A wealth of new shows in wonderful surroundings

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Square Chapel announces its new season launch

The £6.6 million revamp is simply breathtaking and this week the arts centre announced its first season of shows and films since the spectacular conversion work finished.

The official launch weekend from Friday to Sunday, September 8-10 is an eye-popping mix of events from the breathtaking Gandini Juggling performing their show Smashed (September 8/9) which mixes circus skills and theatre to Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and her favourite musician John Sampson bringing a slightly less frantic hour of light and shade, laughter and reflection on September 10.

And families are well catered for too with the well-loved books Room on the Broom and Stick Man by author Julia Donaldson brought to life on September 9 and Lyngo Theatre’s adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk the following day.

Two big highlights of the season involve two of Square Chapel’s patrons.

On the evening of Sunday, November 26, George Costigan (Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Happy Valley) forms a tour de force with one of the country’s miost successful ever playwrights, Willie Russell (Blood Brothers, Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine) for readins, stories, Q&As and maybe a song or too.

Denholme-based actress Natalie Gavin is heavily involved in a programme of events dedicated to the late Buttershaw playwright Andrea Dunbar (Rita, Sue and Bob Too).

On October 29, a digitally restored version of The Arbor starring Gavin and Manjinder Virk will be screened followed by a Q&A with the actresses and with authoress Adelle Stripe who has just penned her debut novel Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile, which was inspired by Dunbar, plus a 1980 Arena documentary about rehearsals for a production of The Arbor. One November 9 Gavin will star in Dunbar’s final play Shirley.

On October 21 OperaUpClose presents The Magic Flute and there’s a special night with folk legend Peggy Seeger. For all programming go to squarechapel.co.uk or call 01422 349422.