Autumn marks the start of a new season at New Theatre Royal and after 160 years of staging theatre, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a regular day at the office for us but that’s where you would be wrong.

Each and every season brings a sense of excitement and anticipation as we finally get to share the details of our eclectic programme after months of careful planning. New Theatre Royal Director Scott Ramsay is always on the look out for work that’s relevant, thought provoking and above all entertaining.

With each season we aim to strike a balance between new cutting-edge work and contemporary takes on classics. Our upcoming new adaptation of Bleak House by Charles Dickens is the perfect example of the latter. Co-commissioned by New Theatre Royal and Winchester Royal, this new production has been created by renowned, international theatre maker David Glass, whose iteration of this historic piece couldn’t be more relevant for today. David has until now been working in 70 countries so this new show provides a rare opportunity to see his work in the UK. For this reason and the fact that Dickens is a significant part of Portsmouth’s cultural history, having been born in the same road as us, this production from 26 – 28 September is one the real highlights of our upcoming season.

A sign of an outstanding theatre programme is variance – ensuring that there is something to suit everyone’s drama tastes. Brand new musical Eye of the Storm on 1-2 October is a drama with a difference. Developed in Wales by leading theatre companies Theatr na nÓg and Swansea Grand Theatre, this modern musical fuses country music by Grammy award-winning composer, Amy Wadge with superb storytelling. You may recognise the name Amy Wadge as one of Ed Sheeran’s songwriters, so you know that the soundscape for this production is going to be something special. Exploring a whole range of themes including young carers, mental health, renewable energy, STEM, girls in science and digital competency, this story couldn’t be more relatable for young audiences.

From one strong female to another, Lauren Hendry is the heroine of upcoming show Tetra-Decathlon on 21 October. Our Director Scott Ramsay discovered Lauren following a chance meeting two years ago in Edinburgh as she embarked on the journey of a lifetime to learn 14 athletic events from scratch to compete in a Tetra-Decathlon. This funny and inspiring show charts her experience and includes a post-show chat between Scott and Lauren – to find out more about how she went from track to theatre.

Two who are no strangers to stage or screen are Rachael Spence and EastEnders’ favourite, Lisa Hammond. The pair performed their first show in 2010, which was born out of the public’s response to their search for a story. Now ten years later, they’ve come together again for Still No Idea, a heart-breakingly honest and funny insight into some of the myths surrounding modern life and disability. Deemed as essential viewing, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome it to our stage on 9 October.

Shows like Still No Idea and Tetra-Decathlon are not only entertaining but are thought provoking and inspiring. Theatre should always inspire and engage us in ways that we wouldn’t ever dream of.

Skylight shares this vision. Written by critically acclaimed writer David Hare, this play is a complex love story that is delicate, hilarious and deeply moving. Skylight Director, John Terry summarises its beauty and relevance best when he says, “it seems to me to be a play that asks: can you really love someone if you fundamentally disagree with them? It seems in our divided age, like an incredibly crucial question.” A West End hit, this fascinating, pivotal play will inevitably provoke a powerful response from our audiences. Catch it here on 15 – 19 October.

For more information on our upcoming shows this Autumn, click here to view our brochure.