The Northcott lines up events for the months ahead with autumn programme

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 August 2020

This year's pantomime at Exeter Northcott Theatre  Picture: Mark Dawson Photography

This year's pantomime at Exeter Northcott Theatre Picture: Mark Dawson Photography

Mark Dawson Photography

The Northcott lines up autumn and Christmas events

This year's pantomime at Exeter Northcott Theatre  Picture: Mark Dawson PhotographyThis year's pantomime at Exeter Northcott Theatre Picture: Mark Dawson Photography

After what has been, undoubtedly, the most difficult few months, Exeter Northcott is preparing to bounce back and has announced plans to stage a number of events, starting this autumn.

Since the coronavirus restrictions forced the theatre to close its doors back in March, the much-loved Exeter venue saw a loss of more than 90 per cent of its income from a lack of ticket sales.

Further disappointment followed when its application to Arts Council England for support from their Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund was turned down at the beginning of July

Yet, in stoic fashion, Daniel Buckroyd, artistic director and chief executive of Exeter Northcott said: “These are challenging times but as a charity, we will do everything we can to come back fighting fit to support our artists, our audiences and communities.”

This year's pantomime at Exeter Northcott Theatre  Picture: Mark Dawson PhotographyThis year's pantomime at Exeter Northcott Theatre Picture: Mark Dawson Photography

These words are now being put into practice as several events are lined up for the autumn, including a live stream of Romantics Anonymous, theatre-making classes for young people and a swashbuckling family adventure for Christmas.

Bookings are now being taken for Northcott Young Company (NYC) classes that will welcome young theatre-makers back to the theatre.

This August, up to 20 young people aged 13 to 17 will return to the theatre for four days of small-group theatre-making activities to help ease them out of lockdown.

Then from September 12, the Saturday classes will resume, leading up to a socially-distanced performance at the Northcott during October half-term. Lisa Hudson, Exeter Northcott’s creative learning manager said: “We know how much young people have been affected by lockdown - being away from friends and prevented from taking part in the activities they love has had a real impact on well-being – so resuming our NYC classes has felt more important than ever.”

Bookings are also being taken for the live stream of Romantics Anonymous. This September, audiences will be able to watch Emma Rice’s latest production, the charming hit musical based on the French film Les Emotifs Anonymes.

The show tells the story of two shy chocolatiers and their attempts to survive in the bruising real world. The show will be a fully-staged production and will be broadcast live with an introduction from Daniel Buckroyd and an online Q&A in the interval. Streaming tickets are available now and cost £15.

Not wanting audiences to miss out on all the joys of the traditional Christmas pantomime, the team have found a way to stage a rib-tickling take on the classic Treasure Island, with social-distancing measures in place.

Daniel Buckroyd said: “The safety of our audiences is our number one priority so we’re planning for people to be able to sit together in bubbles.

“We’ll be working within the latest guidelines and putting measures in place so that our audiences can return to the theatre with confidence and enjoy a great live experience.

“At a time when theatres up and down the country are cancelling Christmas, we’re delighted that we can give people here in Devon some festive fun to look forward to.”

In partnership with local comedy troupe Le Navet Bete, Exeter Northcott will stage a hilarious version of Treasure Island running from Wednesday, December 9 to Saturday, January 9.

Le Navet Bete were Northcott Associates for many years and their hit comedies include Dracula: The Bloody Truth, The Three Musketeers and Aladdin. Treasure Island was a sell-out smash at Plymouth’s Athenaeum last year and, as Al Dunn of Le Navet Bete said, they can’t wait to stage it in Exeter this year.

Tickets will become available from Wednesday, September 16 and will cost from £16.

In a normal year, the Northcott would draw an annual audience in excess of 100,000 from across Exeter, Devon and the wider region with its programme of exceptional live performances and creative learning. Its vision is to be a vibrant artistic hub for regional creative talent and a producer of mid-scale touring theatre with a special focus on drama, work for children and families, and new voices from the South West.

To book tickets, or for further information, visit www.exeternorthcott.co.uk


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