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Friday 14 September 7.30pm

“The Storyteller of the Year” turns the absurd, bewildering and frequently frustrating aspects of modern life into laughter. Witty, ironic and waspish, this is social comment and cerebral comedy at its best! He has been praised by the BBC’s Dr Phil Hammond for the range and depth of his work.

Selling out at Yeovil Literary Festival, his show has featured at various festivals around the country and has just received the “Best Spoken Word Show” award at Shaftesbury Fringe Festival 2018 which is the third largest fringe festival in the country. Trevor is a poet, award winning storyteller and great entertainer and has been poet in residence and co-organiser of Bristol's longest running variety show, Lansdown Cabaret since 2008.

Trevor Carter
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Friday 28 September 7.30pm
LUDUS – Playful Love

Four women, two plays, fusing love, loss, lust and life!

Prelude and Fugue by Clifford Bax (Love and Loss) is set in the 1950s and reflects the musical interlude ‘Prelude and Fugue’ by Johann Sebastian Bach telling the story of Rosemary who, a week before her wedding, is having her likeness drawn in charcoal by Joan. As Joan sketches, the two women discover a dark secret shared by them both.

Square Pegs by Clifford Bax (Lust and Life) is a thought provoking farcical romp about lust and life. Hilda, a passionate young girl from the 20th Century longs for an equally passionate lover, but Henry has eyes only for his car! Gioconda, a practical girl of 16th Century Venice longs for a lover without the raw and radical passion of her time. They meet at ‘Merlin’s Gate’ where disappointed lovers can turn ‘The Book of Time’ and move within some other age.

Theatre Broad
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Friday 12 October 7.30pm

This inspiring true story of football’s greatest ever underdogs is set in the early years of Association Football, following a ragtag bunch of Lancashire mill workers who defied all odds to become the first working-class team in the country to play in the FA Cup.

Left tired and despondent from the cotton famine of the 1870s, this small group of northern lads found pride and hope in a game that up until then had been reserved for the upper classes. Darwen FC rose up against prevailing social prejudice and the might of the Football Association, to earn a place in history as the first real ‘giant-killers’ in English football, and take on the “poshest team of all” – The Old Etonians.

Scoring a massive moral victory for all working class people, the team proved that passion and spirit is worth more than wealth and privilege. When the battlefield is the football pitch, everyone is equal. An absorbing, heartfelt story of a town that came together to achieve the impossible and win the respect of the nation. A rip-roaring evening out, whether you know the off-side rule or not!

Long Lane Theatre Company
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Friday 26 October 7.30pm

1636. Lancaster Castle - The Witches' Tower. You are imprisoned, awaiting trial, crammed into a cell with a solitary woman who has been here for years. She tells you the story that led to her being imprisoned, beginning at a Witchcraft Trial, twenty-four years previously.

But she was not the accused. In 1612, she was nine, and a witness for the prosecution against the Witches Of Pendle, including her own brother, sister, and mother. In this story, the infamous Jennet Device tells her version of the events which led to the hanging of ten people - impossible, had it not been for her testimony - and how her fortunes have fared since.

Performed by Lexi Wolfe, who excelled in the classy “Mrs Oscar Wilde” last December.

Slade Wolfe Enterprises
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Thursday /Friday 8/9 November 7.30pm

'Laughter is the best medicine in the world'. So with this in mind, theCompany will be sharing their prescription - an evening of smiles, chuckles, giggles and guffaws - a whole night of laughter.

Seventeen talented actors present examples of the many genres of comedy that have been enjoyed through the ages - performing pieces written by legends such as Noel Coward, Victoria Wood, Alan Bennett, Rossini, Congreve, Wesker, Stoppard, Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare and Willy Russell.

Something for everyone and definitely an evening with a happy ending. LOL

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Friday 23 November 7.30pm

In Edinburgh, between 1827 and 1828, science and murder cling together in a dance of death. Sixteen people are slaughtered by Burke and Hare and the Devil and all his works prowls the streets of 'Auld Reekie'. Dr Robert Knox, scientist, doctor and anatomist supreme, waits in Surgeons Square to buy bodies for the sake of advancing medical knowledge. His door is chapped, a body is delivered, money is paid and no questions are asked. A trail of terror leads from West Port to the dissection table of Robert Knox. Murder will out and a price must be paid, even by the anatomist supreme. Doctor Knox will have to pay that price.

Commissioned by The Royal College of Surgeons as part of the celebrations for the re-opening of the Surgeons' Hall Museum.

Isosceles Theatre Company
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Friday 7 December 7.30pm

Dickens' Mystical Christmas Fable brought to life - A Perfect Christmas Treat!

Olivier Award winner, Guy Masterson, veteran of many hit solo works such as Under Milk Wood, Animal Farm and Shylock, now brings us Dickens' classic festive fable. Famed for bringing multiple characters to vivid life, Masterson recreates Scrooge, Marley, the Fezziwigs, Tiny Tim, et al, in an enchanting, performance that will dazzle and linger long in the memory. Guaranteed to get you into the Christmas Spirit - in many more ways than one!

"Masterson's production is an understated warning and a celebration of the hope for human kind. In short, it is A Christmas Carol for our time."” (Public Review - 27/11/17)

Just when you thought you'd seen enough Christmas Carols to guide you to your grave, along comes one of the best yet! (BBC Radio 01/12/17)

Theatre Tours International
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Friday 11 January 7.30pm & Saturday 12 January 2.30pm

This production sold out at Staveley Roundhouse, over seven performances in late December and, as planned, now transfers, reset and newly rehearsed, for two performances at The Heron theatre. A truly heart-warming experience.

The children are played by adults in this warm, witty and funny play, directed by Fliss Pocock. Mrs Horrocks' class of seven year olds are about to perform their nativity play at Flint Street Junior School for the proud mums and dads – and the occasional social worker. Squabbles arise when Gabriel wants to play Mary, the Star grumbles he's not a proper star like they have at NASA, Herod won't stop waving to his mum and dad and the subversive Innkeeper is determined to liven up the traditional script. And then the stick insect escapes……..

Staveley Roundhouse
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Friday 8 February 7.30pm
“At Home with William Shakespeare” and “Bacon”

At Home with William Shakespeare”

Pip Utton’s makes the famous man come alive again. No longer merely the probable writer of wonderful plays and poetry but a real man who loves, laughs, drinks, sings, dances and cries, and in between has to write some words to make a living.The poems and speeches come alive. It’s fun, it’s moving and it involves the audience now and again in the way in which Pip excels. It’s Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, performed by Shakespeare himself


Described by critics as the greatest British painter since Turner and by Margaret Thatcher as ‘that dreadful man who paints those horrible pictures’, Francis Bacon remains one of the most challenging and controversial artists of all time. His paintings have the power to horrify, excite, disgust, revolt and haunt. It is impossible not to react to his work.
Francis Bacon could spend his mornings painting, but his lifestyle full of alcohol, gambling and homosexual promiscuity has created an iconic enigma. Appearing uncannily like Bacon, Pip Utton looks back on his extraordinary life as he rants at, charms, entertains and enlightens his audience swigging champagne.

Some swearing and sexual references. Suitable for 16+

Pip Utton
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Friday 22 February 7.30pm
The Empty Stage

Rising star Carina Harris is murdered during an unscheduled rehearsal for an upcoming play. With the plot and action literally taking place on the theatre stage it's up to the director of the show to determine which of his temperamental cast members is dramatic enough to be a killer!

Purple Dreams Productions have been touring England since the start of 2012, and after a variety of comedies and dramas, feel it's time to perform their first 'whodunit'!

Purple Dreams Productions
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Friday 8 March 7.30pm
A Warning to the Curious

Two Ghost Stories by M R James presented by R M Lloyd Parry who returns to the Heron for the first time since first having us hanging on to our seats in 2011.

Over a century after they were first published, these stories retain their power to terrify and amuse. This gripping one man show retells two of the eeriest.

Lost Hearts was among the first stories the author wrote and it offers one of his most memorable villains, the predatory scholar Mr Abney. It is paired here with perhaps James’s most poignant and personal work: A Warning to the Curious, in which a young archaeologist is haunted and hunted by the guardian of an ancient treasure.

The English seaside has never looked so menacing.

Storytelling at its finest . . . . “ The Stage

Nunkie Productions
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Friday 22 March 7.30pm
Joyce - A Celebration

‘May you go on keeping the flame of Joyce alive’ wrote Joyce Grenfell’s pianist William Blezard to Jane Bower after Jane had visited him at his London home. She has been doing so since Joyce’s death, and now brings this newly reworked solo show north for the first time. Jane does not seek to imitate the much-loved actress so much as to introduce or reawaken memories of Joyce’s remarkable skill, personality and beliefs.

“Joyce - A Celebration” shows far more of Grenfell than ‘George – don’t do that’ and includes lesser known songs and monologues, humorous and serious, along with glimpses into her varied, vibrant and faith-filled life.

Jane Bower is a professional actress, writer and teacher who trained in Lancaster and lived there for many years. Now living in Cambridge, she brought her solo show ‘Daddy’s Diaries’ to a packed Heron Theatre in March 2017.

Jane Bower
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Friday 12 April 7.30pm
“Stuff and Nonsense”

Enjoy an audience with Mr Edward Lear, King of the Nonsense Rhyme and Loopy Limerick played by Jonathan Goodwin on his return to The Heron! Allow him to entertain you with tall tales concerning his life and times, the people, flora and fauna he encountered along the way and his own inimitable philosophy of life. Oh! And a certain Owl and a particular Pussycat are also guaranteed

Don’t Go Into The Cellar
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Thursday/Friday/Saturday 25/26/27 April 7.30pm
The Bench

Do you enjoy people watching? When you see someone just waiting, do you ever speculate on their back story? 'The Bench' explores this curiosity as, over the course of one spring day, several different scenes unfold on and around a bench. Fourteen different characters come and go, allowing us a glimpse into their lives - the jogger, the mother, the school child, the bag lady. They are all part of the life of this rural Recreation Ground. Come and do some people watching with us.

'The Bench' was written by Jamesine Cundell Walker and has toured several venues in and around Yorkshire, Cumbria and Essex. Jamesine is currently Artistic Director of Ilkley Playhouse..

The Company (an Associate of the Heron Theatre)
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Friday 10 May 7.30pm
Divorced, Beheaded, Died : An Audience with King Henry VIII

‘The year is 1544 and King Henry, the Eighth of that name, is engaged upon Royal Progress about his Realm; and has halted here to afford his Loyal Subjects the opportunity to have 'audience' with their Sovereign Lord and King.

The King, recently married to his new, and sixth, wife, Queen Catherine Parr, is in poor health; his leg continues to cause him considerable pain and he is often in a poor humour!

In the course of the 'audience', His Majesty will recount the events of his  long reign; telling of his wives and his children, and His Majesty will invite his Loyal Subjects to petition him or question him on any related subject : there may be some surprising answers!

Select Society
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Friday 17 May 7.30pm
A Different Tune


    Book through the Brewery Arts Centre  (breweryarts.co.uk or their box-office) or pay on the door at the Heron

When community groups come together for the first time, there are bound to be teething problems, especially as most group members generally start as strangers and don’t know what’s what about each other.  When the group is a dementia embracing orchestra, and a small number of the orchestra have dementia, there is the potential for misunderstandings and even intolerance.

However, over time members of the orchestra overcome initial difficulties, bond together and become a united and supportive group ready to make their first public performance.This funny and engaging play has been specifically written to highlight that it is still possible, with the right support, for people with dementia to continue to enjoy life and stay involved in community activities.  It’s performed by ‘Act Your Age’, The Brewery Arts Centre’s senior theatre group and supported by Dignity in Dementia, an award winning Cumbrian based social enterprise.

Act Your Age
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Friday 31 May 7.30pm

Orlando: Who is she? Who is he? Who are we?

Find out in the life-affirming, comedic tale of an immortal poet, whose gender cannot be pinned down, whose spirit cannot be caged, and whose irreverent, romantic adventures across British history – from the 1500s to the present day – provide a magic-realist exploration of human identity; personal, sexual and national.

Drawing on a decade's worth of critically-acclaimed theatre-making, Dyad Productions – performer Rebecca Vaughan and writer/director Elton Townend Jones – explore what it means to find our place in the world whilst remaining utterly true to who we are. Based on the satirical 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf.

Dyad Productions
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Friday 7 June 7.30pm
Bette and Joan

Once Grande Dames of Hollywood, by 1962 arch-rivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were in danger of becoming has-beens. Then an opportunity came along; to appear together in a new movie called “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? ”Bette & Joan” depicts the two stars, in their adjacent dressing rooms where we can relish their wickedly funny and barbed dialogue, between takes on the set of Baby Jane.

While Joan manages her anxiety by lacing her Pepsi with vodka and signing photographs for her beloved fans, Bette chain smokes and muses on her love life, and her ability to pick a decent script, never a decent man.

Behind the bitching and the practical jokes we see each woman's insecurities and regrets, and their rivalry is revealed to be underpinned by grudging respect as they attempt to identify their new roles in life as well as in their careers.

Wise Fools Theatre Company

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the HERON theatre · Stanley Street · Beetham · Milnthorpe · Cumbria LA7 7AS
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