From opera, comedy and classic films to contemporary dance, drama and childrens’ shows – the new season at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield offers quite literally something for everyone.
Featuring both tried and tested theatre companies and emerging artists, famous names and avant garde and amateur productions, the programme covering September 2014 to January 2015 has nearly 120 performances and to choose from.
The season, launched at the weekend, opens with a Comedy Cellar on September 4, featuring James Dowdeswell and Adam Rowe – followed by the Huddersfield Thespians’ latest production, An Evening with Pinter.
For opera lovers, September 13 sees the Mid Wales Opera version of Carmen and in October the Young Opera Venture is bringing Mozart’s final masterpiece The Magic Flute to the stage.
Other highlights of the autumn include an appearance by comedienne Ruby Wax; an Alan Ayckbourn ‘readathon’ with local theatre company Dick and Lottie reading six of the famous playwright’s works; the play Antigone, a contemporary adaptation of Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy (and A level text); and a Halloween show, Little Frankenstein, for young theatre-goers.
Christmas will be celebrated with a production of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, by the creators of last year’s winter show, the Tutti Frutti company.
There’s also a film season of movies inspired by great works of literature and poetry, such as Jane Eyre and Under Milk Wood.
For those who want a taste of what’s to come, the LBT is holding a free Season Preview night on Monday, September 15, featuring performances by singer songwriter Claire Mooney, host of Festive Sound Women; Mike Kenny, writer of The Boy Who Cried Wolf; Natasha Holmes from LBT resident company Tell Tale Hearts; and Mick Martin, writer of England, Arise!, a drama based on the story of political opposition to the First World War.
Launched alongside the new season is a new pricing structure for LBT tickets. There will no longer be any traditional concessions but the theatre has introduced a new £6 ticket for those under the age of 26.
Those most affected by the change will be the more affluent, older audience members who will no longer be able to buy discounted senior citizen tickets.
According to Laura Rodwell, press and marketing manager, the rationale behind the changes was a move to secure the theatre’s long-term survival.
“The climate is changing and our grants are being eroded over time,” she said.
“We have been doing some research into who buys our tickets and have discovered that some of our discounts weren’t being taken up by the right groups.
“We need to encourage young people to come to the theatre and broaden the age demographic of audiences. Quite a lot of those who were claiming our concession tickets weren’t in the most pressed income bracket.”
However, those who have bought senior citizen concessionary tickets in the past are being invited to take advantage of other savings, such as season tickets or ‘saver’ tickets for certain groups of performances, and joining the Culture Club, which organises subsidised visits. The theatre also wants to encourage membership of its Friends organisation, which gives 10% discounts at the box office for professional shows.
Anyone with a Kirklees Passport – a council-run scheme for those receiving certain benefits – can also access discounted tickets.
For more information on the new season and show tickets, pick up a brochure at the theatre or Information Offices, call the box office on 01484 430528, or look at www.thelbt.org.uk
Although there is no charge for the Season Preview, tickets must be booked in advance.