Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) is all set to face the music and dance while puttin’ on the Ritz to bring back the golden age of Hollywood musicals to His Majesty’s Theatre.
For the stage version of the classic Irving Berlin 1935 musical Top Hat is to sweep the boards at the city’s HMT next September, recreating the glorious tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Running for two weeks from September 23, the Olivier Award-winning show is one of a host of new productions for His Majesty’s and the Music Hall announced today in an APA new season brochure.
On the drama front, there are two Scottish exclusives: impressionist, comedian, actor and writer Alistair McGowan and much-loved actress Rula Lenska head the cast for a 100th anniversary production of George Bernard Shaw’s enduring masterpiece Pygmalion (March 11 to 15) and accomplished actress Jane Asher stars in the compelling and eloquent Moon Tiger (March 4 to 8) in the first stage version of Penelope Lively’s haunting novel.
The award-winning smash-hit show One Man, Two Guvnors (October 13 to 18), is Richard Bean’s glorious celebration of British comedy: a unique, laugh-out-loud mix of satire, songs, slapstick and glittering one-liners.
For Matthew Bourne fans, the long wait for the successor to his Swan Lake, Nutcracker! and Sleeping Beauty is over with the chilling, beautiful and hugely entertaining adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel Lord of the Flies (August 27 to 30).
The 93rd annual student show – the superbly named Wullie Wonkie and The Fine Piece Factory (April 23 to 26) – is sure to appeal to everyone’s sweet tooth!
For younger theatre-goers, there’s an equally packed programme with Aliens Love Underpants (April 7 and 8), Horrible Histories Barmy Britain (May 13 to 17), Peppa Pig’s Big Splash (July 5 and 6).
And even before the curtain rises on this year’s HMT panto, plans are being drawn up with Qdos Entertainment to stage Beauty and the Beast next Christmas!
Across at the Music Hall, APA continues its new Culture Café programme with lunchtime sessions with highly-regarded young cellist Philip Higham (February 5), Scottish author Janice Galloway (March 5), former BBC Young Musician of the Year violinist Jennifer Pike (April 2) and Scots crime writer Denise Mina (May 7).
Under the banner of its recently inaugurated Northern Arc series, in which APA pair celebrated Scottish and international performers, the arts company brings together Glasgow’s Treacherous Orchestra with Norwegian musician Tuva Livsdatter Syvertsen (May 31) and Skye’s energetic Peatbog Faeries with the Swedish folk-rock group Hedningarna (April 13).
And in partnership with sound, Scotland’s festival of new music, APA is bringing one of classical music’s most innovative and unique ensembles to Aberdeen for the first time – the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (May 17) which pushes the boundaries of orchestral music.
Resident at the Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne Festival, the orchestra explores, questions and reinvents, working with world-class musicians along the way. Orchestra leader Matthew Truscott directs a programme centred around the Scottish premiere performance of Spinal Chords, a work for orchestra and narrator by Scottish composer Sally Beamish.
"APA is delighted to be presenting another season of fantastic work, never before seen in Aberdeen,” said APA director of programming and creative projects Ben Torrie.
“From the very best the West End has to offer, to world class orchestral music, to unique international partnerships, our programme continues to offer a diverse range of top culture for the city.
“As well as continuing to bring first-class touring productions to the region, APA has began to introduce unique curated strands of work which gives our audiences one-off opportunities to see performers from around the world in exclusive performances in our venues."
Tickets for the new shows at His Majesty’s Theatre and the Music Hall go on sale to APA Friends on Thursday, November 28, and to the general public on Tuesday, December 3, online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.
APA will be announcing a new season of shows at The Lemon Tree in an autumn new season brochure to be published next month.