The Theatre Royal’s ENGAGE programme, mounted by its award-winning Creative Learning Department, offers a range of participatory and educational activities for adults which this season will include workshops on stage fighting, clowning, creating theatre from scratch and site specific theatre. There will be two productions presented as part of the NOVA new writing project and Rebecca Pollock, Associate Lecturer in Theatre Studies at Bath Spa University will be presenting a lunchtime talk, Following Wilson: The Progression of Contemporary American Theatre to support the Main House production of Wilson’s Fences.

Over Half Term, the Theatre Royal’s award-winning egg theatre for children, young people and their families will be presenting the third FAMILY THEATRE FESTIVAL, with productions staged in all three of the theatre’s auditoria. The Festival will launch at THE BIG DAY IN, an always-popular free event which takes place all over the theatre building, and includes animated tours, storytelling and live music. Events during the Family Theatre Festival fortnight include THERE’S A RABBIT IN THE MOON, an enchanting story from France’s Velo Theatre about Thomas Snout, a collector of nights; THE QUEEN’S KNICKERS, produced by the egg in association with London’s Southbank Centre, based on Nicholas Allan’s children’s classic which celebrates the garments we all wear but never show (this show returns to the egg later in March, after playing the Southbank); PRIME is presented in the Main House by Artemis Theater from the Netherlands. This award-winning drama has been presented all over Europe and looks at the way teenage mistakes impact upon our lives; THE INCREDIBLE BOOK-EATING BOY is an exciting puppet adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’s award-winning children’s book which is performed for audiences of individuals or pairs in five minute slots and is set in a child’s bedroom; from Spain, Imaginart presents SENSACIONAL an amazing sound and light show for toddlers; Danish company, Theater Mummpitz, presents THE TERRIFIC ADVENTURES OF BRAVE JOAN WOODSWORD, a funny and poignant story about finding the courage to confront your enemies and The egg’s Young People’s Theatre presents OUT OF THEIR MINDS, exciting short plays created by the members themselves, working with a professional  writer and director. The YPT will also be presenting YOUNG PREMIERES, including The Cobbler’s Daughter, inspired by a Kate Rusby song of the same name, later in March.

Either side of the Festival, the egg will stage a huge range of productions for all ages including, for younger children, RAPUNZEL – a new production to celebrate acclaimed children’s company, Tutti Frutti’s 21st birthday; LITTLE RED…YOU KNOW WHO!, a puppet version of the well-known traditional story; MIKI, an icy adventure based on the book by Stephen Mackey; Horse and Bamboo presents THE NIGHTINGALE, a beautiful show with wonderful characters; KNICK KNACK DOO DAD brings CBBC’s Patrick Lynch and Lyngo Theatre back to the egg with an amazing story about rubbish; Hiccup Theatre presents a new version of RUMPELSTILTSKIN by the Olivier Award-winning Mike Kenny; and Little Angel Theatre presents DOGS DON’T DO BALLET using their signature beautiful puppets and ballet music.

For older children, M6 mix illusion, animation and laughter in MAVIS SPARKLE; expect outstanding clowning with Plutot la Vie in BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS; opera is made hilarious in Impropera’s romp, THE WOBBLY WORLD OF OPERA; and there promises to be ground-breaking live animation and puppetry in Folded Feather’s NICE. For Teenage audiences, MESS from Chinaplate is an insight into the experience of anorexia by the award-winning Caroline Horton (who will also be playing Heidi in the egg’s Christmas show).

Special Events include THE SECRET LISTENERS, Sinclair McKay’s fascinating look at how the ‘Y’ Service intercepted German codes for Bletchley Park; BERTIE, Jane Ridley’s entertaining biography about the playboy prince who became Edward VII and gave his name to the Edwardian age; Paula Byrne talks about THE REAL JANE AUSTEN, in which she brings the beloved novelist to life (presented in association with Bath Lit Fest) and Colonel Stuart Tootal talks about THE MANNER OF MEN, his new book about the 9 Paras heroic D-Day mission against all odds in 1944. The Fundraisers’ events include an artisan baking demonstration by Pullins Bakery and BONJOUR!BONJOUR!, an ‘Allo,’Allo style murder mystery evening.

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