ACTOR AND DIRECTOR: Barrie Rutter will be performing at The Georgian Theatre Royal, in Richmond
ACTOR AND DIRECTOR: Barrie Rutter will be performing at The Georgian Theatre Royal, in Richmond

A FIGUREHEAD of theatre in the North will be among the acts making up the new spring and summer season at Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal.

The actor and director Barrie Rutter – best-known for setting up the pioneering touring company Northern Broadsides – will be presenting a one-off fundraising gala performance on Saturday, March 21.

In an evening of poetry and prose, Barrie will share tales and anecdotes from his life and career that took him from son of a Hull fishworker given a part in the school play to Royal Shakespeare Company actor and director of one of the country’s foremost touring companies.

All proceeds from the evening will go towards the theatre’s recently launched A Living Theatre Campaign to safeguard the future of Britain’s oldest working theatre in its original form.

Alongside Barrie Rutter are many other leading performers from the world of drama, comedy and music who are also part of the new spring and summer line-up.

The first two shows of the season are both firm comedy favourites.On February 20 is Rose d’Or winner for radio comedy Paul Sinha. He has also appeared on Radio 4’s Just A Minute and The News Quiz and on television’s QI, Would I Lie to You? and The Chase. Paul is followed by Arabella Weir on February 29, the bestselling author and star of The Fast Show and Two Doors Down with her new show Does My Mum Loom Big in This?

Later in the season, Troy Hawke makes a welcome return to the Georgian on April 24 with Tiles of the Unexpected, a show that picked up multiple comedy awards at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

Not to leave out the children, there will be a matinee performance of Comedy Club 4 Kids on April 4, a family friendly show with stand-ups and sketches suitable for everyone over six.

Drama is well-catered for in the season ahead. On March 6, the popular Lipservice theatre company present the hilarious railway spoof Strangers on a Train Set which is followed by The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde from Arrows and Traps Theatre on March 7.

Arrows and Traps return later in the season with Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp on May 16, which tells the enigmatic story of the world’s best-loved clown.

Reaching further back

into history is a new version of Geoffrey Chaucer’s timeless classic The Canterbury Tales

on March 12, which promises to be fast, furious, filthy and funny.

Music lovers are set for a varied programme of performances with everything from pop to opera.

World-class saxophonist Snake Davis who has recorded with artists from McCartney to The Eurythmics will be taking to the stage on March 13 with singer-songwriter Chris Bannister in a fun acoustic duo set.

Fans of the Carpenters will be delighted by the sounds of Solitaire on March 14, a five-piece band dedicated to capturing the original Carpenters’ live experience.

Another popular tribute band is Arrival – performing on une 18 and 19 – who have been voted best Abba show by the UK Abba Fan Club for seven years running. Not to be missed on May 15 is the Australian pianist David Scheel, whose entertaining musical comedy show is a hilarious send-up of classical music.

For something a bit different on the musical scene, guitarist, composer and ukulele virtuoso, Richard Durrant, will be calling in at Richmond on June 13

as part of his musical cycling tour. Another great night out is an evening of Good Old Days Music Hall on June 20 when the celebrated Marske Choir will be attempting to raise the roof.

The Georgian Theatre Royal is also pleased to be part of the prestigious Swaledale Festival, with the world-famous People Show Cabaret on May 27 and Pneûma, a piece of dance art, on May 30.

Details of all shows, as well as further performances, are available via www.georgian