A new Queen’s Theatre programme is in place and a website is up and running, with the Bill Kenwright spectacular starring Joe McElderry among the shows heading for the Barnstaple stage this autumn
West End musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is coming to the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple this autumn.
In the wake of sterling reviews the highly-regarded show from top producer Bill Kenwright will begin a six day and 10 show run from November 7.
The cast of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber family musical is led by X Factor winner Joe McElderry as Joseph and also features Britain’s Got Talent star Lucy Kay.
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A new Queen’s Theatre website has just gone live and lists a busy autumn programme from new operator Parkwood Theatres, which has the Queen’s and the Landmark in Ilfracombe on a temporary 12-month contract.
General manager Mark Thompson said they had Joseph at the Playhouse in Weston-Super-Mare last year and it proved to be the venue’s biggest hit.
He said: “It’s an incredible production and what it has achieved over the years is because of its quality.
“Bill Kenwright is one of the biggest producers in the world and he believes in the product, so I am delighted we have secured that in Barnstaple for our opening season and it’s only the start of more exciting West End shows to come.”
Parkwood stepped in after North Devon Theatres went into administration and next year North Devon Council will re-tender the contract to find a permanent operator for the theatres.
There is good news for the Landmark too, which reopens its doors on Saturday, May 27, including the café.
Then on the Sunday Parkwood is hosting a free family fun day to give people the chance to return to their theatre and enjoy a range of activities, including bouncy castles and face painting for youngsters.
Mr Thompson said Parkwood would start looking at returning commercial shows to the Landmark in 2018 but for the present he had been in discussion with numerous community groups about bringing community events back to the venue.
For theatre-goers, the Queen’s autumn line-up has a good mix of drama, comedy and music, including performances from Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, The Stylistics and Heather Small of M People among others.
“It’s exciting, it’s happening very quickly,” said Mr Thompson.
“We want to ensure that every season introduces a new product and gives people the opportunity to see new things.”
The first show back at The Queen’s is the all-singing production of Hairspray by Barnstaple Musical Comedy and Dramatic Society on May 31 and running for four nights.
Mr Thompson added: “They have put so much effort into their production to ensure it’s of a high standard, I am sure it’s going to be a great show.”
* You can see the full Queen’s Theatre line up at www.thequeenstheatre.co.uk