Varied programme in new season at Westacre Theatre

The Audience, with Helen Mirren as the Queen
The Audience, with Helen Mirren as the Queen
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A performance-packed summer season is in store at Westacre Theatre – and to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, there is a Shakespeare strand celebrating his work.

In July, the Young People take over the stage for All’s Not As Well As You’d Like It. Devised and written especially for Westacre Theatre by Katherine Shaw and Merlyn Salter, the young ensemble offers a unique glimpse into the lives of 400 Shakespeare characters.

The  Alauda Quartet have a concert at Westacre as part of the King's Lynn Festival

The Alauda Quartet have a concert at Westacre as part of the King's Lynn Festival

July also sees the exciting opportunity for anyone and everyone to join in reading the complete works of Shakespeare in exactly 400 minutes.

There are at least 40 plays to get through so Westacre Theatre will need all the willing readers it can find. Great fun to do, it’s on a Saturday, and the barbecue afterwards will relax and unwind you.

A live screening from the RSC of Hamlet in June is followed in July by a live screening from The Garrick of Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet, starring Richard Madden and Lily James. Two more live screenings later in the autumn are Cymbeline in September and King Lear in October.

The varied Westacre programme will feature four in-house productions. France in 1959 is the setting for Heroes which was successfully translated by Tom Stoppard in happy collaboration with French playwright Gerald Sibleyras.

A View from the Bridge stars Phoebe Fox, Mark Strong and Nicola Walker (photo by Jan Versweyveld)

A View from the Bridge stars Phoebe Fox, Mark Strong and Nicola Walker (photo by Jan Versweyveld)

Gustav, Philippe and Henri are three First World War veterans in a retirement home, passing their time by grumbling about the staff and dreaming about young women.

The result is a truthful comedy where you might feel mean for laughing at them, but for them, there is nothing amusing about their plight. An evening in May with The Westacre Theatre Company will allow you to share their plans for an escape from the home.

Light relief is provided by DixieMix playing again in July for the annual Jazz Picnic down by the landscaped lagoon.

Three of the very best screenings from recent years enjoy their own mini-season on three consecutive Friday evenings in July – Matthew Bourne’s triumphant reinterpretation of Swan Lake, the electrifying Young Vic version of A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, and the multi-award-winning West End production of The Audience, with Helen Mirren as the Queen.

The value-for-money ticket includes a two-course pre-performance summer supper.

Westacre Theatre is privileged to host the only King’s Lynn Festival event out of town. Alauda Quartet’s concert comes complete with Sunday afternoon tea and past experience suggests a quick sell out.

The Robert Harling story of trust and friendship will be next from The Westacre Theatre Company when Steel Magnolias is staged in mid-August.

Well-known playwright John Godber provides Westacre with their final production of the season in Up’n’Under. The rugby sevens from the local pub have yet to win a match.

Details of all these events with the opportunity to book your favourite seats are at www.westacretheatre.com or you can call the theatre on 01760 755800.