Stage set for theatre and its new season

Lesley Garrett.
Lesley Garrett.
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HARROGATE Theatre has given a sneak preview of its new autumn season which looks set to confirm its recent renaissance.

Modern drama, traditional fayre, children’s shows, Edinburgh Fringe-winning cabaret, rock singers. . .not forgetting its ever-popular traditional panto, which this year is another family favourite, Beauty and the Beast.

Chris Addison nib.'Chris Addison - Leeds City Varieties Wednesday 12th November'E-mail

Chris Addison nib.'Chris Addison - Leeds City Varieties Wednesday 12th November'E-mail

It’s fair to say the forthcoming programmes lives up to its billing as something for everyone.

For the first time in years, Harrogate Theatre is making a big push in opera with four shows featuring English Touring Opera.

Its success with plays from the pen of John Godber continues with Weekend Breaks by the Reform Theatre Company and Beef by the Rich Seam Theatre Company.

Household names coming to Harrogate include singer Lesley Garrett, Alistair McGowan doing Noel Coward, Fascinating Aida, indie band Idlewild’s Roddy Womble, the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, songwriting legend Nick Lowe and the comedians Richard Herring and Chris Addison of The Thick of It.

Speaking of comedy, Harrogate Theatre is also preparing to welcome the biggest collection of stand-up stars it’s ever hosted.

It has just announced the full-line up for its 2011 Comedy Festival. More than 30 comedians will perform across the Main Auditorium and Studio Theatre in just 12 days between between October 10-22..

This is the third year Harrogate Theatre have organised the event and last year’s Festival brought over 6,500 people to the Theatre over two weeks.

Once again this year there will be some exclusive events which mark Harrogate Comedy Festival as a rising fixture on the comedy circuit attracting top comedians who want to perform in the intimate environment of Harrogate Theatre:

Andre Vincent brings his brand new show The Sunday Roast to Harrogate for one of its very first performances. The show will take a satirical look at current affairs via the Sunday newspapers. This show is a spin-off from the Festival favourite The Early Edition and BBC Radio’s The Late Edition.

Rising stars Chris Ramsey (ITV’s Comedy Rocks) and Elis James (BBC’s Russell Howard’s Good News) will share the bill in an event that is not taking place anywhere else and will showcase two of the hottest properties in comedy.

There will also be a Comedy Workshop which will give people the chance to learn the skills needed to become a stand-upcomedian.

The very best from the current crop of established comedians will be on show during the two week Festival. Highlights include: Al Murray, Shappi Khorsandi & Jon Richardson (Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats), Russell Kane (2010 Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner), Justin Moorhouse (Phoenix Nights) and Ed Byrne (Mock The Week).

There will also be a special performance from comedy legend Nicholas Parsons, host of BBC Radio’s Just A Minute, and James Campbell will be performing his highly acclaimed show for children.

This underlines the Festival commitment to programme shows for all ages and tastes.

l Full line-up at or by requesting a Festival Brochure from the Box Office on 01423 502 116 or via email