Dressing up takes centre stage as the Northcott launches its autumn 2013 season

Exeter Northcott Theatre has launched its new look autumn 2013 season brochure. As well as being packed with great drama, dance, opera, family theatre and comedy, the brochure features stunning images throughout by local photographer Matt Austin.

Inspired by the family Christmas show, The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn, dressing up is very much the theme this autumn. The Exeter Northcott Theatre invited members of their audience to delve into their magical dressing up box whilst Matt Austin took a fantastic set of photographs. 

Amongst the many highlights of the new season is the world première of Dawn King’s new play Ciphers, (Weds 16 – Sat 19 October) which begins a national tour at Exeter Northcott Theatre and is a co-production with Out of Joint and the Bush Theatre. With Ciphers, King has written a smart and provocative thriller about spies, double agents, and the opaqueness of the human soul.

Kate Tyrrell, Executive Director, comments “Exeter Northcott Theatre has a rich history of supporting new writing and we are delighted to be able to do this once again by joining forces with Out of Joint and the Bush to premiere this new work”.

The family Christmas show sees the return of the renowned theatre company Tall Stories with The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn (Wed 11 December –Sat 4 January). The show is full of catchy songs and astounding magic and will also inspire a visual arts project in partnership with DAISI and Devon primary schools, whose work will decorate the theatre during the festive season.

The new season also sees the launch of the theatre’s ENGAGE programme, to provide opportunities for those with itchy creative feet to get more involved. From a story-telling group for the very young to play-reading session for adults, there is a broad range of ways for people to take centre stage. ENCORE is the theatre’s new fundraising programme, which sees the launch of a new members scheme and business club as well as a backstage club for families. More information on both ENGAGE and ENCORE can be found in the new brochure and on the Exeter Northcott website.

Other highlights of the autumn season include:


The theatre hosts two brilliant comedians in Andrew O’Neill (Sat 5 October) and the godfather of alternative comedy, Alexei Sayle (Sat 26 October). Also in October, Fascinating Aïda ( Fri 25 October) return with their Charm Offensive. Other treats for comedy fans later in the season include the razor-sharp observations of Jo Caulfield (Sun 10 November) and Chris Ramsey (Sun 1 December), who wonders whether he is The Most Dangerous Man on Saturday Morning Television. In ‘yet another farewell’ tour, Barry Cryer (Sat 25 January) seeks to bring a ray of sunshine amid the dark clouds of life.


The season gets off to a great start with Willy Russell’s Educating Rita (Wed 25 – Sat 28 September), followed by Michael Morpurgo’s Toro! Toro! (Tues 8 – Sat 12 October) which brings the Spanish civil war to Exeter. Toro! Toro!, originally produced by Salisbury Playhouse, was nominated for the TMA Award for Best Show for Young People.  Filter Theatre in association The Royal Shakespeare Company returns by popular demand to the Exeter Northcott with Twelfth Night (Tues 5 – Sat 9 November) after their sell-out show in 2010. A great introduction to Shakespeare, this production of Twelfth Night is one of the freshest and most acclaimed Shakespeare productions in recent years. Finally, Salisbury Playhouse’s wonderfully English comedy The Recruiting Officer (Tues 3 – Sat 7 December), brings bawdiness, bed-hopping and meddling servants to the Northcott stage.


Grandpa in my Pocket: Teamwork! (Wed 7 – Sat 10 August) comes to the Exeter Northcott stage for a whole new ‘Grandpa’ experience for young fans of the hugely popular CBeebies televisions series. A brand new story told by a young ensemble who bring all your favourite Sunnysands characters and places to life before your eyes.  Direct from Australia, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo (Fri 13 – Sun 15 September) brings these awesome prehistoric creatures to the stage as you’ve never seen them before.  Squashbox Theatre are back in October with Curious Creatures (Sat 5 October), using puppets, comedy, slapstick and live music to uncover the mysteries of the magical kingdom. Combining games, songs and heart warming elephant antics is The Elephant Bridesmaid (Sun 3 November), and later in November, Travelling Light and Bristol Old Vic presents BOING! (Sun 17 November), an enchanting mix of comedy, acrobatics and breakdancing.


The Mark Bruce Company of ten exceptional dancers bring Bram Stoker’s haunting tale Dracula (Tues 1 & Wed 2 October) to life in a heart wrenching and magical dance theatre production. Sadler’s Wells presents the Russell Maliphant Company‘s Still Current  (Tues 22 & Wed 23 October) which features newly created duets, trios and solos danced by this remarkable company of dancers including Dickson MBI, who recently stunned audiences with his strength and unique popping style in the Lucozade Revive commercial. Shobana Jeysasingh Dance (Thurs 14 & Fri 15 November) celebrate their 25th anniversary with a double bill of Strange Blooms, a new piece featuring early baroque music with all its exuberance and contrast, and Configurations, Jeyasingh’s seminal 1988 piece celebrated for its exhilarating speed and stunning detail. The phenomenally popular BalletBoyz® (Tues 26 & Weds 27 November) make their Exeter Northcott Theatre debut with two stunning dance pieces by internationally celebrated choreographers Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett.


Inspired by the wit and humour of the Venice carnival season, English Touring Opera present a trio of Opera’s in November: Cavalli’s Jason (Wed 20 November); Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea (Thurs 21 November) and Handel’s Agrippina (Fri 22 & Sat 23 November).


Exeter Northcott Theatre continues to offer up its facilities to local companies and welcomes  Stage by Stage’s production of the classic musical, Annie (Tues 29 October – Sat 2 November) and Chance to Dance return for a fifth year with a showcase of work featuring local dance schools.


Australian guitarist, Craig Ogden (Sun 8 December) is one of the most exciting artists of his generation and both of his Classic FM albums have shot straight to the top of the UK Classical chart. Graffiti Classics (Fri 20 December) bring their 16 strings, 8 dancing feet and 4 voices to Exeter with the aim to make classical music wickedly funny and exhilarating for young and old alike.


Tickets for the autumn 2013 season go on general sale at 10am on Friday 21 June. Call the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office on 01392 493493 or book your seats online at the Exeter Northcott Theatre website. Alternatively buy in person from Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, EX4 4QB

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