First off, for families, Julia Donaldson’s popular tale The Gruffalo’s Child (Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 July) follows hot on the heels of The Gruffalo’s sell out tour. Tickets are £14 or £11.50 for schools (inc fees). A new family comedy about is presented by ThisEgg theatre company – Me and My Bee (Sunday 24 June) tackles climate change by inviting you to save the world ‘one bee at a time.’ Tickets are £9 (inc fees). Craig, the friendly Forest Ranger and resident tree expert tracks down who’s stolen his nutty snack bar in Tales from the Trees (Sunday 3 June), a show with puppets and music all about ecology. Tickets are £9 (inc fees). The Key Theatre’s Family Films also continue showing some of the latest releases for just £3 per person.
For lovers of live drama, Seriously Dead (Wednesday 9 May) sees names such as Crissy Rock (Benidorm, I’m a Celebrity) and Tommy Cannon (Cannon & Ball) take to the stage in a musical comedy play about Thelma Henderson who can’t gain entry to The Pearly Gates as the system’s gone digital and she can’t find her paperwork. Tickets are £22.50 (inc fees). 500 years after the Reformation, Saltmine Theatre Company present Legacy: The Story of Martin Luther (Wednesday 13 June) all about a man compelled by his conscience to challenge accepted practices and beliefs. Tickets are available from £9.50 (inc fees). John D Collins (‘Allo! ‘Allo!) plays Horatio Hobson in Hobson’s Choice (Monday 2 – Tuesday 3 July) a sparkling revival of the Harold Brighouse Lancashire comedy, marking the sixtieth anniversary of the playwright’s death. Tickets are available from £10.
Music is a staple of the cultural diet at the Key Theatre. Highlights from this summer’s eclectic mix include Elvis tribute Lee Memphis King on Thursday 10 May (Tickets £21.50 inc fees), legendary jazz ensemble The Big Chris Barber Band on Monday 25 June (Tickets £21.50 inc fees), Sixties sensations The Searchers on Saturday 5 May (Tickets £23.50 inc fees) and popular Irish singers with more sixties hits than The Rolling Stones, The Bachelors on Sunday 17 June (Tickets £14 inc fees).
Finally, some big names in Comedy grace the stage. BBC Radio 4 favourites Barry Cryer & Colin Sell (Sunday 6 May) present Strictly Come Joking – a brand new show devised by them after the visitors left. Tickets are £24 (inc fees). Comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw (Sunday 3 June) joins Bill Dare, the producer of BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers in conversation for The Great British Take Off. Tickets are £21.50 (inc fees). Poetry legend Dr John Cooper Clark (Thursday 12 July) presents an evening of new material, good honest gags, riffs and chat. Tickets are £21.50 (inc fees). Plus, stand-ups Andrew Maxwell & Darren Harriott (Friday 13 July) each showcase their Edinburgh Fringe shows before heading up north for the festival. Tickets are available from £11.50.
This is just a small selection of the shows heading to the Key this summer and tickets are selling fast. To book for any of the shows above or see the full summer programme, call Vivacity’s Key Theatre box office on 01733 207239 or head online to vivacity.org.