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
Festival time coming up
This year's one-act play festivals are:
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
In the Newbury Spring Festival, Concert Theatre presents a breathtaking fusion of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. With a cast of five Lecoq-trained actors and two classical pianists from Royal Academy of Music, the two classic tales collide with stirring music and mesmerising physical theatre. It's at the Corn Exchange on 21st May and they also offer 2 for 1 tickets to the local groups. If you're interested in this offer, contact An-Ting directly at .
Bradfield Festival is a public arts festival including world-class comedy, music and theatre. It runs at Bradfield College from 21st to 25th June and includes: Travesty, a drag show about man’s inhumanity to woman (23rd June, 18:00 to 18:45), members of the cast of Stomp and student stompers to wow us with extracts from their stunning stage show (24th June, 17:45 to 18:30), street theatre from Circadian (24th June, 17:00 and 19:15) and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] from the Reduced Shakespeare Company (24th June, 20:00 to 22:30).
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.
Music, not theatre, but the Newbury Spring Festival is again inviting young people (16 - 30) to enjoy free tickets to events at the Festival by becoming a Newbury Spring Festival Critic, selecting the events you want to come to and in return submitting a review. Details at www.newburyspringfestival.org.uk/young_festival_critics.htm.
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.
|23 Apr||Another review of Far From the Madding Crowd ("a superb evening full of contrasting elements... so cleverly brought to life by this excellent cast" - NWN).|
|22 Apr||In the Newbury Spring Festival you can see a breathtaking fusion of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring; the two classic tales collide with stirring music and mesmerising physical theatre. It's at the Corn Exchange on 21st May.|
|22 Apr||Bradfield Festival is from 21st to 25th June, with theatre events on 23rd and 24th June.|
|22 Apr||Review of Newbury Musical Theatre Society's Oliver! ("there were no weak links, every song was performed excellently... this was a show to please everyone... this was a good show" - NWN).|
|21 Apr||Review of the Watermill's Far From the Madding Crowd ("a most satisfying production" - Newbury Theatre).|
|21 Apr||Review of Loddon Players' Lucky Sods ("a fast paced production of an interesting play with some top class acting" - Newbury Theatre).|
|18 Apr||The next production from Tilehurst Amateur Dramatic Society is the farce Clutching at Straws on 10th and 11th July.|
|15 Apr||Reviews of the Watermill's Tuxedo Junction ("what an evening - some of the best fun I've had at the theatre" - NWN) and Nomads' Showtime Circus ("an interesting evening... achieved its aims, the audience enjoyed it" - NWN).|
|10 Apr||The Corn Exchange in Newbury are looking for volunteer performers and stewards for their next outdoor production, 451.|
|10 Apr||Nomads Musical Theatre are holding auditions in Newbury for their October production of Sunset Boulevard between 15th and 25th April.|
|10 Apr||Dates for the Watermill's touring production of A Little History of the World.|
|9 Apr||New Era's next production is Be My Baby from 11th to 13th and 16th to 20th June.|
|7 Apr||Dates for the one-act play Drama Festivals at Henley (May), Abingdon and Wallingford (June).|
|7 Apr||New productions from Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group (Bad Fortune on 25th April), Triangle Players of Tilehurst (An Eye for an Eye, Darling from14th to 16th May) and Wantage Stage Musical Company (Lend Me a Tenor from 27th to 30th May).|
|5 Apr||Russell Players of Swallowfield are presenting A Jolly Sinister Jape and A Fishy Business between 8th and 16th May.|
|5 Apr||New season at the Oxford Playhouse and BT Studio.|
|2 Apr||The Watermill are auditioning for children to perform in their summer musical Oliver!. This is a rare chance to perform alongside a professional cast in a major Watermill production. They want boys and girls aged 8-13 (11-15 for the Artful Dodger). Auditions start on 19th April. Details here.|
|2 Apr||Studio Theatre Club's next production in Abingdon in July is Noel Coward's Hay Fever.|
|24 Mar||Review of New Era's Travels With My Aunt ("a brave choice... enthusiastically received by the appreciative audience" - NWN).|
Boundary Players' next production in Tadley is The Importance of Being Earnest from 5th to 9th May. Oscar Wilde's 'trivial comdey for serious people' elegantly lampoons the hypocrisies of a Victorian society, as the hilarious misadventures result in a plot that twists and fizzles with some of the finest dialogue to be found in theatre.
Faringdon Dramatic Society's production from 8th to 9th May is Office Hours, a briskly paced and extremely funny dark comedy. It takes place in six different city offices at approximately the same time on a Friday afternoon. The play is by Canadian author Norm Foster and is performed by Garrison Little Theatre of Ontario.
On 8th to 9th and 15th to 16th May in Swallowfield, Russell Players present A Jolly Sinister Jape, a fast-moving, madcap comedy, set in the 1920s, along with mystery and thrills, and A Fishy Business, a light-hearted look at keeping up with the Joneses, fishermen's tall stories, the generation gap and the power of auto-suggestion.
Newbury Dramatic Society's next production at the Watermill is A Tale of Two Cities from 27th to 30th May. This adaptation of Dickens' famous novel was written in 1935 by Terence Rattigan and John Gielgud and has had only one professional performance, in 2013. Rattigan was 26 when he wrote it under Gielgud's direction.
TADS' next production from 10th to 11th July is Geoff Bamber's farce Clutching at Straws. Lady Tinnion is head of Tinnion Industries and is looking to hand over control to her niece, Julia. Unfortunately, Julia has got engaged to an unsuitable man. So Julia hatches a plan, involving another man who is a bit of a gigolo.
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