ST HELENS Theatre Royal reopens its doors this month with the promise of a fantastic season of shows to welcome back live audiences.

The theatre bursts into life from Monday, August 23, with a packed programme of music, comedy and family fun.

And measures remain in place to ensure audiences can enjoy a Covid-safe experience, with hand sanitiser stations, a one-way system inside the building and a special new at-seat ordering app.

Theatre staff are also taking daily Covid tests.

The doors reopen on August 23 with swashbuckling panto Treasure Island starring Grange Hill, EastEnders and Dancing on Ice star, Todd Carty, as pirate Long John Silver.

He will be joined by Theatre Royal favourite Reece Sibbald, playing Silly Billy, and Britain’s Got Talent’s Cal Herbert.

Meanwhile superstar Geordie comedian Sarah Millican brings her new Bobby Dazzler of a live stand-up show to St Helens on August 29 as part of a new tour.

Tribute act We Love Little Mix come to the theatre on August 30. The show features four fabulous singers and dancers who capture the looks, sounds and dance moves of one of the UK’s best-loved girl bands.

The ladies take centre stage too on September 9 with Here Come The Girls, which promises no fewer than 11 great tribute acts in one incredible evening as the show celebrates the music of icons like Blondie, Madonna, Cher, Adele and Lady Gaga plus the irresistible 80s pop of Bananarama.

Chaos reigns in All Above Board on September 14. The new farce, penned by actor Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, Blackadder, Death in Paradise), centres on an unlikely bunch of modern-day do-gooders and is a riot of mistaken identities and disastrous decisions.

The writers of the brilliant Hormonal Housewives return to the stage in September with a new musical comedy – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Not only is it packed with all your favourite night-out anthems, but the show also has an unmissable cast including Maureen Nolan, Niki Evans, Stephanie Dooley and Olivier Award winner Leanne Jones. Catch it at the Theatre Royal on September 17.

Bye Bye Baby, arriving at St Helens on September 24, is a tribute to the hit musical Jersey Boys and the iconic hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, packed with roof-raising vocals, stylish choreography and more than 30 timeless tunes.

Another Frankie makes a date with St Helens Theatre Royal on September 25 – the ‘UK’s most feared comedian’ Frankie Allen. Will Cranny hosts and support comes from James Kilvington.

Expect a night of powerhouse vocals, precision harmonies and iconic melodies on September 26 courtesy of The Upbeat Beatles.

American soul legends and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, The Drifters, appear on September 29, performing all their massive hits including Saturday Night at the Movies, Stand By Me and Under the Boardwalk.

And on September 30, Forbidden Nights invites audiences to abandon their inhibitions at the door and enjoy an evening in the company of talented acrobats, fire eaters, singers, aerial artists and big top performers in one exhilarating sexy circus.

Theatre Manager, Chantelle Nolan, said: “We’re so excited to reopen our doors to our wonderful, loyal audiences.

“While we have hosted a small handful of standalone events, it’s more than seven months since St Helens Theatre Royal has been able to offer a full programme of shows.

“Now we can’t wait to bring the theatre to life once again with fantastic performances from a huge range of talented artists and with the sound of laughter and applause filling the auditorium.

“There’s a really busy programme planned during August and September – and beyond – packed with music, comedy, drama, dazzling acrobatics and family fun.

“We’ve also worked hard to put measures in place which mean audience members can be assured of a Covid-safe visit. We can’t wait to see old friends, and new faces, in the months to come.”

Customers are also being asked to continue to wear face coverings, unless exempt, as a courtesy to others, and are being encouraged to take a lateral flow test up to 48 hours before attending a show. People are asked not to visit the theatre if they have Covid symptoms.