19 22 February Abandonment by Kate Atkinson directed by Viv Moules
Elizabeth, forty-something, childless, recently separated, just wants to be alone. She’s moved into a converted Victorian mansion, alive with history, character, woodworm and dry rot. But her best friend, her mother, her sister, the builder, a photographer, and a former resident, disturbed from her resting place by Elizabeth’s arrival, all keep making their presence felt.
A play about love, death, identity and evolution, Abandonment is a complex mix of social comedy and family drama, reminding us that the past is not as far away as we think!
13 – 14 March Juniors Christine Christie and the Brussels Sprouts Mystery – or Something Windy This Way Comes
15 – 18 April The Mandrake by Niccolò Machiavelli adapted by Kevan France, directed by Andy Keogh
Buckle up for an evening of laughter, intrigue, deceit and debauchery with a Penrith Players’ world premier in April.
Callum is a master of persuasion. He says he can sell anything to anyone — even a pair of jeans to Jacob Rees-Mogg. But the thing he really wants is to bed Lucy, a girl he had a big schoolboy crush on. Trouble is she’s now married.
On hearing there’s trouble in paradise, as both Lucy and her husband are desperate to have children, but have had no luck in conceiving, Callum hatches a cunning plan.
3 – 6 June The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson
The Hound of The Baskervilles is one of literature’s most terrifying stories. And, as it happens, the title alone is enough to shift a theatre’s worth of tickets. Come and witness the Penrith Players take this classic tale, slash the casting down to three versatile, multitasking actors (helps with the profit margins), remove almost all of the set (again, profit), and bring this haunting tale to life before your very eyes.
This version of Conan Doyle’s Hound adds a splash of comedy, a twist of slapstick, and an awful lot of costume changes, bringing a new energy to Sherlock Holmes.
24 – 29 August. Penrith Arts Festival including Bad Reception by Zoe Badder
Bad Reception: Classic British sitcom humour abounds in this hilarious original comedy from Penrith playwright Zoë Badder – Up in a small village in remote Inverness you’ll find a tiny hotel, run by the eccentric Duncan Ross and his long-suffering wife Mandy. When two warring sisters arrive for a post-funeral holiday with an unbearable mother-in-law, chaos ensues. Throw in an odd travel writer, some escaping parrots, a dark secret and a chef you’d rather you never met, and you’ve booked yourself a stay at The Verness Hotel. So check in, grab a drink and prepare for a weekend you’ll never forget.
14 – 17 October Handbagged by Moira Buffini, directed by Jonathan Vickers.
The Queen and Margaret Thatcher: did they get on? Relive the ups and downs of the 1980’s through the eyes of two Maggies (one younger, one older) and two Lizzes (one younger, one older), with guest appearances from the Reagans, Denis Thatcher, Arthur Scargill, Gerry Adams, Geoffrey Howe, Lord Carrington, and many more. Here is the story of what might have been said in those private weekly meetings between the two most powerful women in Britain, told with humour, wit and a little irreverence.
16 – 19 December A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens adapted by John Davies, directed by John Davies
We all know – don’t we – that the Victorians actually invented Christmas (sort of): horses steaming and wheezing in gas-lit streets; snow (lots of it!) top hats, muffins and ragamuffins; destitution and luxury; plum pudding; sizzling geese in sizzling ovens . . . you all know the rest. It’s all ‘Humbug!’, of course, isn’t it? Well, according to the scraping, scratching, tight-fisted Ebenezer Scrooge it certainly is. But an encounter with a spooky door-knocker, three spirits, and a terrifying gravestone makes this grasping, anti-social, mercenary, granite-hearted skinflint think twice!
Come and be chilled to the bone and warmed to the heart!
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen!