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
Smoke & Mirrors' summer spectacular
is the murder mystery Swine of Passion at Wilton Windmill, near Marlborough, SN8 3SW.
It's on Saturday 27th June at 19:00 and tickets are £25 including a gourmet hog-roast buffet.
For several decades, the Peter Irving Gifford School has been going nowhere fast. Now, under inspirational new leadership, this once shameful establishment is to become the Gloucester Old Spot Academy for Girls. All that’s needed is the small matter of thirty million pounds. As luck would have it, eccentric local pig-breeder Sir Hamish St John Hattersley has come up with the last of the cash. As luck wouldn’t have it, Sir Hamish’s generosity is about to prove spectacularly misplaced.
To book, call 07769 977779 or email .
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.
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.
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 May||Review of Silchester Players' Tons of Money ("many moments of high comedy, with plenty of belly laughs... a thoroughly enjoyable show" - NWN).|
|20 May||Review of Boundary Players' The Importance of Being Earnest ("Boundary Players played it pretty much straight ahead" - NWN).|
|19 May||Smoke and Mirrors' summer spectacular is the murder mystery Swine of Passion at Wilton Windmill, near Marlborough on 27th June (hog roast included).|
|6 May||Review of Compton Players' A Tomb With a View ("well acted, good positioning on stage throughout and yes, even a colourful, slightly creepy setting... yet another successful production for the Compton Players" - NWN).|
|6 May||The Watermill have announced the appointment of Paul Hart as the company’s new Artistic and Executive Director.|
|2 May||New productions from Shinfield Players: Love Begins At Fifty (10th to 13th June), Hungerford Theatre Company: Spring and Port Wine (11th to 12th June), Oxford Theatre Guild: King Lear (7th to 18th July), Abingdon Drama Club: The Elephant Man (8th to 11th July), KATS: Allo Allo (5th to 8th August).|
|28 Apr||Drama Sessions for Young People: Mothlight Youth Theatre is starting hour-long weekly sessions from Sunday 10th May for young people, 7-10s at 10:15 and 11-16s at 11:45 at ACE Space, Newbury.|
|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).|
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.
Mortimer Dramatic Society's next production on 29th and 30th May and 5th and 6th June is the award winning drama Kindertransport by Diane Samuels. Kindertransport examines the life, during World War II and afterwards, of a Kindertransport child as she is forced to confront the truth about her past.
Smoke and Mirrors' summer spectacular is the murder mystery Swine of Passion at Wilton Windmill, near Marlborough on 27th June (hog roast included). The newly managed Gloucester Old Spot Academy for Girls just needs thirty million pounds. An eccentric local pig-breeder Sir Hamish St John Hattersley has come up with the last of the cash....
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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