York Stage Musicals confirm The Hunchback Of Notre Dame premiere…and Shrek is back too

Oh, what a Knight: Chris Knight as Donkey in York Stage Musicals’ Shrek The Musical in September 2019. Shrek will return to the Grand Opera House in 2021

YORK Stage Musicals are to present The Hunchback Of Notre Dame in…2022.

“Theatres may be closed at the moment but that does not stop us planning for the future,” says artistic director Nik Briggs.

“We are honoured to be producing The Hunchback Of Notre Dame at the Grand Opera House in Autumn 2022. With lyrics by Wicked’s Stephen Schwartz and music by Aladdin’s Alan Menken, this is a very exciting project for us indeed.

“It was one where we were approached by the rights holders, like with Shrek The Musical.  We love that because we’re not in the rat race to get it, and it’s nice they value the work we do, especially with Disney, who have very strict regulations.”

The York Stage diary for 2021 is taking shape with Shrek The Musical confirmed for a return to the Grand Opera House next spring, over the Easter holidays, and rights secured for Elf next winter.

Jacob Husband, as Adam, front, Alex Weatherhill, as Bernadette, and Joe Wawrzyniak, as Tick, in York Stage Musicals’ Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical, at the Grand Opera House, York. Picture: Benedict Tomlinson

More shows are being lined up too, not least a new work from Alex Weatherhill, who starred as Bernadette in York Stage Musicals’ production of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical, in September 2017.

“Alex came to see us in Tim Firth’s The Flint Street Nativity and Steel Magnolias and said he wanted to do something for us, and we’re delighted as he writes the summer show at the Bridlington Spa,” says Nik.

Shrek The Musical will bring York Stage full circle, being the last show the company staged at the Grand Opera House before the Coronavirus pandemic shut down theatres and the first to be mounted by YSM once the Cumberland Street theatre re-opens.

As for The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Nik says: “It’s a show we’ve always wanted to look at doing because it’s never been done in the West End, only in America, so it will be nice to bring it to York.”

Indeed it will but, after his tour de force as Shrek in Shrek The Musical last September, will Nik be playing the Hunchback? “Definitely not,” he insists. That Autumn 2022 slot still leaves plenty of time to change his mind, however.