Two in-house productions form the centrepiece of the Rose Theatre’s autumn season, announced this week.
Alan Bennett’s award winning double-bill Single Spies and Christmas show The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe are among the stand-outs in a programme that also includes work by Shakespeare’s Globe, Les Enfants Terrible and Rose favourites Northern Broadsides.
Children’s entertainment comes in the form of Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Les Petits Enfants and interactive puppet show Dinosaur Zoo by Australian theatre group Erth.
Meanwhile, the theatre will mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War with an interactive audio visual exhibition, Galsworthy and Human Battles on the Home Front, which looks at the Kingston-born novelist’s time as a hospital orderly in France, and the experiences which led him to setting up the first magazine for disabled soldiers.
It is hoped the new programme will bring a fitting close to what has so far been a successful 2014 for the Rose, which last year launched a new strategy following disappointing annual financial results.
The High Street venue decided not to replace artistic director Stephen Unwin, who left in January, moving to a title-led programme instead of selling shows off the back of well known actors.
So far, the gamble seems to be paying off, with shows such as The Snow Gorilla, Fallen Angels, Donkeys’ Years and Hetty Feather all proving a hit with audiences.
Such has been the success of Hetty Feather, in fact, that the show is transferring to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End, for a month-long run, starting on August 6.
Rose chief executive Robert O’Dowd said: “There has been a real buzz around the theatre since the launch of the new strategy with audiences really engaging with the diverse programme at the Rose.
“As we build on this, great drama continues to be well represented by some fantastic visiting work and our own Rose production of Alan Bennett’s Single Spies this autumn, with the season culminating in our family Christmas production of the universally-loved The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
“Alongside this, we are delighted that our critically-acclaimed production of Hetty Feather is transferring to the West End in August following an international tour.”
Rose Theatre, High Street, Kingston; visit rosetheatrekingston.org or call 020 8174 0090 for further information.