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 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

HADCAF (Hungerford And District Community Arts Festival)

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... and This Is My Friend Mr Laurel, 2nd July, 20:00 at the Croft Hall
Visiting Oliver Hardy on his deathbed, Stan Laurel – one of Hollywood’s best loved film comedians – reminisces about their remarkable lives, their great friendship, and their timeless success as the legendary double act Laurel and Hardy. Jeffrey Holland is Stan Laurel in this funny and touching account of one of the great cinematic partnerships of the last century.

From the Horse’s Mouth: Illustrated talk by Ruth Rogers, 5th July, 19:30 at the Town Hall
Ruth Rogers talks about her four years as a puppeteer in the National Theatre’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse. She was War Horse Assistant Puppetry Director from 2011-13, and for two years previously the only female full-time puppeteer operating horse Joey’s head. Her fascinating talk includes an account of the auditions and rehearsals, a detailed look at how the War Horse puppets work, tips on how to perform as a horse – and possibly even lessons in whinnying!

Stanley, 6th July, 19:30 at the Croft Hall
Newbury Dramatic Society presents a dramatised reading based on the play by Pam Gems, which explores the complicated life and loves of the twentieth-century British painter Stanley Spencer, with special reference to the iconic murals in Sandham Memorial Chapel depicting the artist’s experiences as a medical orderly during World War One. Spencer’s unconventional but profound religious beliefs inspired visionary paintings of biblical scenes taking place in contemporary settings, notably those of his beloved Cookham. He left his first wife Hilda for a disastrous second marriage, though Hilda remained the love of his life.

Nesting, 10th July, 20:00 at the Croft Hall
A new play by Ellen Robertson. Linda is a self-confessed ‘collector’. She has all the necessities: broken umbrellas to match any outfit, unopened Amazon parcels delivered in 2012, shoes that don’t fit but were a bargain at 75 per cent off, and trainers because, one day, she will definitely take up running. Adding to her collection there is Tony, an affectionately named rat who has taken up residence in her home. The arrival of Jonathan – a man who can’t sleep if the sponge is in the wrong place by the kitchen sink – brings about a more life-changing situation than Linda could ever have imagined. The journey that follows is one of love, loss – and an obsession with Stevie Wonder memorabilia. Nesting is a funny and moving look at compulsive behaviour and finding love in the most unlikely of places. A Watermill Theatre production.

Rapunzel and the Tower of Doom, 16th July, 15:00 at the Croft Hall
Tangles? Split Ends? Frizzy? Flyaway? It’s hard enough having a bad hair day but pity poor Rapunzel spending her life in a tower with a wicked old witch using her captive’s locks as a step ladder! What sort of damage is that going to do to your hair? Theatre of Widdershins have taken this Grimm tale right back to its dark roots, teased out the tangles and styled it into a beautifully coiffured hair piece! This enchanting show promises plenty of body, volume and loads of highlights. Make an appointment to see the show today – because you’re worth it!!! Suitable for age 4 up.