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TRSE announces new season for Spring 2016

Theatre Royal Stratford East announces new season for 2016

Full season from January 2016 includes: 

  • An Evening with the Stratford East Singers, recently seen on Gareth Malone’s The Naked Choir (BBC2)
  • Janis Joplin: Full Tilt by Peter Arnott and directed by Olivier award-winning Cora Bissett
  • Americana: In Concert, brand  new British musical developed with award-winning emerging producing talent Hungry Bitches Productions
  • The House of In Between by Sevan K Greene and directed by Resident Director Pooja Ghai.
  • The Government Inspector in association with Ramps on the Moon and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
  • Love N Stuff by Tanika Gupta, returning after sell-out run in 2013 with Kerry Michael taking the reins of directing once again.
  • Announcing the pantomime for 2016-2017 Sinbad the Sailor, directed by Artistic Director Kerry Michael.


Theatre Royal Stratford East announces its programme of productions taking place from February – June 2016 and the 2016/17 pantomime. The year ahead sees the theatre staying true to its commitment to develop and produce new plays and musicals, as well as reviving one of its most successful runs of the last few years. Theatre Royal Stratford East achieved 86% capacity last year, with the most culturally diverse audience in the country.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East said: “I am thrilled to announce a vibrant new season here at Theatre Royal Stratford East. From brand new shows by exhilarating new voices which will challenge and excite our audiences, to a returning favourite in need of the spotlight once again.

“We have some of the most diverse audiences attending our shows at Theatre Royal Stratford East compared to other theatres in the UK; we celebrate this by producing work that’s varied, inclusive and accessible to all. This season is no exception.

“Kicking off our season is a concert performance by our home-grown choir, Stratford East Singers, who were last seen on Gareth Malone’s The Naked Choir (BBC2) where the choir made it into the finals. I couldn’t be more delighted that they’ll be opening our season.

“We have new writing on our stage with the world premiere of The House of In Between, which tells the tale of a millennia-old community (the hijras) in India. Little known outside of their own cultures, this is an insightful and intriguing story looking at the challenge of preserving tradition when faced with the demands of modern society. The show consists of traditional dance, music and song.

We’re proud to be part of Ramps on the Moon, a collective of theatres across the country who are committed to bringing integrated theatre to the forefront, ranging from the creative and production process, to casting on our stages. Our inaugural production is The Government Inspector and you will never have seen it done quite like this before. It will be something rather special.

“I’m personally very pleased to be reviving our production of Love N Stuff by Tanika Gupta. This piece was so well received by our audiences and sold out, so we’re looking forward to making sure that those who didn’t get to see it last time round will finally have the chance.

“But before all that, we kick off 2016 with a piece that is somewhere between our two favourite genres with Janis Joplin: Full Tilt. Based on the life and work of the legendary performer, this piece by Peter Arnott and directed by our long-time collaborator Cora Bissett is simply stunning with a truly remarkable performance by Angie Darcy at its core.  

“There really is something for everyone in the season ahead.”



5 December 2015 – 23 January

Press Night: Wed 16 December, 7pm

This Christmas audiences will be transformed to the land of StratEastHam by the Olivier Award nominated and critically acclaimed team at Theatre Royal Stratford East, with their new adaption of Robin Hood. For full press release please click here.



Mon 14 December 8pm

The final MonologueSlam UK of 2015 is our special Winner’s Edition, with winners from all over the UK battling it out to be the MonologueSlam UK 2015 Champion. 



Saturday 19 December 3pm & 7.30pm

Meet Babi Segi - a prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, the patriarch of a large household that includes a trio of wives and secen children. Will possessing a fourth wife be his undoing? A scandalous new play featuring original contemporary live Yoruba music, songs and dance is performed.




Sunday 31 January 2016

Finalists of this year’s Gareth Malone’s hit BBC show The Naked Choir, Stratford East Singers will power through their unique range of repertoire; and take audience members on an emotional journey through music.


Songs from Bob Marley, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Take That, Bruno Mars, Motown Records, Byron Gold and traditional African Folk songs will have audience members off their feet and becoming a Stratford East Singers member for the night.



10 February – 5 March 2016

Press Night: Thu 11 Feb, 8pm

Critically acclaimed and sell-out production from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it picked up the Edinburgh Arts Guild Award for best production, Janis Joplin: Full Tilt makes its way down south to London. Presented by Theatre Royal Stratford East, Pachamama and Richard Jordan Productions.

Blending theatre with the feel and atmosphere of a full rock gig, Full Tilt is about the phenomenal and deep story of one of Rock’s greatest female icons, Janis Joplin. Featuring Joplin’s finest songs, audiences are taken on a rollercoaster of mixed emotions that express her exceptional life.

Created by multi-award winning writing/directing team Peter Arnott and Cora Bissett, whom last worked with Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2013 with the Olivier award-winning Roadkill.



31 March – 2 April 2016

Winners of The Cameron Mackintosh Award for Musical Theatre and West End Producer’s Twitter Composer (2014), writing duo Graham Mercer (Book, Music and Lyrics) and Conway McDermott (Book) are two emerging voices to be heard.

High School Musical meets an All-American Nightmare in this love story between a rebellious stoner punk and an All-American football player. In a town where schoolkids stay in their stereotypical cliques, just how far will our teenage rebels go in their fight for freedom, love and high school justice?



8 – 30 April 2016             

Press Night: Thu 14 April, 7:30pm

What if the thing you most wanted meant giving up everything you are and believed in?

Once revered across Ancient Asia and Arabia, the third gender is now feared, reviled and discriminated against. Uma is the leader of one such clan in India, desperate to protect her house and preserve her millennia-old traditions and way of life. One day a stranger arrives in need of help and the community open their doors. Will this act of charity jeopardise all the clan hold dear?

The House of In Between is written by Sevan K Green in his stage debut and directed by Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Resident Director, Pooja Ghai.



18 – 28 May 2016

Press Night: Thu 19 May, 7:30pm

The pioneering partnership between Theatre Royal Stratford East and six other National portfolio theatres have created the network, Ramps on the Moon, creating theatre that is committed to offering opportunities to disabled people by putting disabled artists and audiences at the centre of their programmes.

Ramps on the Moon, in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, present the first piece of work, The Government Inspector.

The Mayor is in a cold sweat. News has reached him of an imminent visit from a Government Inspector. His fear is well-founded as he has been somewhat lacking in his official duties. Surely the only bribery; it seems to have resolved many a sticky situation for the Mayor and his team in the past! But a simple case of mistaken identity leads matters to spiral hysterically out of control. Could it be that they have met their match in the complicated business of deception? 



3 – 25 June 2016

Press Night: Tue 7 June, 8pm

After its successful sell-out run in 2013, the hilarious Love N Stuff returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2016 for a strictly limited run.

Love N Stuff is a comedy by Tanika Gupta, writer of East End meets Bollywood musical, Wah! Wah! Girls, and more recently writer of the play adaptation of Meera Syal’s novel Anita and Me, which played at Theatre Royal Stratford East between October and November 2015. The show will be directed by Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Artistic Director, Kerry Michael.


Based on a married couple who are debating whether to leave the cold streets of Stratford for a sun soaked Delhi, audiences are joined by both characters in the departure lounge for this laugh-out-loud comedy featuring more than 20 characters played by just two actors.



3 December 2016 – 21 January 2017

Press Night: Wed 14 December, 7pm


Keeping to Theatre Royal Stratford East’s tradition, of pantomime with a twist the theatre will be producing Sinbad the Sailor as the 2016 pantomime. Full of jam-packed laughter, audience participation and original music, this vibrant production will be directed by Kerry Michael.

By Paul Sirett

Music & Lyrics by Wayne Nunes & Perry Melius
Directed by Kerry Michael



For all press enquiries, please contact John Potter on 020 8279 1110 or email


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A People’s Theatre

This famous producing theatre, located in the heart of London’s East End on the edge of the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, prides itself on creating world class work that reflects the concerns, hopes and dreams of its community. A prolific developer of new work, this award-winning theatre attracts artists and audiences often not represented in other venues. Through a continuous loop it inspires and is inspired by its vibrant, young and diverse audience.

Theatre Royal Stratford East achieved 86% capacity last year, the theatre, known as a people’s theatre, encourages and celebrates its diverse audiences, by putting on shows that speak directly to them. Highlights include, Open Stage, where the theatre offered the public to help programme their season in a public consultation and engagement project, Home Theatre, which saw 30 one-person tailored plays performed in 30 different homes across London and Stratford East Singers, the theatres community choir, open for all to join which featured on BBC’s The Naked Choir with Gareth Malone.

New Writing

Theatre Royal Stratford East is committed to supporting the development of exciting new voices and to putting bold new work on its stage. As part of this, the venue’s bi-annual Angelic Tales New Writing Festival features rehearsed readings by more than twenty emerging writers and has led to work going on to become full main stage productions. New writing recently staged by Theatre Royal Stratford East includes Roy Williams’ Antigone and Kingston 14, Somalia Seaton’s Crowning Glory, Tanika Gupta’s Love N Stuff, Rikki Beadle Blair’s Gutted and Cora Bissett’s Olivier-award winning Roadkill.

Musical Theatre
Theatre Royal Stratford East is a prolific developer of new work, attracting artists and audiences often not represented in many other venues. An important aspect of its work is the development of new musical theatre. The Theatre’s vision is to break new ground with musicals that bring contemporary and urban music into the mainstream of British theatre. This has led to the production of a broad spectrum of acclaimed sell-out musicals with its work transferring nationally and internationally. These include The Infidel The Musical, Glasgow Girls (with National Theatre of Scotland and Citizens Theatre in association with Richard Jordan Productions Ltd, Pachamama Productions and Merrigong Theatre Company (Australia)), Wah! Wah! Girls (with Sadler’s Wells and Kneehigh), the Olivier Award winning Pied Piper (with Boy Blue Ents), Takeaway, Clockwork Orange, Reasons to be Cheerful (with Graeae Theatre Company and New Wolsey Theatre), Britain’s Got Bhangra (with Rifco Arts & Warwick Arts Centre), Come Dancing (Best New Musical – What’s On Stage Awards), The Blacks, The Harder They Come, the Olivier nominated The Big Life, Da Boyz and Baiju Bawra.



Ramps On The Moon is a ground-breaking touring project that signals a step change in disability arts provision in the UK. Bringing together seven major theatre companies, it will change the way theatre made by and for Deaf and disabled people is seen. These companies are committed to putting Deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the centre of their work; to accelerate positive change, and stimulate awareness of disability issues within arts and culture.


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