New season: Norwich Theatre Royal

EMMA LEE An award-winning comedy, the return of a blockbuster musical and a new play heading for the West End are among the highlights of the new season at Norwich Theatre Royal.

EMMA LEE

An award-winning comedy, the return of a blockbuster musical and a new play heading for the West End are among the highlights of the new season at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Art Malik, Christopher Timothy and Michael Jayston star in Heroes, a play adapted by Oscar-winning writer Tom Stoppard, and which received this year's Olivier Award for best comedy.

Direct from its sell-out success in the West End, the drama is set in a military hospital where three veterans pass their days.


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Heroes will be in Norwich from November 6-11.

Then in February, get set for murder, greed, treachery and all that jazz when the musical, Chicago, is back in the city for a two-week run.

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Nightclub singer Roxie Hart shoots her lover in the plot, based on real-life events from the roaring 1920s. Along with cell block rival and double murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to stay off Death Row with the help of smooth-talking lawyer, Billy Flynn.

Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson, also playing the theatre in February, is a new play from Chris England,

co-writer of An Evening With Gary Lineker, only this time it is set during the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The production stars Norman Pace, one half of comedy duo Hale and Pace.

A host of other familiar names will be in Norwich during the season.

Former EastEnders villain Alex Ferns, Strictly Come Dancing's Will Thorp and singer and actress Anita Harris are among the cast of the thriller, Strangers on a Train, from August 14-19.

Ian "H" Watkins from pop group Steps plays the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in October. And former Coronat-ion Street heart-throb Adam Rickitt is Prince Charming in the pantomime, Cinderella.

Other events include: Jack Jones (October 2), Charlie Landsborough (October 7), Kate Rusby (October 8), David Essex (October 10-11), Lee Hurst (November 12) and Darren Day in The Magic of Manilow (February 4).

The Theatre Royal, one of the country's oldest- established theatres, is expected to close for a multi-million pound auditorium and front-of-house refurbishment in the spring. Last week it was announced that Archant, publisher of the EDP, had made a donation of £30,000 to the 250 Appeal.

For full details of the season, call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit www.

theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

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