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
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
Aldermaston's York Nativity Play takes place in St Mary's Church for the 58th year, on 6th and 7th December (20:00) and 8th and 9th December (19:00). It has been directed by Pat Eastop every year since its first performance at Aldermaston in 1957; this will be the first production since Pat's recent death. Tickets are free, but must be ordered in advance from R Fowler, 40a The Street, Aldermaston, RG7 4LW (please send an SAE). You can see reviews of previous years' productions here.
From Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd November at 19:30, ACE Space in Newbury are staging a double bill of plays by local writers. Revolution by Ruth Wheeler and Revelations By Nick Card. Tickets £10 from Ann Davidson or call on 01635 33572.
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.
There's a free drama workshop at Cornerstone Arts, Didcot, on 4th November, from 18:30 to 20:30. It's a taster session on forum theatre, which according to organisers Archway (a small Oxfordshire charity) is "a great, exploratory way to talk about and hopefully create social change (based on the works of Augusto Boal). Archway have been funded to offer free arts-based workshops by Time to Change (UK's biggest mental health anti-stigma campaign) and we're taking our art, theatre, poetry, dance/movement workshops all over the county. Our aim is to get people talking about mental health and in so doing, challenge some myths and reduce stigma and create change! The programme is run by volunteers." You can see more here.
The Watermill may still have spaces on their Stage Combat course during half term on 28th October. Places are open to anyone aged 8+. Work with a highly trained stage combat director to discover how fights are convincingly created onstage without causing any actual injury! Family groups (adults and children) are very welcome. If you are interested in taking part and would like to book, please call Heidi on 01635 570934.
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.
|24 Oct||Hook Players' next producrtion is Sing On! by Rick Abbott, from 28th to 30th November.|
|24 Oct||Aldermaston's York Nativity Play takes place in St Mary's Church for the 58th year, from 6th to 9th December.|
|24 Oct||Goring Gap Players' next production from 19th to 22nd November in Streatley is Ronald Harwood's Quartet.|
|19 Oct||Review of Mortimer Dramatic Society's Deathtrap ("an intriguing play with some good acting" - Newbury Theatre).|
|16 Oct||Rave review of Nomads Musical Theatre's Summer Holiday ("it is impossible to praise too highly the four lads playing London bus mechanics... whenever the lads were on stage, you expected excellence and got it... what a show, what a joy, yet another winner for Nomads" - NWN).|
|14 Oct||T.A.D.S's next production is Panto Murder on 5th and 6th December in Tilehurst.|
|7 Oct||Oxfordshire charity Archway are running free drama workshops in Didcot on 8th October and 4th November and in Oxford on 7th and 14th October.|
|6 Oct||Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group's production from 27th to 29th November is Kindertransport.|
|28 Sep||Autumn productions from AmEgos (Improbable Fiction), Boundary Players (Copenhagen), Dorchester (Love Begins at 50), Mortimer Dramatic (Death Trap), NMTS (Pirates of Penzance), New Era (The Memory of Water), Overton Dramatic (The Three Musketeers), Triangle (Bonaventure) and WLOS (Woodley’s Musical Christmas).|
Boundary Players' next production from 21st to 25th October is Copenhagen. In 1941 Werner Heisenberg - then head of the German nuclear programme - visited his Danish friend and mentor Niels Bohr. Michael Frayn’s masterpiece – part history, part intellectual thriller and part psychological investigation - explores the mysteries of human motivation.
Kingsclere Players' production from 24th to 25th October is Two's Company, a series of duologues. The first half is from Calling Time by Derek Webb, scenes based on conversations between two people which have an unexpected and sometimes sinister twist. These are followed by Speed Dating written by Brian Langtry, an altogether more risque affair!
Trinity School, Newbury, is the venue for Newbury Musical Theatre Society's Pirates of Penzance from 31st October to 1st November. Frederic becomes a pirate by mistake. When he discovers the mistake, he leaves the pirate gang and his love life blossoms - until the pirates return to force him to return to his life of crime. Will he give up his love in order to Do His Duty?
Oxfordshire charity Archway are running a free drama workshop in Didcot on 4th November. It is a taster sessions on forum theatre, based on challenging myths and stigmas about mental health. You’ll be safe, you’ll be surprised and you’ll have fun! Anyone 16+ is welcome, no acting experience necessary. See News and special events, on this page.
Studio Theatre Club's As You Like It is on in Abingdon from 5th to 8th Novmeber. A play of gentle conflicts. With an attractive 1940s setting, specially-composed music, wonderful costumes - and the Unicorn’s Elizabethan stage – it's the ideal way to experience this popular play.
From 6th to 8th Novmeber Faringdon Dramatic Society present Reflections 1914-18, a collection of memories, letters, songs, sketches and short plays remembering 'the war to end all wars'. The second half is Lions and Donkeys, a short play by Steve Harper, a funny, poignant play about friendship, humanity and survival. A fish and chip supper is included.
Nabucco was Verdi's first great success and we don't believe the opera has ever been staged in Newbury before. This is an epic drama, set in Biblical times, and with a full measure of love, treachery and ambition - plus the unforgettable Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. Sung in English, like all Kennet Opera productions. 13 to 15 November only, at the Newbury Corn Exchange.
WSMC invite you to Songs from the Silver Screen with a wide variety of songs from popular films. Whether you like romantic movies, action films, Disney or comedy this concert offers something for everyone. Performances are in East Hagbourne, Grove and Stanford-in-the Vale between 14th and 22nd November.
Compton Players' production from 19th to 22nd November is the premiere of two plays by local playwright H Connolly: Poppy Field, where a young girl's first day of work experience doesn't go quite as planned, and Spare the Rod, a village school's story from the 1960s when a young teacher's modern ideas conflict with the head's traditional views.
AmEgos' production from 26th to 28th November at Buscot Park Theatre, Faringdon, is Alan Ayckbourn's comedy Improbable Fiction. On a cold winter's night, Arnold Hassock and his disparate bunch of friends in the Pendon Writers' circle struggle with writer's block. As the evening rolls on and a storm begins the friends disperse and Arnold witnesses some very creative writing indeed!
T.A.D.S's next production is Panto Murder on 5th and 6th December in Tilehurst. The Frampton Leigh Operatic & Pantomime Society - “FLOPS” - are in the last stages of rehearsal for their Annual Pantomime when disaster strikes at their Dress Rehearsal. This is the fourth production from T.A.D.S - a new group that launched this year.
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