YORK Theatre Royal will take audiences around the world in 2020 – from South London to South Africa, with stopovers in a 1960s Yorkshire mining community, a Northern pub, a sleepy Suffolk village and 1940s Germany.

Award-winning South African company Isango Ensemble bring three productions to York – The Magic Flute, The Mysteries and SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill.

The company was founded by Yorkshire-born director Mark Dornford-May and music director Paulina Malefane in 2000. They perform regularly in Cape Town and around the world, including London’s West End, the Royal Opera House and across the USA.

From Margaret Atwood, author of the modern feminist classic The Handmaid’s Tale and 2019’s literary phenomenon The Testaments, comes The Penelopiad a powerful re-telling of one of our oldest stories and myths.

John Cleese’s stage writing debut Bang, Bang is a new adaptation of the Feydeau farce Monsieur Chasse with a cast led by Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses), Wendi Peters (Coronation Street, Big) and Tony Gardner (My Parents Are Aliens).

The comedy A Bunch of Amateurs is written by Ian Hislop, Editor of satirical magazine Private Eye and a regular on BBC1’s Have I Got News For You, and Nick Newman. A fading Hollywood action hero arrives in England to play King Lear at Stratford – only to discover this Stratford is not Shakespeare’s birthplace but a sleepy Suffolk village and that the cast are amateurs trying to save their theatre from ruthless developers.

Other main house shows include Seeing Stars – An Evening With Simon Armitage with the UK Poet Laureate and well-known actors reading a range of his poetry in a unique performance curated by theatre director Nick Bagnall.

Executive director Tom Bird said: “We are hugely excited to be joined by hundreds of phenomenal artists from all over the world, to uplift and inspire as we make our way into the new decade.”

For more information and tickets call the box office 01904 623568 or visit yorktheatreroyal.co.uk