November 2015

25 November 2015

Exeter Northcott Theatre announce spring/summer 2016 season

Exeter Northcott Theatre will produce a new adaptation of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal which will mark artistic director Paul Jepson’s directorial debut for the theatre.

Exeter Northcott Theatre will also produce This Is My Body, a new play about the shocking reality of human trafficking in the UK. This will also be directed by Paul Jepson.

Two fantastic musicals in Avenue Q and, direct from the West End, the latest critically acclaimed staging of American Idiot.

Mark Bruce Company bring The Odyssey, Homer’s epic poem retold in an extraordinary dance theatre production

Celebrating ‘Shakespeare 400’ – four centuries since William Shakespeare died, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory present Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well in repertoire.

Exeter Northcott Theatre is delighted to announce its exciting spring/summer 2016 season. The season will see the theatre produce two new shows and will mark artistic director Paul Jepson’s directorial debut for the theatre.

Harold Pinter’s Betrayal begins at the end of an affair and pursues an enthralling journey to its very beginnings. As memory reels backwards towards the moment the affair started, the lies tangle into a web of deception. Smart, darkly funny and full of yearning, this is one of Pinter’s most accessible and riveting plays.

Exeter Northcott will also produce This Is My Body, a powerful one-woman play that uncovers the shocking reality of human trafficking in the UK and the failures of the system to adequately respond to and support the victims.

Greenday’s explosive, award winning Broadway musical, American Idiot will come to Exeter Northcott in May. X-Factor finalist Amelia Lily will be reprising her critically-acclaimed role, Whatsername, with further casting to be announced.

Tony Award winning musical, Avenue Q will also visit the theatre in May. Part flesh, part felt and packed with heart, this hilarious, cheeky and irresistibly entertaining musical is truly like nothing else you have seen.

Following the huge success of the award-winning Dracula, Mark Bruce Company return to Exeter Northcott in April with their production of The Odyssey. Set to music ranging from Mozart to Mark Lanegan, this Odyssey is of now – contemporary horror and fantasy splintering from ancient myth.

Other highlights of the autumn season include:


After years of drifting aimlessly and alone, Richard Herring is now settled down with a wife and a tiny baby. Is he finally happy now? Or does responsibility for the lives of others come with its own terrors? (Fri 11 March).

Returning after a critically-acclaimed, total sell-out spring 2015 tour, The Grumpy Old Women are back to knock some sense into the nation with their Fifty Shades of Beige ( Sun 3 July).


A unique story teller and comedian, Andy Kirkpatrick, takes up where his last tour finished, arriving in Antarctica dreaming of climbing the ‘hardest mountain in the world’, before further cold adventures in Alaska, Norway and Patagonia. Cold Mountain is a mash up of thoughts and experiences, good times and bad, laughter and maybe tears, but certainly out of this world. (Sun 7 February).

Liza Pulman (of Fascinating Aïda) brings you an evening of some of the greatest songs from the silver screen. From As Time Goes By to Moon River, through Hitchcock, the romantic comedy and even the American western, these are the songs of our Saturday afternoons and our Sunday nights. Accompanied by the Joseph Atkins Orchestra this is a joyous evening not to be missed. (Sat 12 March)

Exeter Northcott is delighted to welcome back English Touring Theatre, this time with their new production of The Herbal Bed, the secret life of Shakespeare’s daughter. A powerful exposé of the contradiction between human desire and social convention which seeks to repress it, Peter Whelan’s moving and uplifting play provides a beautiful evocation of life in Shakespearian England.  It was first produced to great acclaim by the Royal Shakespeare Company before transferring to the West End and Broadway. (Tues 15 – Sat 19 March)

Creative Cow return to Exeter Northcott with their new production of Graham Greene’s Travels With My Aunt. Four actors take on over 20 characters in this hilarious mad cap dash around the world with Henry Pulling, a retired suburban bank manager with a penchant for dahlias. To his aunt’s great delight, he finds himself coming alive as he puts his former dull and predictable life behind him. (Tues 10 May – Sat 14 May)

Step into the wordless world of Vamos Theatre for this bitter-sweet story of mistaken morals and broken hearts, 45s and beehives, where sexual revolution proves a hard and rocky path to tread. Funny, heart-breaking and human, The Best Thing is the latest touring production from one of the country’s must-see theatre companies. (Mon 16 &Tues 17 May)

From one of the most exciting playwrights to emerge since Alan Ayckbourn, Torben Betts, and produced by the award-winning Original Theatre Company (Birdsong, Three Men In A Boat), comes a brand new production of the smash hit, sell-out comedy, Invincible (Tues 7 – Sat 11 June).

From the producers of the critically acclaimed touring productions of Birdsong and Flare Path, Shadowlands is the stunning drama written by William Nicholson that poses classic questions about religion, pain and love, through childhood innocence through the beautiful wonder of late-flowering love.This West End and Broadway hit is the love story of C.S. Lewis – Oxford don and author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters – and American poet Joy Davidman (Tues 28 June – Sat 2 July)


Get ready to set sail through monster-infested waters with Here Be Monsters. An action-packed new musical adventure, performed by five talented actor musicians, set to delight family audiences with its mixture of magical story-telling, original music and thrills galore! (Sun 13 March)

The Exeter Northcott is delighted to welcome Northern Ballet to Exeter for their debut visit. Following the success of Ugly Duckling, Three Little Pigs and Elves & the Shoemaker, and their TV adaptations for CBeebies, the company now bring their magic to Tortoise & the Hare. (Wed 30 March)

New Perspectives bring three hugely imaginative and funny stories from one of the giants of 20th century British poetry vividly to life in a brand new production for children and family audiences. The Coming of the Kings is a wild retelling of the nativity. Sean, the Fool, the Devil and The Cats is a cautionary tale about eating the wrong person’s stew. The Tiger’s Bones is a brief history of the foolishness of modern man. (Thur 31 March – Fri 1 April)

The Jungle Book is a spectacular new production from the award-winning Metta Theatre bringing Kipling’s classic tale crashing into the 21st Century with breath taking street dance and circus. (Tues 26 – Sat 30 April)

Stuff and Nonsense return with a thrilling adaptation of everyone’s favourite beary-tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A brilliant mix of ingenious puppetry, music and mischievous moments for everyone in the family aged two and older than two! (Sun 5 June)


Fresh from celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Richard Alston Dance Company leaps into its third decade with characteristic panache, and a programme of works bearing the Alston hallmarks of musicality and grace (Tues 8 & Weds 9 March)

Celebrating the theatre’s shared commitment to dance development in Devon, Dance in Devon and Exeter Northcott Theatre are delighted to once again come together to present the Watch This Space platform for emerging dance artists from our region. (Wed 20 April)

BalletBoyz are back in Exeter!  This brand new show is performed by an all-male company of ten amazing dancers who perform to a mesmerizing and evocative original musical score.  Find out why BalletBoyz have created generations of dance fans through their inventive, vivid and memorable shows. (Sun 15 May)


English Touring Opera return to Exeter for another season of fantastic opera. Following the success of The Siege of Calais and The Wild Man of the West Indies, ETO continues to explore Donizetti’s operas with the first British production of Pia de’ Tolomei (Tues 24 May). Mozart’s Don Giovanni is one of the best-loved operas with a dramatic story and ravishing music. (Wed 25, Thurs 26 & Sat 28 May. Glucks’ Iphigenie en Tauride features vampire like villians and human sacrifice from a bloodthirsty backdrop to what is one of the most refined and perfect oepras, based on a famous story from Greek myth ( Fri 27 May)


Exeter University Student Company present Tony Kushner’s multiple award winning play, Angels in America. Set in 1980s New York, the play follows the intertwining lives of Louis and his boyfriend Prior, as well as Joe and his agoraphobic wife, Harper. When Prior is diagnosed with AIDS, Louis struggles to come to terms with his mortality and meets Joe, who happens to be in the wrong place at the right time (Wed 20 – Sat 23 January)

Exeter University Footlights Society present the world’s most successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera. Phantom is Broadway’s longest running show featuring all-time favourites such as The Music of the Night and Think of Me, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, based on the novel by Gaston Leroux.

Exeter University Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s exciting new production of Princess Ida sets W.S Gilbert’s libretto and Sir Arthur Sullivan’s beloved score in the Edwardian era amid a backdrop of suffragette unrest. It promises to be an evening of incredible music, dramatic staging, and a compelling story that encompasses battles of love, duty, gender, and power (Wed 10 – Sat 13 February)

Brought to you by the Noda and Rose Bowl award-winning Exeter Musical Society, Legally Blonde is an all singing, all dancing romantic comedy will be lots of fun for all the family. When Elle Woods’ boyfriend, Warner, unexpectedly dumps her she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School and win him back. Worlds collide but with the support of her new friends and of course her trusty chihuahua Bruiser, she learns that you can be both smart and fashionable! (Mon4 – Sat 9 April)

Following the blockbuster sell-out success of Les Miserables in 2014 and Grease in 2015, Stage by Stage returns with Spamlot, another high-energy, high comedy explosion! This spectacular staging of the award-winning Broadway and West End show features all the classic characters, including The Knights who Say Ni and the ferocious Frenchmen with a taste for elderberries. The hilarious score by Eric Idle and John DuPrez includes such favourites as Brave Sir Robin and We’re Knights of the Round Table, but lobs in capering corpses and dramatic divas for good measure! ( Tues 21 – Sat 25 June)


Tickets for the Spring/Summer 2016 season are on sale now. Call the Exeter Northcott Theatre box office on 01392 726363 or book your seats online at the Exeter Northcott Theatre website: www.exeternorthcott.co.uk. Alternatively buy in person from Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, EX4 4QB

25 November 2015

Exeter Northcott Theatre secures new funding

Exeter Northcott Theatre is delighted to announce that The Michael Bishop Foundation has granted £50,000 a year for the next three years in unrestricted funds. The Michael Bishop Foundation supports a range of organisations across the arts, education and health sectors and was established in 1989 by Lord Glendonbrook.

Exeter Northcott Theatre Chair Lady Studholme said “We are thrilled – this really is wonderful news.  It is a real endorsement of the progress the Theatre has made during this year. We are committed to matching this annual grant through our own fundraising initiatives within the local community and taking advantage of gift aid”.

A spokesperson for The Michael Bishop Foundation said: “We are delighted to be able to support Exeter Northcott Theatre. The Theatre’s management have articulated a clear and exciting vision for the future of live performance in Exeter and we are very pleased to be able to help them achieve this”.

News of this grant comes at a time when Exeter Northcott Theatre return to producing, marked by next month’s Christmas show – a new adaption of Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, in collaboration with the excellent local theatre company Creative Cow. In Spring 2016, artistic & executive director Paul Jepson will direct Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.

The theatre’s profile has been further raised by a documentary, filmed over the course of this year, which was screened on BBC1 and BBC4 as part of the BBC’s On Stage season. (Available to download on BBC iPlayer).

03 November 2015

The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead

English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse present

The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead

Tues 24 – Sat 28 November 2015
English Touring Theatre return to the Exeter Northcott Theatre at the end of November, this time with The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead, their acclaimed collaboration with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.  The production reunites Simon Armitage and Nick Bagnall after their recent collaborations on The Last Days of Troy and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

A high ranking government minister with a colourful past is sent on a delicate diplomatic mission to Istanbul. But when his trip ends up in a horrific bar room brawl, social media explodes and the enigmatic darling of a political party becomes Europe’s most wanted man overnight. Chased by the authorities, damned by religious leaders, pursued by those looking for vengeance and head-hunted by fanatics, his Odyssey begins.

Plunged into the ancient past Odysseus must now contend with all the unworldly beings and unnatural phenomena that stand in his way.  The Cyclops, the Sirens, witches, whirlpools and flesh-eating armies must all be overcome in the struggle for survival and the long voyage back to the present day.  Back at home, with her husband missing presume dead, his wife Penelope and their young son are besieged by the press, ravenous for the full story.

Simon Armitage said “The new gods sit in Whitehall and Downing Street, no less image-obsessed and power-hungry than their ancient counterparts, and a latter-day borderless Europe forms the backdrop to Odysseus’ travels, to a journey that begins at the confluence point of East and West, a place of conflict from the Siege of Troy to the present day.”

Nick Bagnall commented, “The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead is a story Simon and I have wanted to tell since we left the Greeks setting sail for Ithaca in our production of The Last Days of Troy. We are going to sail Odysseus home. After ten years in a stalemate stuck on a disease ridden beach with the Trojans behind their impenetrable wall we now face the open seas and a whole army of mythical creatures to knock us off course. It has been the most thrilling year for me, from my appointment as Associate Director to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and then The Odyssey with our greatest living poet.”


A timely modern political drama … ingeniously interweaving past and present”

Ambitious, epic new work”

Funny and full of surprises


Tickets: A £24.50 B £21.50 C £19 D £16
Sat Matinee: £16.50
Concs: £2 off
Groups 10+ get 11th FREE
Schools: £9 for groups 10+
Student Standby: £8
Captioned Performance & Post Show Q&A: Thu 26 Nov
Touch Tour & Audio Described Performance: Sat 28 Nov matinee


For more information, please contact Jenny Hogg on 01392 722409 or email her at j.l.hogg@exeter.ac.uk

Notes to editors

Simon Armitage has published nine volumes of poetry, most recently Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid (Faber, 2006) and The Not Dead (Pomona, 2008). He has won numerous awards and prizes and been shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His translation of the middle English classic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, commissioned by Faber & Faber in the UK and Norton in the US, was published in 2007. An anthology of bird poetry, edited with Tim Dee, was published by Viking in October 2009 and his latest collection of poetry Seeing Stars was published by Faber in 2010. His dramatisation of The Odyssey, commissioned by the BBC, was broadcast on Radio 4. The book, Homer’s Odyssey – A Retelling, was published by Faber & Faber in the UK and by Norton in the US. He has written for over a dozen television films, and received an Ivor Novello Award for his song-lyrics in the Channel 4 film Feltham Sings, which also won a BAFTA. His prose work includes two novels, the best-selling memoir All Points North, (Penguin 1998) which was the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and its follow-up, Gig.  Armitage’s 2012 non-fiction book Walking Home, an account of his troubadour journey along the Pennine Way, was a Sunday Times best-seller and was shortlisted for the 2012 Portico Prize.


Associate Director of Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Nick Bagnall directs. For the company, his work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Electric Hills. His other work includes The Last Days of Troy and Britannia Waves the Rules (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Shakespeare’s Globe), Henry VI, Parts I, II & III (Shakespeare’s Globe/UK Tour), A Christmas Fair and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Milton Rooms, Malton), Fragile (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Betrayal (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), A Separate Reality (Royal Court Rough Cut), By Jeeves (Landor), Billy Liar (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Guys and Dolls (Arts Theatre Cambridge), Entertaining Mr Sloane (Trafalgar Studios), Burning Cars (Hampstead Theatre), Mongoose (Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh), Promises & Lies (Birmingham Rep.), Bolthole and ‘Low Dat (The Door, Birmingham Rep.) and The Ruffian on The Stair (Old Red Lion).