Plano — In the mid-2000s, Theatre Britain, dedicated to writers from Great Britain, was doing consistently acclaimed work at the K.D. Studio Theatre (then called the Trinity River Arts Center). But the last year for a full season was in 2006; it has stayed alive with its annual holiday tradition of a British-style panto, and moved to Plano's Cox Building Playhouse a few years ago. In the past two years, they've added one show to the panto.
Now comes news that in 2014, the group, lead by Sue Birch, will be back on a full schedule. The 2014 season features two shows in addition to the panto, with works by veddy British writers Agatha Christie and Ray Cooney.
Here's more from the Theatre Britain news release, followed by a season break-down:
Theatre Britain today announced its return to year-round production with a lineup of shows for 2014. The season will feature a mystery, a farce and Theatre Britain’s signature production, a traditional British panto.
In March, the company will present The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie. The most famous British whodunit, The Mousetrap opened in the West End of London in 1953 and is now the longest running show of any kind in the world.
Ray Cooney’s Out Of Order, a side-splitting farce, will run in September and the 2014 panto will be Jackie Mellor-Guin’s take on Beauty & The Beast, opening Thanksgiving weekend and running through Dec. 28.
Theatre Britain last produced a full season in 2006 at the KD Studio Theatre in Dallas. Responding to the economic downtown, the company cut back to the panto, producing other shows only intermittently in the intervening years.
Its critically acclaimed production of Vincent River played at the Out Of The Loop Festival at the WaterTower Theatre in 2009 and later, in collaboration with Uptown Players, at the KD Studio Theatre. An Old Time Music Hall was produced in 2012 and in June this year, the company presented Albert’s Anthology, a world premiere by Jackie Mellor-Guin, at Cox Theatre in Plano.
Artistic Director, Sue Birch said, “Theatre Britain’s renaissance began with our move to the Cox Building Playhouse in Plano in 2010. Not only are the Plano Stages’ facilities and staff outstanding, but our patrons now have an array of dining and entertainment opportunities in Historic Downtown Plano and the surrounding area. Our audience has expanded and last year’s panto was the best-attended show of any in our history. We are also very grateful for financial support from the City of Plano. Funds from the City have enabled us to expand our programming.”
Theatre Britain’s 2014 Season:
by Agatha Christie
March 14 - March 30, 2014
The classic British whodunit!
A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm. When one of them is murdered, suspicion falls on each of the survivors in turn.
OUT OF ORDER
by Ray Cooney
September 12 - September 28, 2014
A rip-roaring British farce!
When Richard Willey, a government junior minister, plans to spend the evening with Jane Worthington, one of the opposition’s typists, things go disastrously wrong and hilarity ensues.
BEAUTY & THE BEAST
by Jackie Mellor-Guin
November 29 - December 28, 2014
A traditional British panto!
A world premiere
Expect wacky characters, songs, dances, corny jokes and lots of audience participation when Jackie Mellor-Guin puts her own spin on the classic tale.
All performances are at The Cox Building Playhouse, 1517 H Avenue, Plano, TX 75074.
Adults $21, Seniors & Students $16, Children (14 and under) $11
10% discount for parties of 10 or more
Package Deal Available for The Mousetrap and Out Of Order
Details at www.theatre-britain.com
For tickets, call 972.490.4202 or visit www.theatre-britain.com.