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
Have you booked your Christmas shows and pantos yet? Better get a move on:
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
This is the 60th consecutive year that the church and community of Aldermaston have put on a medieval Nativity Play in the beautiful and atmospheric church of St Mary’s, Aldermaston. The York Nativity Play is on 5th, 8th and 9th December at 20:00 and 10th to 11th December at 19:00. Tickets are free: email There are 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 £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.
|5 Dec||New Theatre at the Cinema screenings of The Tempest, Amadeus, Saint Joan, Hedda Gabler, Twelfth Night.|
|5 Dec||Reviews of High Society at the Mill at Sonning ("an entertaining show for Christmas, lacking a wicked baron or stepmother but more than compensating with the timeless music and lyrics of Cole Porter" - NWN; "smart, pared down production featuring some lively choreography and strong characterisation" (3 stars) - The Stage).|
|5 Dec||Reviews of Cinderella at the Corn Exchange ("a grand time... this show should certainly be on this year's Christmas wish list" - NWN; "decent music and fine singing in a static and safe show" (2 stars) - The Stage).|
|30 Nov||The Basildonians' next production is Alan Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings from 1st to 4th February.|
|26 Nov||Reviews of the Watermill's Sleeping Beauty ("the production values are exceedingly high in this excellent seasonal show... filled with humour and fun... the perfect Christmas treat for all the family" - NWN; "sharp, funny, pacy and energetic... hits the heights while keeping its feet on the ground" (4 stars) - The Stage; "this quirky adaptation of a classic tale is superbly told... excellent entertainment in every way... the cast is exceptionally strong... right up there among the best that theatre has to offer this Christmas" (4.5 stars) - Reviews Hub).|
|24 Nov||Review of Compton Players' Bracken Moor ("a splendid performance of the piece... some really good acting all round... a near faultless production" - NWN).|
|24 Nov||Review of Watermill Young Company's Ubu Roi ("fast-paced exuberant production... performed with zest and total commitment – and the audience loved it" - NWN).|
|24 Nov||Review of Kennet Opera's La Cenerentola ("continuous, flowing interest... very pleasing ensembles" - NWN).|
|20 Nov||New Season at Arlington Arts.|
|16 Nov||Review of the Watermill's Frankenstein ("superb production... George Fletcher is simply outstanding... a true masterclass in acting... should not be missed" - NWN).|
|10 Nov||Newbury Dramatic Society's next production is Terry Pratchett's Maskerade from 17th to 20th May at the Watermill.|
|9 Nov||Review of New Era Players' October Double Bill 2016 ("spiffing story... a joy to watch... entertaining and thought provoking" - NWN).|
|9 Nov||Review of Newbury Musical Theatre Society's Return to the Forbidden Planet ("there was so much to enjoy in this effervescent tongue-in-cheek production... an enjoyable evening's entertainment that left the audience with a true feelgood factor" - NWN).|
|9 Nov||Review of Boundary Players' Two and Two Make Sex ("I was most impressed... well-rehearsed and slick comedy, enthusiastically received... a highly enjoyable production" - NWN).|
|9 Nov||Marlborough Players' next production from 1st to 3rd December is Alan Ayckbourn's comedy Season's Greetings.|
Moscow 1938. A dangerous place to have a sense of humour; even more so a sense of freedom. Mikhail Bulgakov has both. He is offered a poisoned chalice: a commission to write a play - about Josef Stalin to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. New Era's production of Collaborators is from 30th November to 10th December.
TADS' panto is The Doctor Saves Christmas in Tilehurst on 9th and 10th December. The Evil Destroyer, with the aid of his Dalek, tries to stop Father Christmas from leaving Planet Presents hoping the Doctor will come to the rescue so he can overthrow him and become Ruler of the World... hopefully Christmas will be saved.
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.
If you want your group's poster to be on the front page, then email it to the