The Dukes springs into new season

Published: 18 April 2021
Reporter: David Upton

Sleeping Beauty at the Dukes

The Dukes in Lancaster returns to live performance with a spring and summer season.

The line-up sees family theatre, dramas, guest speakers, dance and virtual reality.

It all marks the first live performances since October last year, resuming with safety measures in place.

The venue has embraced digital theatre and creativity during lockdown, with the likes of The Importance of Being Earnest, its co-production with Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield streaming April 19–May 4.

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 May 21. Spaces are limited and advised for people aged 13+.

There’s also an inventive take on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, courtesy of co-writers and co-directors Sarah Punshon and Daniel Bye. The show plays from May 25–June 6, with different seating pods available.

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

There’s dance on offer on June 17 in Emergence, a triple-bill performance from Joss Arnott Dance (University of Salford) created in lockdown.

June 26 also brings When Another Dragon Roars, which sees a mother and son share stories together on a camping trip.

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

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.