Ems Coombes, Strictly Collaborative

Summer and autumn at Plymouth Theatre Royal (preview)

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Plymouth Theatre Royal

What’s on at the Plymouth Theatre Royal? We asked Ems Coombes, the director of the inclusive theatre group Strictly Collaborative, to look into the future and give us a run down of what to expect and what stands out.

Middle Ground Theatre Company
Tuesday, July 13 –  Thursday, July  15

‘Just one more thing…’

You are joining the eponimous Lieutenant Columbo on his first ever case, having watched the episodes on the television, we all know that this amazingly clever but strange little man, will solve the case in the first five minutes but then lull the accused into a false sense of security before going in for the kill (if you excuse the pun!). The loveable tramp is played by Dirk Benedict of  ‘A – Team’ fame where he played lady killer ‘Faceman’ (admittedly I had a wee bit of a crush on him) and this seems a bit of a leap but I am sure that he will not let fans of Columbo down as he dons his brown mac and sets out to solve this crime.

Prescription: Murder opens on July 12 and is presented by Middle Ground Theatre Company.

Teenage Riot
Ontroerend Goed
Wednesday, August 11 -Friday, August 13

Directed by Alexander Devriendt, this teenage angst play is one in a string of many like it… trying to get young people’s voices heard as they struggle with the realities of growing in to stinky adults. These kids have shut themselves away because they want to (not a Billie track… although it sounds familiar), but they are not sure what they want or how they intend on getting it, and they are having to deal with lustful urges, frustration and irritation, I am sure they will discover the path that will turn them in to grounded adults… why not go along for the journey!

The Sound of Music
Tuesday, August 24 to Saturday, September 18

‘High on a hill lives a lonely goatheard yayaloa yayaloa la he hooo’

Listen… the hills are definately alive with the sound of music, the young Van Trapps are frollicing over the mountains and Maria is following warbling her beautiful melodies. This show is a family favourite with musical numbers that we all know, in fact I dare you to sit quietly in your seats as i do not think it can happen!

This critically acclaimed musical is the true story of the Van Trapp family’s triumphant fight against adversity to get over the mountains and sing at a competition, this wonderful musical appeals to all age groups and deals with a number of issues which are still relevant today. A must see!

The Missionary’s Position
Penny Dreadful
Tuesday, September 14 – Saturday, September 18

It’s a raunchy one (I think the title might have given you an inkling!). Penny Dreadful like to tell you true life stories and this is no different, The Missionary’s Position is the real story of the Rector of Stiffkey (real name Reverand Harold Davidson, although Stiffkey is very apt), a vaudeville comic turned clergy, who was on a mission to ‘save’ the many young women selling themselves on the Soho streets. An honourable feat one may think, but why has he been up in court on five counts foor dishonourable conduct?

This tale is told by a vaudeville troupe and is performed in the style of the time, music hall, prepare to be pelted back in history to see the Rector’s demise from pulpit to freak show!

People’s Romeo
Tuesday, September 21 – Saturday, September 25

Oooo a bit of culture comes to Plymouth with Tara’s interpretation of the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet. Bangledeshi Theatre breathes a refreshing gust in to the geatest love story ever told. It is a gorgeous mix between Shakespeare verse and Bengali poetry, the five performers use Pala Gaan – a theatre style which combines music, dance and storytelling to transform this piece of classic english theatre. TARA has pioneered cross cultural work for over 20 years, get some culture in your life and witness this for yourself!

Paines Plough Production
Thurs 07 – Sat 23 Oct

It’s 1967 and the summer of love is turning ino the winter of their discontent. We take a jaunt through the lives of Kenneth and Sandra, once a loved-up couple in the Baby Boomer generation and now finding it a little harder. As they grow together they find themselves on the roller coaster of smoking, drinking, affection and paranoia… what to do?

Written by Mike Bartlett, who has many an award under his belt, including an Olivier Award and an Old Vic New Voices award and Directed by James Grieves, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tells of a world that is a’ changin’ and the people that want a piece!

A Disappearing Number
Thursday, October 14

As part of the National Theatre Live initiative to broadcast live to cinemas around the world, Complicite is the first company outside the National Theatre to be presented as part of the season and we are the first outside London, we should be honoured! I believe the gist is that as well as performing on the stage, the performance will be whizzed all over the world on cinema screens at the same time… oooo how smart is technology these days?

I have no idea about the content but, knowing Complicite, I think we will be in for some high-quality physical theatre which will be performed in a revolutionary way throughout the world… risky theatre… to me that sounds to good to miss! See you there?

Punk Rock
Simon Stephens
Tuesday, October 26 – Saturday, October 30

The end of an Era. Staring into the abyss, a number of sixth formers face the end of their school days and the beginning of ‘real life’. William Carlsle has the world at his feet and the weight of it smack bang on his shoulders. Stephens and his exceptional young cast expose the violence bubbling under the surface of achieving success. One for students in the same position perhaps!

Chekhov in Hell
written by Dan Rebellato
Thursday, November 4 – Saturday, November 20

Anton Chekhov, masterful playwright and physical mirror to the Russian bourgeosie is alive and well and living in the 21st Century. What will he make of it? He would be turning in his grave if he wasnt smack bang in the middle of it. Reality shows, Facebook, Twitter, WAGs…what the… yep, poor bloke is in a living hell, and we are there to see his turmoil. Enjoy, he won’t!

Ems Coombes

Ems Coombes is director of Strictly Collaborative, Plymouth's inclusive theatre company for disabled and non disabled 13-19 year olds

One thought on “Summer and autumn at Plymouth Theatre Royal (preview)”

  1. Great preview Ems – can I just add that I have seen A Disappearing Number by Complicite and it was fantastic – the sort of play you can watch again and again and find something different in it everytime.

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