What's upcoming at The Dukes, Lancaster

A list of recent press releases and useful information about The Dukes, live theatre in Lancaster.

Take The Right Direction At The Dukes

If you have ever thought about theatre directing then this may be your opportunity because The Dukes is offering the chance to learn about theatre directing this summer (2017) and participation is open to people from all walks of life.

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The Dukes' new Artistic Director, Sarah Punshon will be one of the leaders, and it's exciting to note that she trained under the scheme at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. 

The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) takes place at the Lancaster theatre from August 12, 2017 – and it’s free.

Sarah’s extensive freelance theatre experience includes directing new writing and contemporary classics and for television, she has directed episodes of Eastenders, Emmerdale, Shameless and Doctors.

Speaking earlier, Sarah said: “The RTYDS scheme changed my life. It’s great to be able to offer a chance for people here in the North West to learn about the craft of directing, with particular reference to The Dukes incredible outdoor show in Williamson Park – a unique directing challenge I’ll be facing myself next year!”

Also leading the course will be Alex Summers, The Dukes Associate Director and head of its Centre for Creative Learning, which is devoted to creative industry training, education and outreach work.

The course starts and ends with an intensive full Saturday session with eight Saturday afternoon sessions in between.

It begins during the run of Treasure Island in Williamson Park with the chance to see the show for free and then walk the route with awardwinning Director, Joe Sumsion and discuss the challenges of this unique production.

The course ends in October with an opportunity for the budding directors to work with Sarah to explore next year’s park show and how it might be staged, based on their new knowledge.

In between, they’ll explore the actor-director relationship, discover how directors collaborate with playwrights, designers and composers, and discuss the challenges of participatory theatre making, focussing on the creation of Blackout, The Dukes autumn production, including a ringside seat at the technical rehearsal.

Complimentary tickets to Treasure Island, Blackout and The Suitcase will be provided as part of the course.

The Dukes is keen to attract a diverse range of participants aged 18 plus but places are limited and the deadline for applications is July 20, 2017. For more information and to apply, visit www.dukes-lancaster.org/about-us/artists-hub (opens in a new window)


For more information and to book tickets, phone The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or visit The Dukes website (opens in a new window)

Please note that bookings via the website have a £1 transaction fee.  


treasure island idDon't forget that Treasure Island is the 'Play in the Park' for 2017.




Autumn 2017 at The Dukes

Looking forward to autumn is not usually a good, the prospect of shorter days and cooler temperatures doesn't fill us with joy, but The Dukes will be brightening up autumn with two homegrown productions. Both will be something good to look forward to.


Blackout is a new play by Sarah McDonald-Hughes, inspired by true testimony from some of the 100,000 people who lived through a 48-hour power cut across Lancaster, Morecambe and Carnforth caused by Storm Desmond in December 2015.

A thrilling account of the chaos, bewilderment and camaraderie of those who weathered the storm together, Blackout will be staged from October 13, 2017. Its final performance on November 3, 2017 coincides with the start of the Light Up Lancaster festival.

Director, Alex Summers said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from more than 250 residents, community organisations, local government, emergency responders, national agencies and researchers. We thank them for making this celebration of the district’s resilience possible.”

Blackout will be exciting because it brings local events and memories back to life.


aladdin 2017

Christmas would not be Christmas without a Christmas production from The Dukes, and this year we can all look forward to Aladdin. The Dukes new Artistic Director, Sarah Punshon will make her debut at the Lancaster theatre with Aladdin which runs from November 24, 2017 -to January 6, 2018.

Mike Kenny’s delightful adaptation brings Aladdin flying onto the stage of The Round in a whirlwind of magic and music, laughter and sparkle.

Sarah said: “I’m a huge fan of Mike’s awardwinning writing and am delighted to be able to work with him on this energetic take on a much-loved tale.”



For more information and to book tickets, phone The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or visit The Dukes website

Please note that bookings via the website have a £1 transaction fee.  

treasure island id

Don't forget that Treasure Island is the Walkabout theatre production for 2017