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. Posters of forthcoming productions are here.
In the spotlight
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
Woodley Light Operatic Society are holding open auditions on Sunday 22nd January for their June production of Oklahoma!
Dorchester Amateur Dramatic Society are holding auditions on Monday 23rd January for their June production of Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders.
Blewbury Players are holding auditions for their July production of Great Expectations on 29th January and 5th February.
Compton Players are holding casting readings on Tuesday 17th and Tuesday 24th January at 19:30 in Compton Village Hall for their October production of Richard III.
Jigsaw Stage Productions (Wantage) are looking for men who would like to take part either as chorus members or for named parts (singing and/or acting) in their Musical Show Made in Dagenham, to be staged in April. Previous experience is not essential. See the Message Board for more information.
Mortimer Dramatic Society are squeezing in an extra performance of Up Pompeii on 25th January.
Want to be an extra in a film? Aged 20 - 32? Jean Maye is mking a short film and is looking for eight extras (unpaid) for filming on 21st or 22nd January at Woolton Hill, near Highclere. Jean says, "It's a very moving scene of a young couple at the burial of their daughter so it won't be for everyone. I have most of the extras but need a few their age to show friends supporting them." If you're interested, email her at with information about youself, including acting experience and a photo. She's on Twitter @jean_maye.
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 £5.
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.
|15 Jan||Woodley Light Operatic Society are holding open auditions on Sunday 22nd January for their June production of Oklahoma!|
|15 Jan||Dorchester Amateur Dramatic Society are holding auditions on Monday 23rd January for their June production of Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders.|
|15 Jan||Blewbury Players are holding auditions for their July production of Great Expectations on 29th January and 5th February.|
|13 Jan||Compton Players are holding two meetings to read and cast their October production of Richard III on 17th and 24th January.|
|11 Jan||Kingsclere Players need five men and three women for their April production of Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.|
|11 Jan||Boundary Players' next production in Tadley is The Titfield Thunderbolt, from 8th to 11th February.|
|11 Jan||Jigsaw Stage Productions (Wantage) are looking for men who would like to take part either as chorus members or for named parts (singing and/or acting) in their Musical Show Made in Dagenham, to be staged in April. Previous experience is not essential.|
|23 Dec||Reviews of Oxford Playhouse's Cinderella ("a joyful fusion of pop songs and traditional fare" - NWN; "an up-to-date seasonal treat" (4 stars) - Oxford Daily Info ).|
|23 Dec||Reviews of the Hexagon's Snow White ("a noisy, colourful, star-flashing extravaganza, with singing and dancing that delighted kids in the audience from age four to 94" - NWN; "from the youngest to the oldest, this is a fantastic night out that everyone will love... a snow wonder – another mega hit for The Hexagon and a real Christmas treat" (5 stars) - Wokingham Today.|
|15 Dec||Reviews of Creation Theatre's Snow White and Other Tales from the Brothers Grimm ("recommended" - NWN; excessively talented cast of six... a first-class Christmas show and highly recommended!" - Daily Info).|
|15 Dec||Reviews of The Anvil's Sleeping Beauty ("a panto with something for everyone... a joyous festive treat for all the family that will certainly put you in the Christmas spirit" - NWN; "stunning special effects and winning songs" - Basingstoke Observer; "another fantastic offering to get everyone in the mood for Christmas" - Daily Echo).|
Sinodun Players' panto from 13th to 28th January is The Pied Piper, one of the great fairy stories but not often performed in pantomime. This witty and lively script is breaking new ground in Wallingford.
Mortimer Dramatic Society's Up Pompeii between 21st and 28th January is is a full-on farce with all the comic elements of frantic comings and goings, attempts to hide what’s going on and just who’s taking off their toga when they shouldn’t. Lurcio, the house slave is desperately trying to carry out the conflicting orders of his master the senator Ludicrus Sextus, his wife Amonia and their children Erotica and Nausius. It could all end in “Woe, Woe and thrice Woe”.
All is not well in Camelot. The Knights suggest a tournament to decide who will attempt to pull the fabled sword from the stone, with whoever succeeds becoming King. Guess who succeeds. Faringdon Dramatic Society's panto, with lots of awful jokes and plenty of action, Arthur's Adventures or Merlin to the Rescue is between 28th January and 4th February.
The Basildonians' Season's Greetings is from 1st to 4th February. Neville and Belinda are celebrating Christmas at home with half a dozen friends and relatives. Petty squabbles break out and some escalate into crises. Hilarious highlights include a chaotically incompetent puppet show and presents that seem to have a life of their own.
Russell Players' panto between 3rd and 11th February is Dick Whittington in Swallowfield. Join the Russell Players and they’ll take you on an adventure from the streets of London to the exotic shores of the Barbary Coast. They’ll brush away those February blues with adventure, laughter and oodles of excitement.
An evening of comedy, romance and nostalgia with the Boundary Players' production of The Titfield Thunderbolt, from 8th to 11th February. It is 1952 and the Titfield to Mallingford railway is under threat of closure. Unperturbed, a group of villagers decide to run it themselves, but can they succeed?
TADS' next production is The Uninvited from 24th to 25th March. A brother and sister purchase Cliff End at a suspiciously low price. The reason is soon apparent. Fifteen years earlier a murder may or may not have occurred by the gnarled tree that can be viewed from the parlour window. They begin to sense the evil spirit that still inhabits the house.
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