Many happy returns for Dukes

Published: 14 August 2021
Reporter: David Upton

The Dukes, Lancaster Credit: David Chadderton

The Dukes theatre in Lancaster celebrates its 50th birthday year with news of its new season.

Since opening its doors in 1971, Lancashire’s only producing theatre has welcomed the likes of Dame Harriet Walter, Gloria Grahame, Andy Serkis and Sir Ian McKellen.

In 1987, The Dukes broke new ground with the first-ever Play in the Park, A Midsummer Night's Dream. This year’s stories of Grimm Tales has been a sell-out production.

In 1995, the venue opened a second building, Moor Space, transforming it from an empty shell into the home of participatory work with the local community and a new performance space.

The 50th year celebration includes many live performances, including a newly-commissioned work focusing on Lancaster stories. Belle & Mary is a new retelling of an infamous Lancaster true-crime tale. But The Dukes will also welcome companies from across the UK with family productions such as Tarzanna and Protein Dance’s The Little Prince.

There is also comedy and drama with La Navet Bete Theatre’s The Three Musketeers: A Comedy Adventure and Dracula: The Untold Story by Lancaster theatre company imitating the dog.­­­