Sunday, September 24

Ralph Fiennes and Julie Hesmondhalgh star in York Theatre Royal’s reopening season

Bond star Ralph Fiennes and Corrie legend Julie Hesmondhalgh both star in one person shows as part of York Theatre Royal’s reopening Love Bites season.

Fienne directs and stars in the world premiere of T S Eliot’s Four Quartets from 26-31 July. This solo theatre adaptation features Burnt Norton, East Coker, The Dry Salvages and Little Giddings which were published together in 1943. The quartet ranges across themes of time, nature and the elements, faith and spirituality, war and mortality.

BAFTA-nominated Julie Hesmondhalgh stars in The Greatest Play in the History of the World from 1-5 June. The Broadchurch star is touring northern venues after a sell-out Edinburgh Festival run that transferred to Manchester and London’s West End. The play was written for Hesmondhalgh by her Brentwood Award winning writer husband Ian Kershaw.

The theatre will officially reopen on May 17 with Love Bites that celebrates local artists – poets, performers, singers, dancers, digital artists – who have been commissioned to write 20 love letters celebrating the return to live performances following the easing of government restrictions. Former Look North presenter Harry Gration will host the evening which has a ‘Pay What You Feel’ ticket policy.

 “We can’t wait to welcome our audiences back to the theatre in May with The Love Season, an exciting and varied programme of work that celebrates what we’ve all been missing this past year – human connection, the live experience, and a sense of togetherness,”

The Love Season also includes The HandleBards recounting in their own inimitable, riotous way the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet on 25 & 26 May.

Following sell-out performances in the UK and Australia York’s very own drag superstar Velma Celli brings Love Is Love: A Brief History of Drag on 29 May promising heavenly vocals, theatrical swagger and razor sharp wit.

In This Time from 8-9 June the award-winning circus theatre company Ockham’s Razor present a unique take on the trapeze act in a show about time, age and the stories we tell ourselves.

Favourite characters from the hit TV show take to the stage in Twirlywoos Live! From 11-13 June in a show for ages 1+. Young audiences can also enjoy The Snail and the Whale from 2 & 3 July, inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved picture book. This Tall Stories show is for ages 4+

Red Ladder Theatre stage The Damned United on 16 June, which is adapted from David Peace’s novel telling the story of Brian Clough’s short but very turbulent time as Leeds United manager.

Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie from 22-26 June, directed by Dadiow Lin, has been adapted by British-Hong Kong writer Amy Ng into a politically-charged story set in 1940s Hong Kong.

Direct from the West End on 30 June, Showstopper! The Improvised Musical offers spontaneous musical comedy.

Oliver Ford-Davies and Stephen Boxer star in Ben Brown’s new political drama A Splinter of Ice from 6-10 July. Olivier Award winning Ford Davies plays the writer Graham Greene who travels into the heart of the Soviet Union to meet his old MI6 boss Kim Philby.

For full details of The Love Season visit

Tickets from £12, with members’ discounts available. Member’s 10-day priority booking open now, member’s 5-day priority booking on April 14th and general bookings open April 19th – all from 12noon.

Book online By telephone 01904 623568, Monday to Saturday 12 noon to 3pm, from April 14th. In person Thursday to Saturday, 12 noon to 3pm, from April 15th