has a new story which includes Tom’s best friends Derek and Norman and their band Dogzombies.

Tom Gates is directed by Neal Foster. The show has its world première at Capitol Theatre Horsham and then visits Bristol Hippodrome, Lyceum Theatre Crewe, Darlington Hippodrome, New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Richmond Theatre, King’s Theatre Southsea, Guild Hall Preston, Liverpool Empire, New Theatre Hull, Milton Keynes Theatre, Swan Theatre High Wycombe and Playhouse Weston Super Mare with other dates to be announced.

Into The Light – tour starts 15 February

Into The Light is a new piece of physical theatre from Frantic Assembly that seeks to bring exposure to the unique capabilities of neurodivergent and Down’s Syndrome performers.

The show, which has been devised by the company, looks the right to be seen and heard and explores the attraction of the spotlight and connection through social media.

Scott Graham and Krista Vuori direct a cast of nine performers that includes neurotypical and learning disabled actors from Wales, Italy and Spain.

Into The Light is a Hijinx (Wales) and Teatro La Ribalta (Bolzano) production in association with Frantic Assembly in partnership with Sherman Theatre (Cardiff) and Danza Mobile (Seville). Tour details not provided.

Equus – tour starts 15 February

Peter Shaffer's psychological thriller Equus is re-imagined by Ned Bennett who directs a cast made up of Robert Finch as Frank Strang / Horse, Keith Gilmore as Harry Dalton / Nurse / Horse, Ethan Kai as Alan Strang, Syreeta Kumar as Dora Strang / Horse, Norah Lopez Holden as Jill Mason / Horse, Ruth Lass as Hester Salomon / Horse, Ira Mandela Siobhan as Young Horseman / Nugget and Zubin Varla as Martin Dysart.

The assistant director is Denzel Wesley, the movement director is Shelley Maxwell and the composer and sound designer is Giles Thomas.

Equus is an English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East co-production.

The plays opens at Theatre Royal Stratford East then visits Cambridge Arts Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath, Bristol Old Vic, The Lowry, Northern Stage and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.