We’re thrilled to announce our highly anticipated autumn / winter season, showcasing more than 60 captivating performances and stories across Exeter from August 2023 to January 2024, including:
• Le Navet Bete return with King Arthur and then co-create Christmas pantomime Dick Whittington with the Northcott. Younger children can also enjoy a Christmas treat at the Barnfield Theatre with Dear Santa.
• South West companies Documental and Richard Chappell Dance debut new work at the Barnfield.
• Sadiq Ali challenges conventions with The Chosen Haram; Japanese theatre company tarinainanika make mesmerising mime with Rey Camoy; Sunday Times best-selling local author Raynor Winn (The Salt Path) charts an enchanting folk music journey with Saltlines.
Spine-chilling selection of Halloween shows
We’re hosting a range of haunted tales and ghostly encounters this autumn, transporting you into worlds of eerie suspense and edge-of-your seat thrills.
In September, you can experience the mysterious and macabre realms of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein like never before with Tilted Wig’s (Around the World in 80 Days) fresh and riveting take on the struggle between science and humanity (26 – 30 Sep, Northcott).
Looking forward to October, we’ll offer two immersive horror experiences that blur fantasy and reality. Thunder Road’s new ghost story Shock Horror (11 – 14 Oct, Northcott) stirs deep fears with unsettling illusions and visual effects. Danny Robbins (2:22 – A Ghost Story) then presents Uncanny: I Know What I Saw (16 – 17 Oct, Northcott), challenging perceptions of the paranormal and exploring the unexplained in a heart-pounding pursuit of truth.
You can also treat yourself to Do You Believe In Ghosts? (12 Sep, Northcott), re-discover a beloved vampire-slaying saga with the nostalgic experience Buffy: ReVamped (4 Nov, Northcott), and join ‘The Scottish Detective’ David Swindle as he delves into the challenges of chasing notorious serial killers in The Makings of a Murderer (16 Nov, Northcott).
Following the record-breaking Robin Hood, Devon’s ‘Kings of Comedy’, Le Navet Bete, return to our theatre this October half-term with another madcap medieval farce, King Arthur (23 – 28 Oct, Northcott). Join the treasured trio in magical Camelot for epic quests and comedic chaos suitable for all ages.
We’ll then team up with Le Navet Bete this holiday season to create a hilarious family pantomime experience like no other with our contemporary twist on classic rags-to-riches tale Dick Whittington (30 Nov – 7 Jan, Northcott).
Younger children can also meet Santa himself at our Barnfield Theatre with Dear Santa (13 – 24 Dec, Barnfield), a joyous show filled with laughter, surprises and the true spirit of Christmas.
South West talent showcase innovative new work at the Barnfield
The Barnfield (which we now manage) is becoming a vibrant cultural hub for emerging artists, providing performance spaces and support for showcasing important stories.
In October, Northcott Associate Artist Lucy Bell of Documental Theatre will debut their new musical, Mary and the Matrons, at the Barnfield (19 – 21 Oct, Barnfield). This heart-warming and humorous production follows Dr Mary Sheridan as she records stories from children and nurses in learning disability institutions during the 1960s. Mary and the Matrons features an integrated cast including learning disabled performers.
The same month, former Northcott Associate Artist Richard Chappell Dance will curate Home Revisited (28 Oct, Barnfield), an evening celebrating ritual, rave and human connection. The event includes an excerpt from acclaimed show Infinite Ways Home, previously performed at our theatre in 2021, and collaborative pieces made with intergenerational community groups in Devon. This performance commemorates the 10-year anniversary of Richard Chappell Dance’s premiere at the Barnfield.
We’re also hosting at the Barnfield Rebecca Vaughan’s (Austen‘s Women) ‘pre-TED-talk’ trip through Virginia Woolf’s influential early-feminist lectures in A Room of One’s Own (8 Sep, Barnfield), Seamas Carey’s (The Reason Why podcast) comical Cornish anti-gentrification war cry Help! I Think I’m a Nationalist (27 – 28 Sep, Barnfield), and MAST’s (Richard the Second) powerful new interpretation of South African apartheid drama Sizwe Banzi Is Dead (16 – 17 Oct, Barnfield).
Also coming up this season
We’re bringing a diverse range of boundary-pushing and international physical theatre performances to the South West this season. Japan-based theatre company tarinainanika bring to life the surreal paintings of artist Rey Camoy with their unique corporeal mime style (10 Oct, Northcott). Sadiq Ali’s The Chosen Haram (31 Oct, Northcott) explores the intersection between queer identities and Islamic beliefs through an emotionally candid dance on Chinese poles. Acclaimed choreographer Tom Dale then ignites imaginations with the mind-bending, genre-breaking SURGE and SUB:VERSION (14 Nov, Northcott).
English Touring Opera return to our theatre in November with an enchanting double-bill. Director Jenny Ogilvie and conductor Naomi Woo re-interpret Gioachino Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola) (8, 11 Nov, Northcott) with a women-led cast and creative team, offering a perfect first opera experience for new audiences. ETO’s new Artistic Director Robin Norton-Hale updates Claudio Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea (10 Nov, Northcott) with modern twists. Opera fans can also enjoy a festive sing-along with London Festival Opera’s A Christmas Night at the Opera (Sat 16, Barnfield).
Music lovers can enjoy an uplifting celebration of Victoria Wood with Looking for me Friend (24 Oct, Barnfield), join local author Raynor Winn on a folk music trail through the South West with their prose and music collaboration Saltlines (17 Nov, Barnfield), experience hits from the greatest musicals, from Les Misérables to Phantom of the Opera, with Beyond the Barricade (18 Nov, Northcott), and relive the magic of Chas & Dave with Rabbit Rabbit (15 Dec, Barnfield).
Stand-up comedy fans can look forward to a return visit from Dawn French (6 – 10 Sep, Northcott), social media sensation Sophie McCartney (17 Sep, Northcott; 20 Oct, Great Hall), The Mash Report’s everyman comic Geoff Norcott (7 Oct, Northcott) and the always provocative Alfie Brown (14 Oct, Barnfield).
Additionally, you can expand your knowledge and perspectives with a range of thought-provoking talks. Renowned British trad climber Hazel Findlay (18 Sep, Barnfield) will share stories from their thrilling, globetrotting adventures. Natural history and travel enthusiasts can hear from Simon Reeve (Oct 4, Great Hall), wildlife filmmaker Doug Allan (Oct 6, Northcott) and Steve Backshall (Oct 29, Great Hall). Cycling fans can catch GMBN’s mountain bike trailer rider Martyn Ashton (5 Oct, Northcott). You can also delve into your own DNA history with My Family Secrets’ Professor Turi King (15 Oct, Northcott).
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