Newbury theatre guide
Find out about theatre events coming up in and around Newbury and West Berkshire, reaching out to Oxford, Basingstoke and Reading. This site is updated very frequently - see What's new below.
In the spotlight
As well as these pantos and Christmas shows, in January there's Beauty and the Beast,
Treasure Island, Jack and the Beanstalk and Robin
And around Christmas, don't forget the Mummers in your local pub.
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
Overton Dramatic Society have readings and auditions for Avenue Q at the ORC in Bridge Street, Overton on Tuesday 6th January. Rehearsals start 20th January, with the show from 1st to 6th June.
The Marlborough Players are holding open auditions on 8th, 11th and 13th January for the performance of one of Alan Ayckbourn’s classic productions to be held at Marlborough Town Hall the week of 23rd March 2015. Come along to the audition and YOU can help decide which Ayckbourn play will be chosen! Everyone, whether you are an old hand or a first timer, is very welcome.
The Search facility on this site (top right of the page) hasn't been working (for some time - oops!) because the search provider went out of business. I'm now using another search provider (FreeFind), which produces equally good results. The downside is that there's advertising on the search results page, but it's not too intrusive.
The Mummers are back! On 12th December, you can see the Cold Ash and Hermitage Mummers in Curridge and Hermitage, and on 19th December you can see them at Ashmore Green and Cold Ash. The Wantage Mummbers are out and about on 26th December and you can see the Abingdon Mummers on 16th December and 1st January.
The Oxfordshire Drama Wardrobe has a stock of over 5,000 costume and prop items available for hire to drama groups, schools and colleges. They have costumes from almost every period, from Ancient Rome, through Elizabethan to Georgian. They also have a good range for the Victorian/Edwardian eras, and for the 1920s-1950s, with a large choice of WW2 allied uniforms. They're happy to discuss your needs with you and to see how they can help you to stage a visually striking play without having to break your budget. www.oxondramawardrobe.co.uk
Congratulations to the Watermill's Hedda Beeby for getting the UK Theatre Awards' Theatre Employee/Manager of the year award.
Digital Theatre have now got downloads or online rentals of Globe Theatre productions of Henry VIII, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and The Merry Wives of Windsor for sale.
There's an interesting article by the Watermill's Tei Williams about the process in staging a Watermill production, from choosing the play through to the opening night. It's here.
If you're under 25, you can get Watermill tickets for £10 from the box office. This is for performances from Monday to Thursday. You can also get Student Standby tickets on the day for £3.
You can get the latest updates via RSS or Twitter (@NewburyTheatre). If you don't know what RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is, this may not be for you (find out more here), but if you're using an RSS reader already, this is a good way to keep up to date with the changes to this site.
|20 Dec||More panto reviews: Oxford Playhouse's Beauty and the Beast and The Anvil's Cinderella, plus new reviews for the Hexagon's Cinderella and Pegasus Theatre's The Snow Queen.|
|18 Dec||Review of the York Nativity Play at Aldermaston Church ("the fine quality of the production was a tribute to the past and a promise for the future" - NWN).|
|13 Dec||More reviews of pantos and Christmas shows at the Watermill, the Corn Exchange, Pegasus Theatre, Creation Theatre and the Hexagon.|
|13 Dec||Two new-year productions in Tilehurst from T.A.D.S: Sudden Death at Thornbury Manor on 28th February and Holiday at Home from 10th to 11th April.|
|11 Dec||Abingdon Drama Club's spring production is Henry V from 25th to 28th March.|
|11 Dec||Abingdon Mummers are doing a village tour around Abingdon on 16th December and will be at Steventon on 1st January.|
|10 Dec||Review of Compton Players' Poppy Field and Spare the Rod ("well-paced and directed by the author... the overall performances from the actors was extremely good" - NWN).|
|9 Dec||Overton Dramatic Society have readings and auditions for their June production of Avenue Q at the ORC in Bridge Street, Overton on Tuesday 6th January.|
|9 Dec||The Marlborough Players are holding open auditions on 8th, 11th and 13th January for the performance of one of Alan Ayckbourn’s classic productions to be held at Marlborough Town Hall the week of 23rd March 2015.|
|4 Dec||Review of Aladdin at the Corn Exchange ("The Corn Exchange has a huge festive hit on their hands with a cracker of a pantomime... a sparkling traditional family show that was absolutely superb" - NWN).|
|4 Dec||Review of Loddon Players' Play On! ("a top quality, hilariously funny production" - Basingstoke Gazette).|
|2 Dec||Hampstead Norreys Players' seasonal offering is The Rocky Norreys Show in Hampstead Norreys Village Hall on 13th December.|
|1 Dec||This year's Stockcross panto is The Wicked Witches of Oz from 4th to 6th December.|
|29 Nov||New season productions at Arlington Arts, Central Studio, The Haymarket, Kenton Theatre, The Lights and Oxford Playhouse.|
|28 Nov||New Era's Chris Billingham is writing and directing Someone Somewhere Smiled in February.|
|27 Nov||Reviews of the Watermill's Peter Pan ("a superb show that entranced both children and adults... highly recommended" - NWN; "an engaging interpretation which showcases the cast members’ talents for multitasking" - The Stage (4 stars)).|
|26 Nov||Review of Kennet Opera's Nabucco ("some of the finest moments in the production were the textured ensembles, the chorus singing with real commitment as the soloists' voices soared above and weaved between the layers of sound" - NWN).|
|26 Nov||Review of The Watermill Young Company's Twelfth Night ("gusto and professionalism in what is a highly-polished hilarious performance" - NWN).|
|25 Nov||Site search is now working again.|
Sinodun Players' panto from 16th to 31st January is Beauty and the Beast, at the Corn Exchange, Wallingford. A brilliant adaptation of a story full of action, humour and magic. It's a truly traditional panto with a script by Alan Frayn that offers more comedy and originality than any other version of this famous folktale.
Stagelights' production from 29th to 31st January in Grove is Par for the Course by Peter Gordon. Although set in the Seven Lakes Golf Club on Captain's Day, this very funny play is really taking a gentle but perceptive look at people and their foibles. Love or loathe golf, it will never seem quite the same again!
T.A.D.S have two productions coming up in Tilehurst. Sudden Death at Thornbury Manor on 28th February is a murder mystery (with fish and chip supper and audience participation), and Holiday at Home from 10th to 11th April is a comedy. Starting with jewellery thefts and leading to a murder, it becomes a growing puzzle for Inspector Warwick to solve.
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