Spectacular summer gets underway at the Gala Theatre
Dazzling dance, theatrical masterpieces, live music and comedy - audiences will be spoilt for choice at a County Durham theatre this summer.
Theatre fans and anyone who has endured life at a comprehensive school are sure to enjoy the Gala's production of Teechers by John Godber. This fast-moving and entertaining comedy is currently running at the theatre until Saturday 11 May. Performances take place daily at 7.30pm, excluding Wednesday when the show starts at 6pm. There is also a performance at 1pm on Thursday.
Oscar Wilde's comedy of manners, the Importance of Being Ernest, is set to delight audiences at the Durham City venue from Thursday 29 to Saturday 31 August. And the Gala Theatre Stage School will bring the newly released school edition of the much-loved musical Chicago to the stage from Wednesday 31 July to Saturday 3 August.
The theatrical treats do not stop there thanks to series of a screenings direct from London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Upcoming highlights include the National Theatre's production of All My Sons, starring Academy Award-winner Sally Field, on Tuesday 14 May, and the RSC Live's The Taming of the Shrew on Wednesday 5 June.
One live screening fans will never forget is Take That: Greatest Hits Live on Saturday 8 June. Enjoy front row seats as Gary, Mark and Howard perform their biggest hits from the last three decades.
Sticking with music, the Gala has something for everyone this year - from the English Touring Opera's Macbeth on Monday 13 May and Idomeno on Tuesday 14 May, to folk and blues favourites Dave Kelly and Christine Collister on Friday 24 May.
The Cavern Beatles will transport audiences back to the swinging sixties on Sunday 26 May, while singer songwriter Eddi Reader will celebrate her 40th year as a live performer at a special gig on Friday 28 June.
From sensational songs to spectacular dance moves on Saturday 25 May when young people from Dance Fusion Academy perform Around the World at the Gala.
On Monday 27 May, Tangomotion will take audiences on a breath-taking journey into the heart of Tango Argentino, with choreographics created by world-class dancers and new original music.
Strictly Come Dancing stars Ian Waite and Vincent Simone will join forces on Thursday 13 June for their new show The Ball Room Boys, while Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers will take to the stage on Wednesday 19 June in Ballet Cymru' production of Romeo a Juliet.And, on Thursday 6 June, the Rhythm of the Dance 20th Anniversary Tour will bring award-winning dancers, flailing fiddles, flutes and live vocalists to the Gala for a two-hour celebration of Irish dance.
History buffs are also catered for this year, with Dr Mark Baldwin's talk Codebreakers: The Story of Enigma shedding light on one of the Second World War's most fascinating tales on Friday 14 June. Historian Lucy Worsley will also take audiences back in time on Thursday 20 June, with her illustrated talk Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother and Widow.
Countdown fans, meanwhile, can get up close to Suzie Dent when she reveals The Secret Life of Words on Wednesday 12 June.
Those who love to chuckle can expect belly laughs galore this summer, as The Comedy Store will be bringing the rising stars of stand up to County Durham on Sunday 12 May, 2 June and 7 July. Other comedy highlights include An Evening with Andy Hamilton on Wednesday 29 May, which includes a question and answer session on any topic.
Robin Byers, Gala Theatre manager, said: "We are thrilled to offer such a diverse programme at the Gala this summer.
"Tickets are selling fast - in fact some performances have already sold out - so if something takes your fancy I would advise you to book now to avoid missing out."
For more information or to book tickets, visit Gala Theatre and Cinema or call 03000 266 600.