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
Open air theatre 2016
Your last chance this year! Chapterhouse Theatre Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream is at Basing House on 3rd September. The details are here.
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
The Watermill is extending its outreach for young people. It's extending its Associate Youth Theatre this September and will now deliver drama activities all year round to those wanting to join. Taught by theatre professionals, The Associate Youth Theatre will focus on developing skills and working towards presentations. It will meet at North Thatcham Children’s Centre, and will share work it has developed in The Watermill theatre gardens as well as other locations. The Watermill’s three Junior Associate Youth Theatre groups will meet on Saturday mornings and cater for ages from Reception to Year 2, Years 3 and 4, and Years 5 and 6. For other children who would like to become a part of The Watermill community there will be a new group called Prologue on Monday evenings.
RBL Theatre Company are performing The Trials of Oscar Wilde inside Reading Gaol! Oscar Wilde was imprisoned and sentenced to two years of hard labour for “extensive corruption of the most hideous kind among young men”. Inside the very jail where Wilde served his sentence, RBL will perform the devastating transcript of the trials that saw Wilde degraded from unmatchable wit to desperate victim. With exclusive access to Reading's prison, including Wilde's cell, RBL invite you to this once in a lifetime production. Adapted by Beth Flintoff. 29th September to 1st October, 20:00.
And RBL Theatre Company's production after that is Henry I of England by Beth Flintoff at St James' Catholic Church, Abbots Walk, Reading, RG1 3HW from 2nd to 19th November. RBL are honoured to be performing the incredible story of King Henry's life within touching distance of his final resting place, Reading Abbey, and inside the stunning St James' Church. A son of William the Conqueror, father to over twenty bastard children, founder of a nearby zoo, a murderer, a man who imprisoned his own brother for 26 years allowing him to die in gaol, buried in Reading abbey (which he founded) having been sewn inside a bulls carcass and shipped back from France, Henry had an extraordinary life, as brave as it was tyrannical.
KATS are holding open auditions for their next show West End Showstoppers on 19th September at 20:00 at Upper Bucklebury Memorial Hall. They're looking for singers, dancers and actors (over 18) for this musical revue featuring songs and sketches from famous West End shows. Contact John Hicks on 07770 304248 or .
Compton Players' production last November of Seal Cove, written and directed by Dave Hawkins, has been awarded the Maurice Spillett Trophy for Best New Show in the NODA South East Region 2016 awards. Chris Horton, of NODA, said: "the award takes into consideration all aspects of the show". Dave Hawkins said: "the fact that it's for the show rather than the play means that the part every single one of the cast and crew played in the production counted towards this unexpectedly gobsmacking award!"
Berzerk Productions have started drama classes at Compton Village Hall every Tuesday evening for young people between 6 and 18 years.
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.
|24 Aug||The Watermill is extending its Associate Youth Theatre this September and will now deliver drama activities all year round to those wanting to join. It will meet at North Thatcham Children’s Centre.|
|21 Aug||Two productions coming up from RBL Theatre Company: The Trials of Oscar Wilde at the end of September and Henry I of England in November, both in Reading.|
|21 Aug||Kingsclere Players' panto at the end of November is Cinderella by Norman Robbins.|
|13 Aug||Progress Theatre's next production is The Long and the Short and the Tall by Willis Hall from 12th to 17th September.|
|13 Aug||The Polish Outdoor Theatre Company are coming to Newbury Market Place on 28th and 29th August with Silence, the dramatic story of refugees and migrants caught up in a spiral of war, clinging to dreams of escape.|
|11 Aug||KATS are holding open auditions for their next show West End Showstoppers on 19th September.|
|5 Aug||Review of Creation Theatre Company's Hamlet ("vibrant and provocative... coherent and entertaining" - NWN).|
|5 Aug||More reviews of the Watermill's Crazy for You ("huge fun put across with consistently inventive panache" -The Times (4 stars); "a rollicking musical" - Reviews Hub (4 stars); "an evening of fine entertainment" - Jonathan Baz (4 stars)).|
|3 Aug||Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group's panto Cinderella is at Southmoor from 24th to 26th November.|
|3 Aug||Wantage Stage Musical Company are touring their Concert - Sounds of the 1980s to four halls in Oxfordshire between 11th and 19th November.|
|3 Aug||Oxford Theatre Guild's next productions are A Cavalcade of Fools by Andrew Barsby from 28th September to 1st October and Festen from 18th to 22nd October.|
|3 Aug||Review of Newbury Youth Theatre's Fairies and Dragons of the Desolate Plain ("their most challenging production yet... beautifully-written and thought-provoking" - NWN).|
|3 Aug||Review of Creation Theatre Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream ("a revelatory and innovative idea... production of the year" - NWN).|
|2 Aug||Review of the Watermill's Crazy For You ("a feel-good show to brighten up our rather dull summer" - Newbury Theatre).|
|27 Jul||Compton Players' production last November of Seal Cove, written and directed by Dave Hawkins, has been awarded the Maurice Spillett Trophy for Best New Show in the NODA South East Region 2016 awards.|
|27 Jul||Review of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at the Croft Hall ("the audience was completely silent, totally immersed in the brilliance of this man's performance" - NWN).|
|27 Jul||Studio Theatre Club's next production is The Government Inspector in Abingdon from 21st to 24th September.|
|27 Jul||Silchester Players' next production is The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley between 30th September and 8th October.|
|27 Jul||Shinfield Players' next production is The King and I by Rogers and Hammerstein between 7th and 16th October.|
|27 Jul||The Sainsbury Singers' next production is Showtune in Woodley from 26th to 29th October.|
|27 Jul||New Era's next productions are The Importance Of Being Earnest in September and Collaborators at the end of November.|
|27 Jul||Newbury Musical Theatre Society's next production is Return to the Forbidden Planet from 27th to 29th October.|
|27 Jul||Faringdon Dramatic Society's next production is Abigail's Party by Mike Leigh from 10th to 12th November.|
|26 Jul||Compton Players's next production is Bracken Moor by Alexi Kaye Campbell from 9th to 12th November.|
|26 Jul||Abingdon Operatic Society's autumn production is the musical Barnum from 25th to 29th October.|
|26 Jul||Abingdon Drama Club's next production is A Man for All Seasons from 16th to 19th November.|
|26 Jul||H.A.O.D.S's next production at the Kenton Theatre, Henley is Spamalot from 16th to 19th November.|
|26 Jul||AmEgos are joining with Look Theatre of Wantage in Legally Blonde The Musical from 25th to 27th August.|
AmEgos are involved with Look Theatre's production of Legally Blonde The Musical from 25th to 27th August in Wantage.
TADS are hosting a Murder Mystery Supper Evening on 9th and 10th September in Tilehurst. Someone is about to die, but who will it be? Be part of cantakerous Clarissa's suprise birthday party and try and guess the murderer and motive. The evening includes a Fish and Chips supper and sweet, which will form part of the surprise party for Clarissa.
KATS are holding open auditions for their next show West End Showstoppers on 19th September at 20:00 at Upper Bucklebury Memorial Hall. They're looking for singers, dancers and actors (over 18) for this musical revue featuring songs and sketches from famous West End shows.
Sinodun Players' The Tempest, Shakespeare’s play of enchantment, love, magic and political intrigue has been given a radical overhaul that promises to enhance the supernatural quality of the Bard’s final and, arguably, greatest masterpiece with original and outstanding staging, soundscape, lighting, costume and haunting music. It's at Wallingford Corn Exchange from 19th to 22nd October.
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