West End smash Avenue Q among Colchester Mercury Theatre’s spring-summer season

Avenue Q at the Colchester Mercury next year

Avenue Q at the Colchester Mercury next year - Credit: Archant

There’s some great stuff coming up at the Colchester Mercury next year; including West End hit Avenue Q.

Educating Rita at the Colchester Mercury next year

Educating Rita at the Colchester Mercury next year - Credit: Archant

Following five years on the London stage, the Tony Award-winning musical features some of the naughtiest puppets in town explore growing up, dreaming big and finding your purpose in life.

“It’s great news that Avenue Q, likely to be one of the UK touring hits of 2015, is starting its run here in Colchester. We’ve been able to demonstrate Colchester has a growing audience for West End quality theatre, which makes it possible for us to attract the very best shows,” says the theatre’s artistic director Daniel Buckroyd.

Next year’s Made in Colchester season includes cult musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors, Willy Russell’s Educating Rita and Buckroyd directs probably the most side-splitting play ever written - Noises Off.

Visiting shows include old favourites and new faces, with family audiences well catered for.

Lionboy by Complicite at the Colchester Mercury next year. Photo: Mark Douet

Lionboy by Complicite at the Colchester Mercury next year. Photo: Mark Douet - Credit: Photo by Mark Douet

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Critically-acclaimed theatre company Complicite bring their production of Lionboy - the story of a young boy who can speak to cats embarking on a mission to save to his parents - to Colchester over half-term. The Horrible Histories gang return with Barmy Britain Part Two direct from London’s West End, youngsters will love The Gruffalo creators Julia Donaldson’s and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man and The Pimlott Foundation present Humperdinck’s fairy tale opera Hansel and Gretel.

There will be plenty of laughes too, with comedy acts Stewart Lee, Pam Ayres, Andy Parsons and Fascinating Aida with new show Charm Offensive.

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For drama lovers there’s the multi-award winning Bouncers, the tale of one night in a 1980s Yorkshire disco; friendship, mischief and folly in Three Men In A Boat; All My Sons which centres around an all-American couple living with the ghosts of the Second World War and the humorous and poignant Nursing Lives.

Dance fans rejoice, the BalletBoyz return with new show The Talent and world-renowned contemporary dance company Random Dance perform excerpts from Wayne McGregor’s critically acclaimed FAR alongside new work.

This season also sees the introduction of a number of talks by the likes of Monty Don, Dan Starkey and Dr Lucy Worsley; live music and community performances.

“This year saw a record number of people come to the Mercury for the first time and we think this season will tempt more people than ever before to come along and give theatre a go. We’re presenting many more family shows to coincide with school holidays and our productions made here in Colchester are each hugely popular classics in very different ways,” adds Buckroyd.

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