Wilton’s Music Hall, the oldest grand music hall in the world, today announces its 2019 Spring season – a glorious collection of theatre, and music from some of the UK’s most exceptional companies and artists.
What if you could see pain, as well as feeling it? What if it were reflected in colour, and shapes, so that other people could experience how you felt? Director Rachel Bagshaw and Royal Exchange Associate Chris Thorpe’s unique, disconcerting and touching one-woman show The Shape of the Pain (19 – 23 March) looks at physical suffering with no apparent cause, conditions that aren’t recognised by medical professionals but which destroy lives. A Fringe First Award winner in 2017 and with an original score by the award-winning Melanie Wilson, the production uses light and sound to explore the way we talk about pain and understand it better.
As Britain leaves the EU, the Iron Lady herself hits the Wilton’s stage for the very first time in Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho (26 – 30 March) in her full outrageous cabaret glory. In this smash hit drag extravaganza, diva Maggie gets lost in Soho on the eve of the crucial Section 28 vote and accidentally becomes a cabaret superstar – will she change her mind about the homophobic bill before it’s too late? A big, beautiful, gay adventure about LGBT rights, the 80s and disco created by Olivier Award winner Jon Brittain and performer Matt Tedford, it’s politics, glitter and riotous romping at its very finest. There will be a special one-off club night Margaret Thatcher Queen of Club Nights on the night of Brexit itself (29 March), featuring non-stop 80s hits, dance-offs, lip-sync battles and more.
Wilton’s is delighted to host the London premiere of a staggeringly beautiful new show Camille O’ Sullivan – Cave (9 – 13 April) produced by Wales Millennium Centre as part of the Festival of Voice 2018. Returning to the stage of her musical home, this run will see the mesmerizing chanteuse perform the songs of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, exploring the dark and the light of their music in her dangerous yet fragile theatrical style. Recently voted one of Later…with Jools Holland’s top 25 performances of all time by The Telegraph, Camille enjoys a formidable international reputation worldwide for her intensely beautiful and emotional shows.
Regan De Wynter Williams’ award-winning and hilariously funny take on the much-loved classic The Pirates of Penzance (20 February – 16 March) arrives at Wilton’s fresh from a hugely popular tour in Australia, which saw the production play Cate Blanchett’s Sydney Theatre. Now back in London, the all-male cast effervescently and joyously tell Gilbert and Sullivan’s much-loved tale of a child adopted by a band of tender-hearted orphaned pirates in an inventive and brilliant night of theatre.
From a revival of an opera classic to an insanely brilliant fusion of two more, the Olivier Award-winning Godfathers of alterative cabaret, The Tiger Lillies, will celebrate their 30th birthday with the premiere of a new concert One Penny Opera (2 – 6 April), bringing their dark and sardonic world back to Wilton’s with their own mash-up of John Gay and Brecht’s Beggar’s Opera and Weill’s Threepenny Opera. Glasgow songbird Christine Bovill will also grace the East London stage, as she transports audiences into a Parisian twilight world of song with her new show Christine Bovill’s Paris (29 January – 2 February).
Legendary comic Omid Djalli will make his Wilton’s debut with his show Schmuck for a Night (15 – 19 January), and, celebrating 50 years of the legendary sitcom, James Seabright’s Dad’s Army Radio Show (22 – 26 January) sees a brilliant staging of three classic radio episodes based on favourite scripts from the original TV series. Poet in the City presents Rumi: The Universe in Ecstatic Motion (11 February), bringing an exploration of Rumi’s poetry on the subject of love, returning with Audre Lorde: Sister Outsider (15 April), an empowering evening of live poetry performances celebrating the radical pioneer of intersectional feminism.
Defying all the laws of live comedy, The Good, The Bad and The Fifty: The 12th Annual London 50-Hour Improvathon returns (15 – 17 February), showcasing some of the world’s best improvisers as they bring their comedy soap opera to the Wild West of Wilton’s. Hypnotist Luke Jermay also makes a return appearance, this time with his brand-new interactive stage show Intuition (5 February) jam-packed with jaw-dropping demonstrations of intuition, telepathy and prediction. And back with even more wonderful tales and music from fascinating people is OneTrackMinds (6 – 7 February), two captivating nights of sound and storytelling as a panel of guests discuss the one song that changed their life.
It’s not just the adults having all the fun, with plenty for kids to enjoy over the season: from Jay Foreman’s Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children (19 January) with a devilishly cheeky hour of songs, poems and comedy, followed by two magical stints from Morgan & West’s Magic Show for Kids and Childish Grown Ups! (10 – 12 April), with the duo also playing Morgan & West: Time Travelling Magicians (4 February).