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Playhouse spring 2018 season

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Internationally renowned companies, literary classics and comedy stars light up the Playhouse

Our hugely popular co-production flies home from the West End as the stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s international bestseller The Kite Runner (27 February – 3 March) returns to the Playhouse.

Set in a divided Afghanistan, the story follows Amir and Hassan, two boys who head out to enjoy a kite flying tournament, but neither can foresee the terrible incident that will change their lives forever. Since its first incarnation at the Playhouse in 2014, The Kite Runner has enjoyed two successful and acclaimed West End seasons.

The Last Ship

Sailing into Liverpool is Sting musical The Last Ship (8-13 April) on its first tour of the UK. Starring singer-songwriter and actor Jimmy Nail, The Last Ship tells the story of a sailor returning home from sea to find the ship-building life he left behind in chaos. The yard is closing and picket lines are being drawn – can foreman Jackie and his wife hold their community together?

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, at the Playhouse, Sat 26 Jan to Sat 3 Feb
A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, at the Playhouse, Sat 26 Jan to Sat 3 Feb

Internationally acclaimed theatre company Complicité kick off the season with A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer (28 January to 2 February). A funny and moving show, writer Bryony Kimmings is renowned for her unique take on difficult to talk about topics and this collaboration with Complicité will blow everything you think you know about cancer out of the water. Following a successful run at the National Theatre they begin their national tour with us at the Playhouse this spring.

A Passage to India (6-10 February) is the first of a series of adaptations of classic and critically acclaimed novels. Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, this stage version is created by the multi-award winning simple8 in association with Royal & Derngate Northampton. Adapted for both stage and film, the 1984 movie was the last film directed by Sir David Lean and received nominations for 11 Academy Awards. 

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (13-17 February) is the first in a series of shows for families as the much-loved tale of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and Shere Kahn visits Liverpool. 

The Little Matchgirl
The Little Matchgirl

After premiering at Shakespeare’s Globe, Emma Rice brings her critically-acclaimed The Little Matchstick Girl (and other happier tales) (13-17 March) to Liverpool. Writer Joel Horwood adapts the tales of Hans Christian Anderson in this charming world of magic and mystery.

Curve Theatre return following successful visits with The Twits and The Witches with another classic Roald Dahl tale George’s Marvellous Medicine (17-21 April). Most grandmothers are lovely, but not George’s. One day when his parents leave town, George concocts a mischievous plan to cure his gran of her cruelty. Little does he know that this potion will be the start of a marvellous journey.

Mark Thomas
Mark Thomas

In the first of a series of comedy, perennial rabble-rouser, raconteur and our good friend Mark Thomas (8-10 March) returns with Showtime on the Frontline – an extraordinary story of how to run a comedy club on the West Bank of Palestine. With the help of Faisal Abualheja and Alaa Shehada – two aspiring comics from the Jenin club – Mark delivers a funny, moving and resonant account of celebrating freedom of speech in a place where freedoms are in short supply.

Bringing Brexit, Trump and nuclear apocalypse for one night (24 March) is award-winning comedian Bridget Christie. After visiting with her critically acclaimed show A Book For Her, Bridget returns with What Now?  a look at rolling news and its effect on our ability to enjoy the simple things, like baking, gardening…and autoerotic asphyxiation.

Ruby Wax may be famous for her sass and style, but she also understands a thing or two about mental health. Honoured with the title of poster girl for mental illness Ruby gives a tour of the mind – how to use it, not lose it.  Her one-woman show Frazzled: A Guide to Mindfulness, a Forum for Discussion (6 and 7 April) is based on her international bestseller A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled.

The Wedding at the Playhouse, Wed 21 Feb to Sat 24 Feb
The Wedding at the Playhouse, Wed 21 Feb to Sat 24 Feb

Building on a hugely popular first visit in 2016 with Institute, physical theatre company Gecko present The Wedding (21 to 24 February). Created by artistic director Amit Lahav, The Wedding is inspired by the complexities of human nature in a dystopian world where we are all brides, wedded to society. Combining movement, imagery and provocative narrative, Gecko return with their trademark style.

Northern Broadsides return with a witty adaptation of Charles DickensHard Times (27-31 March). Director Conrad Nelson takes us back to 1854, to a Northern Powerhouse – a place called Coketown, where imagination is forbidden. How can a father protect his children from corrupting influences – especially when the circus comes to town? Northern Broadsides present a touching and hilarious tale of repression and longing.

Rounding off the spring 2018 season is a classic murder mystery. Agatha Christie’s Love from a Stranger (24-28 April), is a story of romance, love and deception. A charming stranger sweeps Cecily Harrington off her feet causing her to recklessly abandon her old life and friends. But this newfound love is not all he seems. Full of suspense and with a signature shocking twist, Lucy Bailey directs this fresh take on a tale by one of the UK’s greatest crime writers.

Tickets go on public sale on Monday 13 November at 11am