New affordable theatre programme

A new affordable theatre programme has been launched at the Old Library Theatre in Mansfield.

The new programme of theatre shows will all have either a low ticket price or priced on a Pay What You Can basis where the tickets are free to book and you pay after you have seen the show!

The friendly 100-seat venue, located on Leeming Street (next door to the Palace Theatre and Mansfield Museum) will play host to eight professional productions over the autumn and winter, with many stopping off in Mansfield as part of nationwide tours.

There’s something for everyone from shows bursting with comedy to dancing and live music, heart-warming storytelling to historical classics and even a spot of rugby. There’s also a licensed bar for the essential pre-show and interval refreshments.

The Affordable Theatre programme has been developed by the Inspire Youth Arts team and Sam Holgate-Davey, development co-ordinator working on the scheme said: “We already use our theatre space for the youth programmes we run, and to be able to invite professional touring companies to perform here, and get more people to see the great facilities we have at the venue, is so exciting.”

Peter Gaw, Inspire’s chief executive commented: “The quality of the productions we have coming up at the venue really is fantastic so I hope that people will seize this opportunity to see some inspiring performances right on their doorstep.”

The first half of the season gets off to a slightly rude, but hilarious, start with some unfeasibly large wigs in the Hijinx Production of The Flop, featuring live music and clown supremo’s Spymonkey, followed by a pioneering and intimate new play User Not Found (written by Chris Goode and created by Dante or Die), which will be performed through smartphones using cutting-edge technology (including captioning technology as you become a fly-on-the-wall of one man’s decision to delete his online legacy).

The show premiered at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe with sell out performances and a raft of four and five-star reviews.

Both shows are presented in association with In Good Company, the professional development programme for artists making work in the East Midlands.

The season continues with Crossings, presented by New Perspectives and Pentabus as they collaborate for the first time to present a new play by Edinburgh Fringe First winning playwright Deidre Kinahan, marking the centenary of the end of WWI with live music, waltzing and unexpected connections.

This will be followed by the extraordinary story of Sunny in Unanima Theatre Company’s performance of ID, as you experience one woman’s life told through 14 mischievous and heart-warming voices.

The programme continues into the winter with one of the opening plays from this year’s RADA Festival in London Fly Half – following the trials and tribulations of a rugby player from an industrial town in South Wales – and a performance of verses, Wordshow, inspired by modern life and social comment performed with a grimace, a twinkle and the wry pointy finger of Greg Byron.

The season concludes on a historical note as the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons present their hilarious new verse adaption of the most epic journey of all time, The Odysseyand award-winning playwright Kevin Fegan’s Bess – The Commoner Queentells the story of survival and astonishing business success in the brutal world of Elizabethan politics as witnessed first-hand by Bess of Hardwick Hall.

Tickets to most of the productions are free to book online at www.inspireculture.org.uk/theatreand then you pay what you can at the end of the show.

Based at The Old Library, the Inspire Youth Arts team offer exciting opportunities for young people to take part in arts projects and programmes in dance, music and digital. Alongside the 100-seat theatre space the arts venue offers a professional recording studio, exhibition area, café-bar, Mac suite and a number of meeting, teaching rehearsal and workshop spaces. They are part of Inspire who deliver culture, learning and libraries on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council. For more information visit www.inspireculutre.org.uk/iya

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