Boudicca is Queen of St Albans’ Maltings Theatre season

Anna Franklin as Boudicca Anna Franklin as Boudicca

Sunday, August 3, 2014
9:56 AM

As one season finishes, a new one is in the sights of the Maltings Arts Theatre which has just launched its September to December programme.

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The theatre on the second floor of the Maltings shopping centre in St Albans promises a range of edgy drama, popular theatre and music over the coming months.

A season highlight will be the re-staging of Boudicca at Verulamium in the Roman Theatre. A visceral retelling of the last days of Boudicca, legendary queen of the Iceni, it is written and directed by OVO’s Imogen de la Bere.

The production was such a hit last year with audiences that a revival will be staged in the Roman Theatre, the very place where the events of the play happened.

Boudicca, starring Anna Franklin, runs from Friday, September 12, until Sunday, September 14 and tickets are already on sale.

Maltings regulars Irrational Theatre will be presenting two very different productions in the new season.

First up is Puccini’s one act comic opera Gianni Schicchi in late September. The opera will be sung in English and includes the aria O Mio Babbino Caro (the theme from the film A Room with a View).

Next up, on Friday, October 17, Irrational will bring back award-winning writer and performer Claire Dowie with her mix of monologue, stand-up comedy and cabaret, H to He (I’m turning into a man) is inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

More music will be served up during the season with St Albans Chamber Opera’s double bill of Poulenc and Mozart in October followed by Opera OVO’s production of the perennial favourite La Bohème on November 27 and 28.

The famous love story will be played out against the winter backdrop of Paris in 1946. St Albans Jazz Ensemble and the ukulele band Katie’s Jumping Fleas will also make a return to the theatre.

Willy Russell’s iconic play and comic masterpiece Educating Rita is set to take the stage in November. As well as its witty one-liners, the play is an insightful comment on institutional education, the nature of self-development and personal relationships.

Edinburgh festival fringe production, Hyde & Seek, will play one night in December. Part biography, part autobiography, the show uses connections between Robert Louis Stevenson and the writer/performer Michael Daviot’s lives to explore identity, family, nationality and mental health.

The season closes on December 12 and 13 with the annual Food of Love at Christmas concert. OVO’s house band will get audiences into the festive spirit with a selection of smooth and seasonally themed jazz classics in an event which is always a sell-out.

Programming director for the theatre, Imogen de la Bere, commented: “As ever, we aim to present a varied programme; from well-loved music events and in-house productions to quality touring work, the studio theatre is always a vibrant place to be.

“This year we’re excited to curate a programme of opera across September, October and November. And we’re delighted with the response to our autumn brochures as well as the early bookings received from our growing audience numbers. We also look forward to welcoming new theatre-goers during the autumn season.”

Further information about forthcoming shows can be found at www.maltingsartstheatre.co.uk and tickets can be purchased from www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo

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