Varied programme for Brighton theatre

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Theatre Royal Brighton has launched a summer season including a mix of powerful drama by some of the country’s most talented playwrights as well as award-winning musicals, hilarious comedy and much-loved family shows.

Spokeswoman Rachel Knowles said: “Among the highlights of this season is the darkly comic Butley by Simon Gray. Dominic West, who plays cop Jimmy McNulty in the hugely-popular TV series The Wire, stars in the title role.

“Ben Butley, once a charismatic university lecturer, finds his life crumbling around him and vents his frustration on his students and colleagues, leading to his self destruction. Butley also stars Paul McGann and Penny Downie and will transfer to the West End immediately after its Brighton run.”

Rachel added: “The National Theatre make a welcome return to Brighton to present their award winning The Pitmen Painters. This humorous yet deeply-moving play about a group of North East miners who achieve extraordinary success when they begin art classes, has played to packed houses in London and on Broadway.”

Also coming up,English Touring Theatre present JB Priestley’s Eden End. The play is a moving tale of heartache and unfulfilled ambition as a prodigal daughter returns to find refuge in her former childhood home.

Other season highlights include Corrie!, a new stage version of Coronation Street, a written by award-winning playwright and Coronation Street scriptwriter Jonathan Harvey, who also wrote Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Rock Around The Clock visits the Theatre Royal Brighton in August, an American jukebox sensation, with a cast of more than 20 singers, dancers and musicians. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat also features in the season, as does Shaun’s Big Show, a surreal stage adaptation of Aardman’s hit animation Shaun The Sheep.

The seasons’s programme of comedy and music performances includes appearances by Al Murray, Dom Joly, Milton Jones, Suggs and Jane McDonald.

Highlights include

Butley, May 25-28; Communicating Doors, June 6-11; Corrie! June 13-18; Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, June 21-26; Eden End, June 28-July 2; Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies, July 4-9; Shaun’s Big Show, July 14-17; Verdict, July18-23; Alarms & Excursions, Aug 1-6; Rock Around The Clock, Aug 23-27; and The Pitmen Painters, Aug 29-Sept 3.

Box office: 0844 871 7650 (booking fee).