PREVIEW: Love Bites – York Theatre Royal

I can’t quite believe I’m typing these words right now, but…theatre is back! It feels like an age ago I attended Ghost Stories at the Theatre Royal in York, the last full-scale show we saw in 2020 (to be honest I think I’ve only just recovered!), but at long last, we can head back to our beloved theatres across the country.

The York Theatre Royal recently announced their big return with the #LoveSeason; a great series of shows that focus on the theme of love, something we all need a lot of right now.

Chief Executive Tom Bird said: “We can’t wait to welcome our audiences back to the theatre in May with The Love Season, an exciting and varied programme of work that celebrates what we’ve all been missing this past year – human connection, the live experience, and a sense of togetherness”.

The great York venue reopens on May 17th, the first day they could following the lifting of restrictions, with “Love Bites”, a love letter to live performance by York artists and a celebration of the creative talent across the city.

More than 200 local artists from a variety of art forms applied for £1,000 love letter commissions to be staged in Love Bites on May 17 – the first day theatres can reopen after restrictions are lifted – and May 18. The 22 short pieces will be performed each night.

York Theatre Royal Creative Director Juliet Forster said:Love Bites is really a love letter to live performance, put together by York artists. It’s a celebration of what we have been missing for over a year now: the chance to come together under one roof and share our stories and experiences.

“There was no one single theatre production that felt enough to mark the reopening of theatres, the lifting of restrictions, so we decided that we needed multiple ones.

“Shortlisting from over 200 proposals was extremely difficult, but also really inspiring: there are so many talented, inventive, creative people in York – we could have filled the night several times over.

“The selection of short pieces that you will see on our stage represent a wide range of voices, artforms and approaches to the theme of love, created by both well-established artists and those who are newer to the scene. We hope Love Bites will turn out to be ‘a many-splendored thing’!”

As would be expected, performances will be presented with socially-distanced audiences and adhere to the latest Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, to ensure the safety of staff and audiences. If the Theatre Royal’s pantomime production is anything to go by, this won’t affect the experience at all, and we simply cannot wait to be back, experiencing live theatre in a couple of weeks time.

For full details of The Love Season visit

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