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'Exceptional' Eden Court autumn programme needs audiences to support the theatre's full reopening


By Margaret Chrystall

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Eden Court is announcing a return to opening seven days a week from Monday (today).

But in announcing a host of big, high-profile shows for autumn and later in the year, the chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman reminds audiences that the future success of the theatre rests in their hands.

A scene from Chicago The Musical @ Phoenix Theatre, London. (Taken 24-03-18) ©Tristram Kenton 03-18 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com
A scene from Chicago The Musical @ Phoenix Theatre, London. (Taken 24-03-18) ©Tristram Kenton 03-18 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com

The Empire Theatre, the theatre says "will once again be alive with jaw-dropping spectacle and full capacity audiences".

This autumn, Eden Court reopens the Empire Theatre to full capacity live performance, with major productions on stage set to include 9 To 5, Chicago, The Midnight Bell and the triumphant return of the pantomime.

Matthew Bourne's latest show The Midnight Bell.
Matthew Bourne's latest show The Midnight Bell.

Since closing the theatre’s performance spaces in March 2020, the full return to live performance is a significant moment for the organisation following the immense challenges that the pandemic has brought.

A broad range of dance, drama, musical theatre and ballet will bring internationally-acclaimed talent to the Highlands and will ensure Inverness audiences will be spoilt for choice with options for a night out at the theatre.

9 To 5 The Musical.
9 To 5 The Musical.

With an Oscar, Grammy and Tony award-nominated score by the Queen of Country herself, Dolly Parton’s 9 To 5 The Musical finally reaches Inverness, direct from the West End. North audiences will have the excitemet of sharing the new production from Matthew Bourne, The Midnight Bell which explores the dazzling underbelly of 1930s London life in a dance theatre event full of pathos, humour and thwarted romance.

Chicago dives into the decadent 1920s, with a sexy, sassy score delivering murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery, with one show-stopping song after another – and choreography by the legendary Bob Fosse.

The panto returns with Cinderella.
The panto returns with Cinderella.

After a very sizeable hole in last year’s festive events calendar, Eden Court’s beloved pantomime returns and promises to be an absolute ball with a Cinderella packed full of the theatre's now signature combination of side-splitting slapstick, spectacular scenery, breathtaking costumes, stunning special effects and fabulous song and dance routines.

Eden Court will also host major new productions from Scotland’s acclaimed national companies.

National Theatre of Scotland’s The Enemy is a radical re-imagining of the classic Henrik Ibsen play about truth, power and deception from Kieran Hurley, the award-winning playwright and screenwriter of the critically-acclaimed Scottish indie film Beats.

Scottish Opera's The Gondoliers.
Scottish Opera's The Gondoliers.

Supported by Scottish Opera’s ‘Play A Supporting Role’ Appeal, The Gondoliers sees Stuart Maunder, artistic director at State Opera South Australia, team up with designer Dick Bird (The Mikado 2016) to stage a production that is fast, furious and full of fun.

Scottish Ballet returns with two enchanting productions – the Gene Kelly-choreographed Starstruck immersed in 1960s Paris and winter family favourite The Nutcracker.

Scottish Ballet's revival of Gene Kelly's Starstruck.
Scottish Ballet's revival of Gene Kelly's Starstruck.

Beyond the autumn season, 2022 productions include The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, Rock Of Ages and legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical, The Rocky Horror Show.

To celebrate the return of live theatre, Eden Court is running a competition offering those who book tickets between now and midnight on Friday, September 17 the chance to win back the full value of their booking (up to £500).

Anyone booking this week will automatically be entered into the draw.

The Rocky Horror Show.
The Rocky Horror Show.

James Mackenzie-Blackman, chief executive, Eden Court, said: “Returning to a seven-day opening, and returning live performance to our stages after over 500 days, is an important and emotional moment for myself and all my team.

"There were moments during the pandemic when the very future of Eden Court was in doubt.

"Our combined, tireless, efforts mean we can now reopen fully. Our future success really is though in the hands of our audiences.

"We have programmed an exceptional autumn and winter season of productions, films and community classes and we need everyone who knows Eden Court – and indeed those who are yet to give us a try – to come.

"Every single ticket sold helps Eden Court’s recovery and we need everyone to play their part.”

For details of tickets and the competition: www.eden-court.co.uk

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