whats on

What's on in the new Lawrence Batley season ahead

From circus skills and comedy to Fringe shows and irreverent opera - the LBT unveils its programme.

The Lawrence Batley Theatre

Want to see more live theatre in 2017, but need a taster of what’s on offer?

Huddersfield’s own Lawrence Batley Theatre is unveiling its new spring/summer season with a free preview evening on Thursday, February 2.

Special guests from the forthcoming programme, together with LBT director Victoria Firth, will present everything from a discussion of EM Forster’s 1909 novella and an eerie tale about a possessed Yorkshire priest, inspired by Ted Hughes’ poem Gaudete, to extracts from an early years show by storyteller Ruthie Boycott-Garnett, music by Grand Northern Ukulele Festival contributors and hits from the Woodhouse Musical Theatre Company show Legally Blonde.

Top ten musical shows to brighten up the New Year in West Yorkshire

The Season Preview event is as varied as the season ahead, which includes more than 60 different performances by professional theatre companies, amateurs, dancers, comedians and musicians.

What are the highlights of the season?

The LBT has its biggest comedy season yet and in February US-born comedian Ruby Wax will take to the stage with her show Frazzled, offering both psychological insights as well as laughs.

Ruby is a mental health campaigner and the author of two books – Sane New World and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, upon which her stage shows are based.

Rory Bremner

As well as monthly Comedy Cellar events (featuring Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Jack Carroll in March), the theatre has a main stage comedy line-up that includes Jonathan Pie (for which tickets are already sold out), Reginald D Hunter and Rory Bremner.

The LBT has a built a reputation for hosting exciting contemporary dance and this season’s programme includes an unusual physical theatre performance of Pinocchio and an all-male triple bill, Run, from the 2Faced Dance Company.

Pinocchio by the 2Faced Dance Company

For thrill-seekers there’s also an acrobatic show by an all-male Finnish circus troupe.

However, there’s also plenty of drama and the theatre has a line-up of nine professional performances – from the Ayckbourn-style comedy, Invincible, and a production by Britain’s leading African theatre company to John Godber’s The Empty Nesters’ Club and an interactive murder mystery.

Theatre director Victoria found two new works at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival that she felt she had to bring to the LBT – Outside The Box, a life-changing show about death, and the one-woman drama, Joan, shedding new light on the famous Joan of Arc.

“I thought they were fantastic,” she says, “I can’t wait for LBT audiences to see them.”

Music lovers can look forward to irreverent opera in Tales of Offenbach, British folk trio Coven, Huddersfield University Big Band and the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival. Young audiences are catered for with a series of shows ranging from an early-years storytelling performance, The Adventures of Pom, to Northern Ballet’s Goldilocks & The Three Bears.

Northern Ballet’s Goldilocks & The Three Bears

As well as professional companies, the LBT is home to several local amateur groups.

Look out for Grimm Up North from Huddersfield Thespians, Sweet Charity by Huddersfield Light Opera Company, Iolanthe from the Gilbert & Sullivan Society and Sisterly Feelings from Dick & Lottie – and much more.

While the Season Preview is free, tickets need to be booked at thelbt.org.uk or from 01484 430528.

The event starts at 6.30pm on the main stage.

View full mobile page