GUMBOOT dancing from South Africa, a trip to Copacabana and a spot of classic English literature are among the shows expected to wow York audiences this summer.

The Grand Opera House, in York, held a variety show to give theatre-goers a taste of what's in store for them this season.

They sampled performances from dancers from Umoja, a show which celebrates the best of South African popular music and dance. Umoja is coming to York from September 1 to 6 and has been billed as the hottest show in town.

Members of the Red Shoes dance company, who are bringing their dance show, Jazz It Up, to the stage this month, also paid a visit to the theatre, along with Lesley Cox from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore, which will run for one week from September 9.

The audience was also treated to a presentation from July's stage production of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and a slide show of Barry Manilow's all-singing-all-dancing extravaganza, Copacabana, which will come to York for two weeks in October.

Celestine Dubruel, of the Grand Opera House, said: "It would be nice to have more two-week runs at the Grand Opera House. About 70 people came along to the launch of the season and hopefully it'll mean we get lots of advance bookings."

Updated: 09:02 Tuesday, May 20, 2003