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
Summer's here, and as usual there are loads of open-air theatre productions. We've got 17 productions scheduled, and they're all listed here.
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
Ho ho ho! Entertainment agency KruTalent are looking for for men aged 40+ (or with an older look) to play Father Christmas in Berkshire in December. They say, "Our Father Christmases would need to be Confident, Friendly, Articulate, Fun, Joyful Humour, Believable, and of course good with children." The dates are 28th November to 24th December and there are auditions on 14th September. They haven't said how much they are paying! If you're interested, call Stefan on 020 7610 7120.
This year's panto at the Corn Exchange in Newbury is Dick Whittington and they are looking for 12 children to take part in it. They want young performers with good ‘all-round’ skills of singing, dancing and acting aged between 8 and 15. Auditions on 13th September at New Greenham Arts. Details at cornexchangenew.com/events/info/dick-whittington-childrens-auditions.
The Watermill have announced the appointment of Paul Hart as the company’s new Artistic and Executive Director. Hart takes up the position in the Autumn 2015, succeeding Hedda Beeby who steps down after 8 years in post. Beeby will continue as part-time Associate Producer for a handover period.
Is pretending to like Beckett an example of The Emperor's New Clothes? See why Daniel Finkelstein of The Times described Happy Days as an "incomprehensible load of old gibberish" here.
Feeling guilty because you don't like (or can't understand) Antigone or Medea? Don't be - read Catherine Nixey's article.
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
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 Aug||Review of KATS' 'Allo 'Allo ("a fantastic evening of nostalgic comedy... a real depth of talent" - NWN).|
|19 Aug||Review of The Mill at Sonning's Love, Loss, and What I Wore ("the show has some winning performances" - NWN).|
|19 Aug||BreakaLeg's next production in Abingdon form 9th to 12th September is Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution.|
|19 Aug||Father Christmases wanted in Berkshire in December: see News and special events.|
|13 Aug||More reviews of the Watermill's Oliver! ("brilliant... fresh as a daisy... the whole production sparkled" - NWN; "glorious, high-spirited and full of gumption" - A Younger Theatre).|
|13 Aug||Review of Globe Touring's Much Ado About Nothing ("a traditional, clear and accessible production" - NWN).|
|8 Aug||Review of Creation Theatre Company's As You Like It ("imaginative production" - NWN).|
|8 Aug||More reviews of Oliver! ("energetic and thrilling" - Oxford Daily Info; "outstanding performances" - The Stage; "works wonderfully" (5 stars) - WhatsOnStage).|
|5 Aug||Review of the Watermill's Oliver! ("you’d be mad not to see this feelgood production" - Newbury Theatre).|
|5 Aug||Review of Newbury Youth Theatre's Cautionary Tales ("watching the talent of this young company, and their joy in their work, does the heart good" - NWN).|
|31 Jul||Kennet Opera's next production is La Traviata from 5th to 7th November.|
|31 Jul||Nomads Musical Theatre's next production is Sunset Boulevard form 7th to 10th October.|
|31 Jul||This year's panto at the Corn Exchange in Newbury is Dick Whittington and they are looking for 12 children to take part in it. They want young performers with good ‘all-round’ skills of singing, dancing and acting aged between 8 and 15. Auditions on 13th September.|
|23 Jul||Kennet Opera return to Stockfest on 26th August with an evening of song from the great operas.|
|23 Jul||Review of The Federation of West Berkshire Rural Primary Schools' Beneath the Lines at The Watermill ("a truly poignant play, performed with gusto by a young enthusiastic cast... they all should feel exceedingly proud of their splendid achievement... a thoroughly enjoyable evening" - NWN).|
|23 Jul||AmEgos are holding two read-throughs, with a view to casting their next play - Noises Off - on 6th and 10th August. The show is in Wantage in the first week of December.|
|22 Jul||More reviews of the Watermill's A Little History of the World ("a cute, inventive and joyous walk through European cultural history... take your teenagers" - The Times (4 stars); "a perfect summer holiday family treat" - WhatsOnStage (4 stars); "a sheer joy, an absolute gem" - British Theatre Guide).|
In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth this September, BreakaLeg Productions will be presenting Witness for the Prosecution at the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon from 9th to 12th September. Leonard Vole stands in the dock, accused of murder, but can he escape the hangman’s noose? This is reportedly Agatha Christie's favourite play.
The next production from TADS is Curtain Up on Murder from 11th to 12th September in Tilehurst. An amateur dramatic society gets trapped while rehearsing in the theatre at the end of a pier. Events take a sinister turn when a mysterious, ghostly presence passes across the stage, and when one of them dies, the remaining actors are thrown into disarray.
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