Mystery, suspense and spectacle in latest HMT season

Mystery, suspense and spectacle in latest HMT season

Scotland’s top fictional detective, Shakespeare’s great Scottish tragedy, a seminal work of dance theatre, a smash hit TV comedy, and one of the West End’s recent successes all make an appearance in the latest season of new shows at His Majesty’s Theatre, announced today by Aberdeen Performing Arts.

The bumper line-up at the city theatre includes the first ever stage adaptations of Ian Rankin’s great detective series in Rebus: Long Shadows from 12-17 November and the wildly popular ITV comedy Benidorm from 4-9 March 2019, in a drama programme which also features the UK National Theatre’s sell-out production of Shakespeare’s Scottish play Macbeth from 7-10 November. One of the most significant works of dance theatre ever to be produced is coming to Aberdeen for the first time as Sir Matthew Bourne’s spectacular take on Swan Lake pirouettes across the HMT stage from 23-27 October. Musical theatre fans are also in for a treat with a host of new titles being announced led by West End hit Kinky Boots from 23 April – 4 May 2019, alongside Cilla the Musical in September, and a brand-new family production of Dr Dolittle, all in early 2019.

APA Chief Executive Jane Spiers said: “We have a really packed line-up of shows and we are proud to be announcing a host of new and exciting work for audiences in Aberdeen and beyond. This is a programme worth travelling to the city for.

“A personal must-see for me is Sir Matthew Bourne’s legendary Swan Lake and as a Rebus fan it will be a real treat to see Ian Rankin’s much-loved detective brought to life on stage by North-east playwright Rona Munro.”

Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels have dominated the detective fiction market with the ensuing television series ensuring the detective’s legendary status, and in this brand-new story Long Shadows, penned by Aberdonian playwright Rona Munro (Bold Girls, The James Plays, Doctor Who), the retired police officer is haunted by nightmares from his past. The part of the cantankerous DI will be played in this Birmingham Rep production by actor Charles Lawson, famous for his portrayal of Jim MacDonald in Coronation Street, with further high-profile casting to be announced.

ITV’s award-winning comedy Benidorm celebrates over a decade of all-inclusive hilarity with the live stage show featuring an all-star ensemble cast including many of the cast from the television show including Jake Canuso (Mateo), Janine Duvitski (Jaqueline), Sherrie Hewson (Joyce Temple-Savage), Shelley Longworth (Sam), Tony Maudsley (Kenneth) and featuring Neptune’s very own Asa Elliott. Writer and director Derren Litten has written an all new set of Alicante escapades as they swap sangria for the stage – after a quick spruce up at the Blow ‘n’ Go!

Having brought three fantastic productions to the city in 2017, the National Theatre this year brings us their stunning new production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The captivating interpretation opened on London’s Southbank last month starring Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff, and will be adapted for the road in order to tour the UK in late 2018 and early 2019.

Ben Torrie, APA’s Director of Programming and Creative Projects said, “It is a rare occurrence for large-scale Shakespearean productions to tour and so we are beyond thrilled that this spectacular staging of the Scottish Play will be heading to HMT later in the year. I’m sure audiences will be enthralled by this bold and fresh take on Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy”.

Sir Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake returns with a fresh look for the 21st century. Thrilling, audacious, witty and emotive, this Swan Lake is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, which shattered conventions, turned tradition upside down and took the dance world by storm.

Based on the 2005 hit film, Kinky Boots the musical, recently celebrated 1000 performances in London’s West End, and will tour the UK for the first time including a visit to the Granite City. From Northampton to Milan, this musical tells the true story of a struggling shoe factory owner who rejuvenates his business by introducing fetish footwear for men.

The late Cilla Black remains one of the UK’s most successful performers, and her story is told in Jeff Pope’s new production Cilla the musical, coming to HM Theatre from 4 to 8 September. The show stars Kara Lily Hayworth in the title role, who overcame competition from thousands of other hopefuls in a national competition to star in the show which is directed by Bill Kenwright and produced by Cilla’s son Robert Willis.

Everyone’s favourite animal medic, Doctor Dolittle returns to the stage in Leslie Bricusse’s acclaimed family musical, in a stunning new production by the producers of the recent tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Featuring huge, stunning puppets, a set design by Tom Piper (The Poppies at Tower of London), and directed by Christopher Remshaw (We Will Rock You). The show includes the much-loved hit song Talk to the Animals.

The full menu of new productions also includes return visits for two feel-good rock musicals in 80s hit Rock of Ages from 28 January to 2 February 2019 and the Beatles’ Let It Be from 11 to 16 February 2019, a gala concert as part of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention on 14 July, a beautiful commemoration of poetry and music as part of the WW100 celebrations in Far Far From Ypres on 9 August, two operatic masterpieces Verdi’s Rigoletto and Mozart’s The Magic Flute from Scottish Opera, and previously announced stand up comedy gigs from Dave Gorman (11 September) and Jason Manford (4 November).

Tickets for all shows are on sale to APA Friends next Thursday (April 19) and for general sale on the following Tuesday (April 24). In addition to priority booking, APA Friends also receive discounts on all shows at His Majesty’s Theatre. To purchase a Friends membership and/or tickets go to, phone on (01224) 641122 or visit the Box Office at HMT and The Lemon Tree.

Posted on Wednesday 11 April

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