Mercury Theatre launches its 2017 Summer season
Daniel Buckroyd and Matt Cullum join forces to direct Peter Pan, our magical summer show about the boy who never grew up • The Mercury & English Touring Theatre team up for the 20th anniversary of Conor McPherson’s modern classic The Weir • Panto favourites return for the heart-warming family tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The Mercury’s Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd (Dick Whittington, The Butterfly Lion) joins forces with Matthew Cullum (The Wind in the Willows, James and the Giant Peach) to direct J. M Barrie’s much-loved masterpiece Peter Pan this summer.
Peter Pan returns to the home of the Darling family to retrieve his lost shadow, he’s not expecting to meet Wendy, or that she’ll join him on a trip to Neverland to start the adventure of a lifetime.
As they soar over the streets of London (yes, they really can fly!), Wendy can only imagine the fun she’s going to have with Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys, and the danger that awaits her in the form of the dastardly Captain Hook and his band of pirates!
Matthew Cullum said:
“Peter Pan is truly an immortal story. In fact I think there’s a bit of Peter in all of us – I’ve been trying not to grow up for 40 years! But I did and for 20 of them I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Daniel Buckroyd on a whole variety of story-telling projects – I can’t wait to do it again. Daniel is a master storyteller and he’s precisely the person you want at your side when you dare to venture into Neverland… the place where every child’s imagination comes to life, where danger lurks in the shadows and adventure waits round every corner – that place where anything is possible and all adults are pirates! Come with us to a place that exists only in our dreams… to a place where boys and girls can still fly.”
The Mercury and English Touring Theatre team up for Conor McPherson’s chilling, modern classic The Weir in its 20th anniversary year. Winner of the 1997 Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Weir opens at the Mercury Theatre this autumn before embarking on its first ever UK tour.
In a small Irish town, the locals gather round the crackling fire of Brendan’s bar to pass the hours together, safe from the clutches of a dark night. Huddled away from the howling wind on the Knock, stories of local folklore start to unfold as quickly as the beer and whiskey flow. As the night thickens, so too the storytellers delve ever deeper into the hidden depths of their own lives, and perhaps even the life beyond. But as the friends mine their memories of the past, darkly buried secrets begin to re-emerge.
Director Adele Thomas (The Oresteia – Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) said:
“In the 20 years since Conor McPherson’s play premiered at the Royal Court theatre, it has lost none of its extraordinary power. Picking it up to examine it again, I have been struck by how it quietly works its way under your skin, by how it retains its ability to chill, and by its depth of insight into the human condition. This is a play that will endure well into the future, and I have no doubt that Brendan’s bar will be open for Guinness, conversation and the old cod many, many years hence.”
One for the family calendar – the Mercury Theatre pantomime is back, and this Christmas audiences are sure to be delighted with the terrific tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Mercury panto favourites Dale Superville and Antony Stuart-Hicks are back and promise to be as mischievous as ever as Snow White’s best friend Muddles and her beloved nanny, Nurse Nellie! This year for the first time there will be a dementia-friendly performance as well as an adults-only show, so now more than ever there is something for audiences of all ages.
“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” When the Queen doesn’t get the answer she wants, Snow White finds herself in BIG trouble. Lost in the forest, she is rescued by the Seven Dwarfs who promise to keep her safe in their cottage. Daniel Buckroyd will direct this festive family treat!
“We know that thousands of people look forward to Christmas here at the Mercury – whether it’s their first visit or whether they’ve been coming for thirty years! It really is a memory to last all year. Our panto is completely Made in Colchester – including the amazing sets and costumes – and although we’re exciting to be doing Snow White for the first time at the Mercury in many years, we’re delighted to welcome back Colchester favourites Dale Superville as Muddles and Antony Stuart Hicks as Nanny Nellie. I hope more people than ever will come and see what we produce here, and have a fantastic visit”
“This year for the first time we are including a late night adults-only performance of the show! Get your office party together, or get a babysitter in, and come and let your hair down in the company of the outrageous Nanny Nellie”
In fact, brilliant family fun is offer throughout the whole season, with the Mercury’s own production of Michael Morpurgo’s Farm Boy, the sequel to War Horse, as well as children’s classic The Gruffalo.
As always, the Mercury also has a brilliant line up of visiting shows to look forward to this season. Kicking us off is Arthur Miller’s chilling classic, The Crucible, which sees Charlie Condou (Coronation Street) as the Witch Hunter, Reverend Hale and Victoria Yeates (Call the Midwife) as the falsely accused Elizabeth Proctor. Drama-lovers will also be pleased to know Strictly Murder will be coming to Colchester. This fast-paced nail-biting thriller is not to be missed and stars Brian Capron (The Smallest Show on Earth, Mercury Theatre, 2015).
There will be performances from Susan Calman who is celebrating her 10th year in comedy, as well as veteran Stewart Lee, whilst we also welcome hilariously funny new parody show, Graeme of Thrones – worth catching before the inevitable lawsuit!
We have some wonderful performances in aid of our Mercury Rising Campaign. National treasure Pam Ayres will be hosting an evening sure to be full of laughter, and Colchester Operatic Society present Seasons With Swing, a journey through the year in music.
There is a host of live music, talks, community performances, and dance.
Tickets go on Priority Sale to Friends of the Theatre at 10 am on Wednesday 15th March and General Sale at 10am on Wednesday 22nd March.
Browse all these shows and more on our What’s On pages.