Look who's turning 20 this year!

In October 2019, at Milton Keynes Theatre we will be celebrating its 20th birthday – we know, they don’t look a day over 18! It’s a landmark occasion, and the theatre is inviting everyone to help them celebrate.

As well as the anniversary, there will be plenty of other great reasons to celebrate! Cameron Mackintosh’s epic Les Miserables is coming to Milton Keynes for four weeks as part of its first ever National tour. We also have gripping drama including West End transfer Glengarry Glen Ross, The Exorcist, The Entertainer and the perennial classic Whodunnit, The Mousetrap. With perfect symmetry, the much-loved and popular musical Annie will be making a return to Milton Keynes Theatre having been the first show to open the theatre back in October 1999.

Over seven million people have come through the doors and the curtain has gone up on more than 8,000 productions ranging from acclaimed musicals, sell-out comedians, outstanding plays as well as unforgettable performances from leading ballet and opera companies.

Emma Sullivan, Theatre Director, said: “Since 1999 the Ambassador Theatre Group has been honoured to be the operator of MK Theatre but it was the people of Milton Keynes who fought and campaigned, for 20 years, for a theatre to be built in the city. Often described as one of the most popular theatres in the country, MK Theatre still thrives today because of the ongoing loyalty and support from theatregoers in MK, Buckinghamshire and beyond.”

Also coming up in the 20th birthday year, after a break of five years, the Dance Consortium will once again bring the very best in International Contempory Dance to the MK Theatre stage, when they present the work of South African dancer and choreographer, DaDa Masillo. There will of course be performances from the English National Ballet and Northern Ballet while Glyndebourne Opera will celebrate their 20th visit to Milton Keynes with productions of L’Elisir D’Amoure, Rigoletto and Rinaldo; and Welsh National Opera will present Un Ballo in Maschera, The Magic Flute and Robert Devereux.

The theatre wants 2019 to be a year of celebration, not only of our birthday, but of our fantastic audiences; without whom none of our success over the last 20 years would have been possible. Whether you’ve been visiting us for 20 years, or whether you’re planning your first trip to Milton Keynes Theatre, we have a show for you! Find out more by visiting www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes where you can register to receive our e-newsletter and postal brochure. Not only that, but everyone that signs up before 1st August 2019 will be entered into a prize draw to win a year’s worth of theatre tickets!

Celebrating The Big Day... For everyone who comes along to see the fabulous musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert on the theatre’s actual birthday, Friday 4th October, there will be a glass of bubbly and a cake to mark the occasion.

Whatever you’re celebrating in 2019, make it magical with a trip to Milton Keynes Theatre. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Joseph and the Amazing Techiicolour Dreamcoat returns to Milton Keynes Theatre

There's another busy month in store for Milton Keynes Theatre

As March draws to a close, we’ll be moving from one Queen of the Night to another, as The Bodyguard closes this Saturday (23 March), making way for Welsh National Opera, performing Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux and Mozart’s The Magic Flute from 27–30 March.  

Looking ahead, we have a month of gripping drama and showstopping musicals throughout April:  

Glengarry Glen Ross opens on 1 April, taking a sideways glance at the murky world of real estate in the 1980s. Following this, the stage comes alive with technicolour, in a production of the classic musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Joe McFadden and Rita Simons headline the cast in The House on Cold Hill running from 15–20 April, before the month is sung out in true rock style with Greenday’s explosive rock musical, American Idiot.

Be prepared for plenty of laughs when Trial by Laughter arrives in Milton Keynes

Trial by Laughter could be 'Court in the Act' at Milton Keynes Theatre

If any journalist knows the inside of a courtroom, Ian Hislop does. According to Wikileaks, he is ‘the most sued man in history’ – so, of course, it must be true.

But true fact or fake news apart, the editor of Private Eye and long-serving team captain of BBC’s Have I Got News for You, knows a good story when he hears it. Which is how, along with co-writer and cartoonist Nick Newman, he came to create Trial By Laughter, coming soon to Milton Keynes Theatre.
Based on real life events it’s the story of bookseller, publisher and satirist William Hone who, in 1817, stood trial for parodying religion, the tyrannical government and the lecherous monarchy. The only crime he had committed was to be funny.

In 2019, the satirists Ian Hislop and Nick Newman rediscover this forgotten hero of free speech and ask if, just over two hundred years later, our press has any greater freedom. After the sell-out West End success of The Wipers Times, Hislop and Newman’s Trial by Laughter, based on their critically acclaimed original BBC Radio 4 drama, is a Trademark Touring and Watermill Theatre co-production.

“It’s a courtroom thriller” says Ian Hislop “but it’s a historical courtroom thriller with jokes, which means it’s three different genres in one for just one ticket price.”

Hone “set out to make the jury laugh” says Nick Newman. “He spoke for six-to-eight hours every day of the trials just producing more and more examples of stuff he thought would make people laugh - and they did. I think we’d describe it as The Madness Of King George meets A Few Good Men…” “Meets Crown Court” says Ian.

Directed by Caroline Leslie, designed by Dora Schweitzer and composed by Nick Green, the cast includes Helena Antoniou, Jeremy Lloyd and Joseph Prowen as Hone.

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman will be conducting a free post-show Q&A at Milton Keynes Theatre after the performance on Monday, February 25. “It’s a great way of interacting with your audience” says Nick. “With the Q&As you get a bit of a discussion going and a bit of a debate.”

Ian adds “We want to know what the audience thinks really, what bits they’re interested in and whether they think we should still be worried about this sort of thing. Hopefully they’ll think we very much should be.”

Trial By Laughter plays Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday 25 February until Saturday 2 March with tickets from £13 which are available from the Box Office on 0844 871 7652* on online at ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes

*A transaction fee applies while calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.