York Theatre Royal reveals its reopening date – and a special first event

York Theatre Royal. Photograph: YorkMix
16 Dec 2020 @ 7.49 am
| Entertainment

Calling all lovers of live entertainment – make sure Valentine’s Day is ringed in your diary.

Because York Theatre Royal has announced it will reopen on 14 February 2021.

It will begin with a special event York in Love, currently being finalised.

And that will be followed by The Love Season, a season of plays from around the world embracing love in its many forms.

The shows will be presented with socially-distanced audiences with the theatre’s usual capacity of 750 reduced to 345.

Chief Executive Tom Bird said:  “The Love Season is designed to remind us that human connection – love, sympathy, kindness, mutual understanding, warmth, equality – is what makes us the wonderful human beings we are.

“In 2021 we want to celebrate humanity, our own community and a sense of togetherness. We want to do that with words, music, dancing, film and even food! It’s going to be fun and we can’t wait.”

The theatre has also been granted the use of Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre’s See It Safely mark. The mark certifies the theatre is complying with the latest government and industry Covid-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of staff and audiences.

Love and light

Julie Hesmondhalgh, star of The Love Season. Photograph: Alex Harvey-Brown

The Love Season will run until April 21 led by the debut tour of award-winning Coronation Street and Broadchurch actor Julie Hesmondhalgh’s one-woman sellout play The Greatest Play in the History of the World (Feb 16-20).

It has been written for Julie by her husband Ian Kershaw. “A beautiful play, a love story, but a universal one (literally!) about learning in time what matters in the end, about leaving a mark on the world (and maybe beyond) that shows us, the human race, in all its glorious messiness, confusion and joy,” Julie said.

“In these dark and confusing times, it offers a bit of love and light as we end this difficult year and enter 2021 with fresh hope.”

The Love Season also includes the premiere of Mugabe, My Dad and Me, one of the productions postponed when the theatre had to close during the pandemic.

York Theatre Royal associate director John R. Wilkinson directs this co-production with English Touring Theatre.

Tonderai Munyevu is both writer and performer of the one-man show which charts the rise and fall of one of the most controversial politicians of the 20th century through the personal story of Tonderai’s family and his relationship with his father.

Full details of The Love Season will be announced in the New Year with tickets going on sale on January 8.