New Doncaster theatre Cast unveils full line-up of shows

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Doncaster’s new £22 million performance venue Cast has unveiled its full season line-up.

Cast, which opens on September 6 and replaces the Civic Theatre, will showcase a diverse range of work by homegrown talent and national andinternational companies.

Productions will include everything from intimate and delightful family shows through to outrageous cabaret and comedy.

A Cast of Thousands Opening Ceremony - produced in partnership with Slung Low - celebrates the opening of Cast and the launch of Right Up Our Street a £2.5million project to engage more people from Doncaster in the arts

The first season includes Richard Cameron’s The Glee Club, Slung Low and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

September 6 also marks the official launch of ‘Right Up Our Street’ - a £2.5million project that aims to engage more people in the arts in Doncaster.

The whole weekend is a celebration of the arts, including ‘A Cast of Thousands’, an opening ceremony produced in partnership with Alan Lane’s Slung Low.

‘A Cast of Thousands’ will be centred around three parables about how the arts can change lives, which will exist both as gigantic graphic novels appearing around Doncaster, created by artist Rachana Jadhav, and as performances – including choirs, anthems and flash mobs.

The celebrations will continue all weekend, with ‘Open House’ events from 12noon on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September, giving the public a chance to see inside the new venue as well as experiencing pop-up performances and exciting events.

The weekend also sees the launch of ‘Right Up Our Street’, Doncaster’s successful ‘Creative People & Places’ bid, which uses investment from Arts Council England to increase participation with the arts in Doncaster. The project will include five long-term programmes of arts-based community engagement and dozens of high-quality original commissions for artists.

Cast is the flagship element of the new £300 million Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ). Operated by an independent trust, the building was jointly funded by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Arts Council England. These two organisations remain the core funders of the organisation.

Cast’s opening season includes a new production of Doncaster playwright Richard Cameron’s The Glee Club, directed by Esther Richardson (6 – 21 September), and a co-production with Right Up Our Street. It closes with a Cast-produced pantomime, Cinderella (5 – 31 December), which will be directed by Kully Thiarai.

Work touring into the building includes Filter Theatre in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company with a contemporary adaption of Twelfth Night and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Particle Velocity.

‘The Glee Club’ kicks off a key strand of work that is about and for Doncaster and is the first time that Doncaster’s most famous play has ever been professionally produced in the town. This song-filled comedy charts the lives and heartaches of a group of miners from Edlington. Set in the summer of 1962, not all is as it seems - behind the smiles, laughter and pally camaraderie hide some devastating secrets.

First performed at The Bush in 2002, it has never been professionally produced in Doncaster. This new production, directed by Esther Richardson (Soho Theatre, Northampton Royal and Derngate), will bring the production home to its native Doncaster.

Kully Thiarai, Director of Cast, comments: “Artists and audiences sit at the heart of our aspiration to collectively create a thriving, artistically exciting and entertaining venue. To work with and for our communities to deliver experiences that will blow them away and even change their lives. We want to say, ‘look – this is here. This is yours. Make it your home, be part of a Cast of Thousands’. We want to make Cast the cultural living room for the town.

“Out of 282 local authorities measured by Arts Council England for their engagement with the arts, Doncaster came 274th. But this is not a place that we recognise. We do not believe there is a lack of creative potential or ambition in the town’s people, merely an untapped and invisible voice needing an opportunity to be unleashed. The Doncaster we know is full of artists, musicians, writers and performers; full of people who think creatively and value imagination. Time after time, we have seen that when local people have the chance to engage with great art they respond with enthusiasm, imagination and pleasure. What we do recognise is that those opportunities are scarcer than they should be.”

Tickets for Cast’s opening season are on sale via Doncaster Ticket Office on 01302 303 959 and from www.castindoncaster.com

Autumn Season Diary

A Cast Of Thousands

Friday 6 September

Sir Nigel Gresley Square

The Glee Club

Friday 6 – Saturday 21 September

Main Space

Open House

Sat 7 – Sun 8 September

Whole building

Mimika Theatre: Landscapes

Saturday 14 - Sunday 15th September

Drama Space

Inspector Norse

Wednesday 18 – Thursday 19 September

Second Space

Rita Payne

Saturday 21 September

Second Space

Kate Rusby

Sunday 22 September

Main Space

Gareth Gates

Wednesday 25 September

Main Space

Opera Della Luna: The Mikado

Thursday 26- Friday 27 September

Main Space

Kiss Me Like You Mean It

Thurs 26th- Sat 28th September

Second Space

Clare Teal and the Big Band

Saturday 28 September

Main Space

Translunar Paradise

Tuesday 1 October

Main Space

Royal Flush

Friday 4 – Saturday 5 October

Second Space

Who’s Been Sitting in My Chair

Sunday 6 October

Second Space

Phoenix Dance Theatre: Particle Velocity

Tuesday 8 October

Main Space

The Ugly Sisters

Wednesday 9 October

Second Space

First Voice

Thursday 10 October

Main Space

Cast Comedy

Thursday 10 October

Second Space

Dave Formula and the Finks

Friday 11 October

Second Space

Susan Teale School of Dance

Friday 11 - Saturday 12 October

Main Space

Twelfth Night

Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 October

Main Space

Jacqueline Everton School of Dance

Sat 19 October

Second Space

Simon Armitage

Sunday 20 October

Main Space

Hope and Social

Tue 22 Oct

Main Auditorium

Daniel Bye

Thursday 24- Saturday 26 October

Second Space

Nobulus: Out of the Shadow

Friday 25 October

Main Space

Vive Le Cabaret

Saturday 26 October

Main Space

Toro! Toro!

Monday 28 – Tuesday 29 October

Second Space

George’s Marvellous Medicine

Mon 28–Tue 29 October

Drama Space

Rapunzel

Tue 29–Wed 30 October

Main Space

The Ghost Hunter

Thurs 31 October – Fri 1 November

Second Space

Phil Kay

Saturday 2 November

Main Space

The Lovesong of Alfred J Hitchcock

Saturday 2 November

Second Space

Unmythable

Sunday 3 November

Main Space

Melody Loses Her Mojo

Mon 4 – Tues 5 November

Main Space

Doncaster Flower Club

Tuesday 5 November

Main Space

Oh Whistle

Thursday 7 November

Second Space

Marilyn Yeardley School of Dance

Friday 8 - Saturday 9 November

Main Space

Best of BE

Friday 8 November

Second Space

Myra Dubois

Saturday 9 November

Second Space

Calamity Jane

Tuesday 12 - Saturday 16 November

Main Space

Emil and the Detectives

Wednesday 13 November

Second Space

Flesh

Thursday 14 November

Second Space

Cast Comedy

Friday 15 November

Second Space

Big Band Celebration!

Sunday 17 November

Main Space

Russell Kane

Wednesday 20 November

Main Space

2Faced Dance: Out Of His Skin

Thursday 21 November

Main Space

I Love Doncaster

Friday 22 November

Second Space

Blockbust-A-Beatz

Saturday 23 November

Main Space

Instructions for a Better Life

Wednesday 27 November

Second Space

Friday 29 - Saturday 30 November

A Christmas Carol

Second Space

Roo In My Suitcase

Sunday 1 December

Second Space

Cinderella

Thursday 5 – Tuesday 31 December

Main Space

Saturday 14 - Monday 23 December

59 Minutes to Save Christmas

Whole Venue

Thursday 12 December

Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer

Second Space

Saturday 14 December

Norman Lovett

Second Space

Sunday 15 December

Christmas Brass

Main Space

Shadow Game

Saturday 8 Feb

Main Space

Thursday 20 February

Stephen K Amos

Main Space