First up let’s look at PUSH. The programme brings together the best fringe shows of the last year (it’s basically a rebranded Re:play Festival), so you can catch up on the ones you missed and also revisit your faves. We’re really looking forward to The Trial, which was brilliant, as well as Debs Gatenby’s A Place Called Happiness, which we somehow managed to miss.
Debs will also be performing at Queer Contact, where our prime pick is Le Gateau Chocolat: Black, which deals with the difficult subject of depression through performance and song. Other highlights include appearances from Kate O’Donnell and David Hoyle.
There’s also exciting stuff going on over at The Lowry, with a new series titled WTF Wednesdays that aims to be a bit of a boundary pusher. The first piece Castle Rock (a reimagining of Stephen King’s Stand By Me) certainly fits that billing: very weird, but very good. Also on at The Lowry is Dark Hearts of Space, which explores the nature of black holes through music and visuals (think Infinite Monkey Cage at a rave).
Finally, something a bit more sedate. Theatre by the Lake in Keswick has a new artistic director in Conrad Lynch, with William Wordsworth as the first piece under his leadership – the perfect theatrical accompaniment to a Lake District trip.
Here are our top 5 picks
PUSH gives you a chance to revisit your favourite theatre moments from the previous year and catch up on a few you might have missed out on. Comedy, cabaret and a play with a man who was a rubber-faced revelation – what better way to start your theatre year.
Castle Rock takes its cues from Stephen King’s film Stand By Me, totally deconstructing it to create a freaky and fragmentary work that mixes together music, movement and theatre. Where else are you going to see a woman in a white suit pretending to be a train?
We’re expecting big things from this new name in North West theatre creation, and we reckon Theatre by the Lake’s first production William Wordsworth will not disappoint. A welcome return home for the excellent English Touring Theatre.
Take a great DJ set, add a splash of art and multiply that by a double dose of science and you get Dark Hearts of Space, a new audio visual show that unravels the mysteries of black holes. Creative performing arts with a purpose.
Le Gateau Chocolat has an incredible voice, which can bend to the lowest bass and trill at the top of the treble. He is also more than a simply a singer: he’s an all round show-stopping performer. His new piece Black explores the theme of depression through performance and song…and should be stunning.