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
The panto season has started! We've got listings for 20 (twenty!) local pantos and Christmas shows from November to January. There's bound to be something to suit your family in that lot - support your local group!
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
The company A Smart Production are looking for two female actors as the lead characters in a short film called Tegan to be produced in Berkshire in early February. The actors need to have a playing age of 19, and the deadline for applications is 13th December.
Proteus are touring their production of Little Red and the Wolves. It starts in Creation Space, Basingstoke, from 19th to 24th November, and between then and January will be going to Oakridge, Tadley, Old Basing, Rooksdown, Oakley and Brookvale, all in the Basingstoke area.
Aldermaston's York Nativity Play is now in its 59th year, and takes place at St Mary the Virgin Church, Aldermaston, from 3rd to 6th December. The text of the play is taken from 6 individual plays in the 14th Century York Mystery Cycle, one of the earliest transcribed play scripts. The 6 plays make up the story of the first Christmas, from the Annunciation to the Purification. Tickets are free, from . You can see reviews of previous years' productions here.
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.
|26 Nov||Reviews of Compton Players' Seal Cove ("the talent of the actors resounded throughout this excellent production" - NODA; "a well performed play" - ODN; "strong performances... an intriguing production" - NWN).|
|26 Nov||Review of Watermill Young Company's Gormenghast ("there were no weak links in this production" - NWN).|
|26 Nov||Review of The Community of Hungerford Theatre Company's Love Triangle ("a highly enjoyable evening of plays" - NWN).|
|23 Nov||BAOS's next production is West Side Story from 8th to 12th March in Basingstoke.|
|23 Nov||Reviews of the Watermill's Alice in Wonderland ("the cast of just six actor-musicians seemed like a lot more and they gave it their all" - Newbury Theatre; "the whole cast is fabulously talented... a charming show" - The Reviews Hub (4.5 stars)).|
|22 Nov||Aldermaston Players' next production between 19th and 28th February is an adaptation of Graham Green's Travels With My Aunt.|
|22 Nov||The company A Smart Production are looking for two young female actors as the lead characters in a short film called Tegan to be produced in Berkshire in early February.|
|12 Nov||Reviews of New Era's Twists in the Tales ("the inspired contrasting choices of play made for a highly-entertaining evening" - NWN) and Resurrection Players' Residents Resurrected ("Ros Clow is to be congratulated for bringing these interesting, long dead residents back to life" - NWN).|
|7 Nov||Booking opens for the Spring season at the Watermill.|
|6 Nov||Proteus Theatre Company are touring their production of Little Red and the Wolves in the Basingstoke area between November and January.|
From 26th to 28th November at Sherfield on Loddon, Loddon Players present Tiptoe Through the Tombstones which the author Norman Robbins describes as "a glorious spoof, a gentle homage to the kind of comedy thriller that dominated the repertory scene in the fifties, but which presents an intriguing mystery too!"
Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group's next show is The Emperor's New Clothes in Southmoor from 26th to 28th November. A show suitable for all the family, fun for young and old, and everyone in-between! Not quite a panto but pretty close. Written by Richard Hellesen and based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen.
WSMC are touring their show From the Record Collection to Grove, Drayton and Steventon between 27th November and 5th December. It's a concert featuring an eclectic mix of songs from different genres, with a mix of modern songs and old favourites, well-known hits and the odd one-hit wonder.
Michael Frayn's hilarious Noises Off is AmEgos' next production from 2nd to 5th December in Wantage. It's the backstage drama of a touring theatre company as they stumble their way through rehearsals to a shambolic first night and a final disastrous performance. But whatever happens, the show must go on!
Aldermaston's York Nativity Play returns for the 59th consecutive year in St Mary the Virgin Church from 3rd to 6th December. More details in News and special events on this page.
T.A.D.S' family panto from 4th to 5th December in Tilehurst is The Frog Princess. Come and meet our lovely Frog who helps Bumpkin and Numbskull seek their fame and fortune. We have our Beautiful Princess who has a nasty Step Sister along with her mother, the Evil Queen. There’s Laces, who works at the Palace and of course there’s a Witch along with a Talking Mirror.
Sinodun Players' panto from 15th to 30th January is Rapunzel at the Corn Exchance, Wallingford. A handsome prince must overcome prickly obstacles to rescue his beloved.
Stagelights are joining forces with the Wantage Stage Musical Company to present Masque, a fun-filled evening of music and comedy sketches in Grove from 28th to 30th January. They guarantee a night full of laughter and toe-tapping tunes designed to chase away those January blues.
Aldermaston Players' next production between 19th and 28th February is an adaptation of Graham Green's Travels With My Aunt. Aunt Augusta pulls her nephew Henry away from his quiet suburban existence as a retired bank worker into a world of adventure, crime and the highly unconventional details of her past. Dinner is included with this production.
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