Mercury Meanderings

We admit that we’ve been a bit late in blogging about the BRILLIANT new season ahead at the Mercury Theatre. We’ve been too busy with our head up the wrong end of the pantomime horse that is Colchester Borough Council.


‘fraid we have, Comrades.

And so with pantomime tickets hopefully already bought for the Mercury’s run of Cinderella taking place this year, here is The Chronic’s selected highlights on what we can expect down at Balkerne Gate for the spring / summer season.

Disclaimer: ‘selected highlights’ means all that we have time to bash out before this bloody Greater Anglia train reaches Liverpool Street.

Choo choo.

First of all it’s worth mentioning that the Mercury had a record number of first time visitors in 2014. Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd mentions this in the new season programme. We see no harm in repeating this.The trick is to keep them coming back…

2015 will see the Mercury operating under slightly reduced conditions. The ‘intimidate’ Studio Theatre will be closed for much of the season, undergoing a refurbishment leading to an increased capacity.

Increased capacity will probably be something that is needed on 4 and 5 February back in the main theatre when Stewart Lee brings his Room with a Stew show to Sunny Colch.


This is a try out of new material ahead of the next Stewart Lee’s Comedy vehicle TV show.

Pantomime may be finished come February, but the fairytale doesn’t end for the Mercury.


An operatic Hansel and Gretel will be arriving at Balkerne Gate from 11 – 14 February. If the promo pics are anything to go by then don’t expect a sugary sweet fairytale of a ride.

The Chinese New Year will be celebrated on 15 February. So what if the Sunny colch calendar is slightly out of sync?

The Colchester Chinese Culture Society will be bringing some dance, art and culture to the Mercury.

The Made in Colchester season starts on 26 February with a run of Educating Rita, going all the way through until 14 March. This is part of the Essex Book Festival.

And then we have a number of talks coming to town.

Monty Don will be doing the green fingers thing on 2 March; David Starkey will be putting in a very late bid to become the pantomime villain on 9 March. And then Pam Ayres will be, Pam Ayres with three shows from 19 – 21 March.

Stick Man transfers from the West End to Sunny Colch from 2 – 4 April. This is a sentence that we never thought we would be typing when we decided to bring the newly politicised Chronic out of hibernation.

Music comes in the form of T.Rextasy returning to town on 1 April (no joke), Soul Legends on 4 April and One Night of Elvis on 9 April. That’s probably enough to be honest.

Plus Midge Ure (BLIMEY) will be at Balkerne Gate on 18 May (although the promo shot makes him look rather like a young Captain Jean Luc Picard).

There is of course highbrow / lowbrow / eyebrow raising theatre also packed into the programme. But Tell It Like It Is, etc – The Chronic never feels comfortable blogging about Luvvies.

It’s worth mentioning that a Gold Ticket is once again available for the new season. This works out at a penny-pinching price of £13.32 per show.

And so LOADS happening.

It almost makes us want to turn around and head back to Sunny Colch now that we have finally arrived at Liverpool Street.