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Six stunning spring productions to see in West Yorkshire

From a spectacular new ballet to battle-scarred drama, there's something for everyone.

There are some seriously good spring drama and musical productions on offer in the region’s theatres at the end of March – from a new show by popular Huddersfield theatre company Mikron and a play with soundtrack by Ultravox founder John Foxx to a world premiere of a Matthew Bourne ballet.

Check out our guide to six stunning – and quite different - spring shows.

Tuesday, March 21, until Saturday, March 25.

La Cage Aux Folles, Leeds Grand Theatre: A major new production of the West End and Broadway musical brings the tale of George and the dazzling drag artiste Albin to the West Yorkshire stage. The pair live an idyllic existence in St Tropez, but all is about to change when George’s son announces his engagement to the daughter of a local politician who is determined to close down the colourful and spangly local nightlife. There’s comedy and drama all round, as well as hit songs such as I Am What I Am and The Best of Times. Tickets are £23 to £47 from leedsgrandtheatre.com or 0844 8482700.

Saturday, March 25, and Tuesday, March 28.

Best Foot Forward by Mikron Theatre: The well-known theatre company, which inspires audiences with fresh tales of national institutions and social history, is opening its new show at Marsden Mechanics Hall on March 25 at 7.30pm (tickets £11 and £13 from mikron.org.uk or 01484 843701. Best Foot Forward examines the well-loved institution of the Youth Hostelling Association, from its inception in 1911 (imagined by a young German soldier in No Man’s Land during the Christmas Truce)and arrival in Britain during the 1930s, to the modern day. The fast-paced and often humorous script is by Maeve Larkin, who has written three previous shows for the company. As artistic director Marianne McNamara says: “The YHA is 87 years old and was the idea of someone who thought there should be something for young people who had lost so much. It’s an organisation that people are passionate about. Mikron tells the stories of ordinary people making an extraordinary contribution.” In recent years the company has featured everything from the Post Office and Luddites to WWI munitions workers.

A second performance of Best Foot Forward can be seen on March 28 at The Leggers Inn, Savile Town Wharf, Dewsbury, at 7.30pm, for which no tickets are required (a collection will be taken).

The production will tour the country until October, alongside Mikron’s other new show, In at the Deep End, which takes a trip with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Mikron Theatre's new show Best Foot Forward looks at the Youth Hostelling Association

Tuesday, March 28, and Wednesday, March 29.

The Machine Stops, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield: In 1909 British novelist E M Forster wrote a prophetic science fiction story about a world where humans have drained the Earth of its resources and are forced to live underground, entirely reliant on technology. The Machine Stops has been imaginatively adapted for the stage by Pilot Theatre and tells the tale of a single person who questions this dependence, and seeks to escape from his dystopian existence. The original story has often been hailed as an astonishingly accurate prediction of life in the 21st century. Performance includes a new soundtrack composed by John Foxx, electronic music pioneer and founder of Ultravox. Tickets for the performances, at 7.30pm, are £10 to £17 from thelbt.org.uk or 01484 430528.

The Machine Stops, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, March 28/29

Tuesday, March 28, until Saturday, April 1.

The Red Shoes, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford: The new Matthew Bourne ballet has enjoyed rave reviews. It is based on the 1948 film The Red Shoes and the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale in which a young girl‘s vanity – and desire to wear a pair of beautiful red shoes - have tragic consequences. In Bourne’s production, the owner of the red shoes is a dancer who hopes to impress a talent spotter and win a place on the stage. She succeeds, but there is a price to pay as she gives in to obsession and ambition. The show is packed with action and grand stage sets, spectacular lighting and energetic dance routines. Tickets are £18.50 to £41.50 from 01274 432000 or bradford-theatres.co.uk

THE RED SHOES by Matthew Bourne, Credit: Johan Persson

Tuesday, March 28, to Saturday, April 1.

Billy Liar, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield: The classic Northern comedy, based on the 1959 novel by Keith Waterhouse, was adapted into a play, a film, musical and TV series, and is the latest production from Huddersfield Thespians. Its stage premiere in the West End starred Albert Finney in the leading role. It has been a favourite of amateur companies ever since. The play focuses on the life and loves of a young working class man from Yorkshire who dreams of greater things and has three girlfriends on the go at once – a recipe for comic disaster and a real piece of escapist theatre.

Tickets are £12 from thelbt.org.uk or 01484 430528. There is a matinee on Saturday, April 1. Evening performances start at 7.15pm.

Billy Liar by Huddersfield Thespians at the Lawrence Batley Theatre

Tuesday, March 28, until Saturday, April 1.

Pink Mist, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds: This poignant production about how serving in Afghanistan affected the lives of soldiers and their loved ones was based on 30 interviews with returned servicemen. Using verse, dynamic staging and starkly honest performances, it features the stories of three young men who sign up for adventure and return psychologically scarred. Pink Mist was written by Owen Sheers, described as ‘the war poet of his generation’. The powerful production is a joint venture between Nick Williams Productions and the Bristol Old Vic. Tickets are £13.50 to £30 from ysp.org.uk or 0113 2137700.

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