No fewer than five new productions lie at the heart of the autumn-winter season just announced by Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold.

Beginning in September, the theatre’s own company will stage Aristocrats by Brian Friel, Season’s Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn, Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, Beauty and the Beast – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto and Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas in a season of high quality drama.

Following her recent productions of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross and Salt, Root and Roe, a new play by Welsh playwright Tim Price, director Kate Wasserberg will open the season with Aristocrats by Brian Friel, from Thursday, September 19-Saturday, October 12, in the Emlyn Williams Theatre.

A family reunion in a once great house is the setting for this beautiful play about the decline of an Irish aristocratic family.

Aristocrats, one of Friel’s most celebrated works, won a New York Drama Critics Circle award for best foreign play. 

Director Kate Wasserberg opens the autumn season at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold with Aristocrats by Brian Friel
Director Kate Wasserberg opens the autumn season at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold with Aristocrats by Brian Friel

Kate Wasserberg is an associate director at Clwyd Theatr Cymru where her previous shows include Bruised by Matthew Trevannion, Roots by Arnold Wesker and Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton.

In the Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Tim Baker directs the hit comedy Season’s Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn, from Thursday, October 3-Saturday, November 2.

It’s Christmas Eve in the Bunker household and family and friends are gathering to eat, drink and make merry. Bernard is quarrelling with uncle Harvey and Phyllis causes mayhem in the kitchen as she prepares dinner.

Season’s Greetings is an uncompromising portrait of a traditional family Christmas in which culinary disasters, drunkenness, infidelity under the tree and an amorous Santa create a riotously funny take on the festive season.

Tim Baker’s recent work includes Rape of the Fair Country, by Alexander Cordell, and the stage première of the children’s novel. Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis.

Emma Lucia will direct Copenhagen by Michael Frayn in the Emlyn Williams Theatre, from Thursday, October 31-Saturday, November 23. Copenhagen is a tense thriller based on a real event at the height of the Second World War.

In 1941, two great scientists, on opposite sides of the conflict, meet for a brief moment in Copenhagen. They have the capacity to change the course of the war that ravages Europe. Copenhagen reconstructs that meeting and its consequences for world history.

Emma Lucia has recently directed Educating Rita by Willy Russell and the comedy God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza at Clwyd Theatr Cymru.

This year’s Christmas pantomime is Beauty and the Beast – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto, written and directed by Peter Rowe, with designs by Judith Croft, in the Anthony Hopkins Theatre from Friday, November 29– Saturday, January 25.

Beauty and the Beast – The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is Christmas entertainment with all the trimmings – jokes, slapstick and audience participation – laced with a string of smash hit songs played live by a talented cast of 10 actor/musicians.  It features the ever popular Phylip Harries as Dame Bronwen Bigbreaths.

This year’s panto features more than 20 rock ’n’ roll and soul favourites including Let Me Entertain You, Hot Stuff, Keep on Runnin’, Without You and Love Train.

In 2014, as part of the celebrations of the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth, Terry Hands will direct Under Milk Wood in the Anthony Hopkins Theatre, from Thursday, February 6-Saturday, March 8.

Under Milk Wood  is a work of genius, rich in humour and populated by sublime, enchanting characters. Written from the heart, it offers an unforgettable journey into the roots of language and the soul of Wales.

Authored in the early 1950s when Dylan Thomas was at the height of his powers, Under Milk Wood  is a landmark in Welsh culture which has captured the affection of successive generations.

This new production, which also marks the 60th anniversary of the play’s British première, will also tour to Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Brecon, Aberystwyth and Newtown.

The first touring production this season features Maureen Lipman, Harry Shearer and John Bowe in Daytona by Oliver Cotton, from Monday, September 16-Saturday, September 21.

Happy in their shared passion for ballroom dancing, Joe and Elli plan to win the next big competition. But the unexpected arrival of someone from their past threatens to throw everything off balance.

What can the man possibly want of them on a cold winter’s night? What can possibly be gained from this uneasy reunion? When they discover the story behind his sudden return, Joe and Elli must confront a profound moral dilemma.

Maureen Lipman is a star of stage and screen, best known for numerous West End roles over the past 30 years, scores of appearances on radio and TV and award-winning films including Educating Rita and The Pianist.

Harry Shearer has been the voice of Mr Burns, Smithers and Ned Flanders in The Simpsons for the past 25 years. He co-wrote and starred in the film This Is Spinal Tap and was a writer and performer in the American TV comedy show Saturday Night Live.

He has been a host on network radio in the USA for the past 30 years. Described as one of the most prolific entertainers of this – or any – generation, Shearer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009.

John Bowe’s career highlights include Prime Suspect, Cranford and Coronation Street. His recent West End roles include Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd.

Other visiting drama highlights include Eric and Little Ern, Tuesday, November 5-Friday, November 8, a brilliantly funny and touching tribute to the great comedians Morecambe and Wise. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Tuesday, November 12-Saturday, November 16, is a spellbinding adaptation of the popular novel which comes to Mold as part of a UK tour.

Dance highlights include Shut Up and Dance performing Shh!, a riveting and poignant piece of dance theatre on Tuesday, October 15-Wednesday, October 16, and the return of  Phoenix Dance Theatre with Particle Velocity, the company’s latest programme which features four contracting dance works, on Saturday, November 9.

There is also an extensive and varied cinema programme which features a season of films from Chile and, around Halloween, the Abertoir horror festival. There are also live satellite screenings of performances from New York’s Metropolitan Opera, NT Live and RSC Live.

The Clwyd Theatr Cymru Celebrity Classical Concert Season features some of the finest classical music played by virtuoso performers in a high-quality season. It begins with the popular pianist Freddy Kempf on Sunday September 22, followed by the British violin favourite Tasmin Little with pianist John Lenehan, Sunday, November 10, and the brilliant Russian string ensemble The Dominant Quartet (Moscow) on Sunday,  December 1. The series continues in the New Year with Welsh pianist Llyr Williams on Sunday, January 26, the Bach Brandenburg Soloists on Sunday, March 16, the Eblana String Trio and Andrew Dunlop, piano, on Sunday, April 13, and a rare opportunity to hear the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Cello and Piano, performed by cellist Guy Johnston and pianist Melvyn Tan on Sunday, June 1. The classical music season is available on subscription with savings of 30% on ticket prices.

Details of all events, the latest information on production casting and up-to-the-minute programme updates are available from the theatre’s website. The new autumn brochure is now available from the theatre, libraries, ticket agents and other outlets.

Booking is easy via the theatre’s website with select your own seat online booking in the Anthony Hopkins Theatre and the cinema and no booking fees for online, telephone or counter booking. Telephone booking is available on 0845 330 3565.