The Corn Exchange, Newbury, and New Greenham Arts
The Corn Exchange, Newbury. Visitor information is here.
New Greenham Arts, 113 Lindenmuth Way, New Greenham Park, Newbury. A map is here.
Productions are at the Corn Exchange if no venue is shown.
Iphigenia in Splott, 24th February, 19:45
Effie’s life spirals through a mess of drink, drugs and drama every night, and a hangover worse than death the next day - until one night gives her the chance to be something more. Inspired by the enduring Greek myth, Gary Owen’s powerful drama drives home the high price people pay for society’s shortcomings. Effie will break your heart.
As You Like It, 25th February, 19:00
See Theatre at the Cinema.
A Two Man Macbeth, 2nd March, 19:45 at The Corn Exchange
The multi-award winning creators of Umythable and Norsesome take on their greatest challenge yet: all the drama, intrigue and madness of Macbeth in 80 high octane minutes; more than 30 characters brilliantly and boldly brought to life by just two actors! Out of Chaos (formerly Temple Theatre) is a multi-award winning touring company based in Birmingham. The company makes generous, skilful theatre that has toured the world since 2008, winning three international awards and widespread critical acclaim.
The Witches, 8th to 12th March at The Corn Exchange
Roald Dahl’s scariest book is brought to life in a tremendously terrifying treat for the whole family. Witches absolutely detest children. They find them revolting and are planning to wipe them out like weasels! They want to squish them and squiggle them and make them disappear. But one brave young boy and his grandmother have a plan to get rid of the witches for good… if only they can avoid being turned into mice.
Showtime, 17th to 19th March, 20:00 at New Greenham Arts
Nomads Musical Theatre spring back with another original musical theatre treat! Taking some of the very best musical numbers from the stage and presenting them in a unique collage of amusing characters. It’s musical mayhem that will keep you smiling and your toes tapping.
Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, 24th March, 20:00 at New Greenham Arts
The Scottish Falsetto Socks are Minging Detectives. Some criminals put stockings on their heads, now Earth's funniest Socks get their heads around crime. Tackling every genre from film noir to Breaking Bad, from Z Cars to scandi-crime, Scotland's finest bring you brand new songs, sketches, socks and violence, all on the subject of cops and robbers. This show tackles crime, plus includes the best of their recent sketches and brand new stuff too. Will it be Pump Fiction, The 39 Insteps or The Usual Sockspects? Only one way to find out- book 'em Danno!
Rumpelstiltskin, 2nd April, 11:30 at New Greenham Arts
A woolly wonderland of a show with spinning, weaving, lively puppetry, music and storytelling, perfect for the little ones. Auntie spins as hard as she can to make the wool for the King’s special jumper. But the royals are out of cash, the girl who is helping is useless at spinning and the Prince just wants to be a shepherd. Everyone gets their threads in a twist and then Rumpel... youknow- who steps in. Who is he, where does he come from and can they guess his real name before he gets them all in a spin?
The Wizard of Oz, 5th to 9th April, 19:30 and 14:30 on Saturday
Newbury Musical Theatre Society present the RSC Version of The Wizard of Oz. This will be an exciting new version, with more characters (including Crows, Appletrees, Winkies and Monkeys).
Stones In His Pockets, 19th April, 19:45 at The Corn Exchange
A quiet Irish village community is turned upside down with the arrival of a Hollywood film crew, looking for the ‘real’ Ireland for their latest schmaltzy blockbuster. A pair of extras, Charlie and Jake, watch with amazement, envy and delight as cultures clash, divas strop, and everyone fights over the last portion of lemon meringue pie. Two actors play a vast array of eccentric and lovable characters in this universally loved, worldwide comic theatre sensation.
Hamlet, 9th June, 19:00 at The Corn Exchange
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Romeo and Juliet, 7th July, 19:00
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Reviews of Dick Whittington
27th November 2015 to 3rd January 2016.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News and the British Theatre Guide.
Another triumph from the pen of director Phil Willmott
Dick Whittington, at the Corn Exchange, until January 3
The weather outside may have been cold, wet, dark and windy but inside the Corn Exchange, with its welcoming refurbished foyer, there was an excited warm buzz of excitement as the enthusiastic audience waited for this year's pantomime, Dick Whittington, to begin.
Wittily written and splendidly directed by Phil Willmott, this fun family-friendly Christmas extravaganza has all the ingredients for a "purrrfect" seasonal entertainment and the Corn Exchange has "pulled the cat out of the bag" and has a huge hit on its hands.
This year's set and colourful sparkling costumes (James Maciver) are superb and the hard-working talented cast are terrific, including the young company of smiling, confident dancers.
Phil Sealey makes a welcome return as Sarah the Cook, the perfect dame, in every stage appearance wearing a more outlandish costume. He has impressive stage presence.
Making his seventh consecutive performance, the much-loved Mathew Grace is this year playing Billy the Cat and quickly established a joyous rapport with the audience who were more than happy to be in his gang.
Lizzy Dive is the bubbly Fairy Fuchsia, with a vivacious personality and a powerful singing voice who is determined to help Dick seek his fortune.
The action is set in Newbury Bottom, where there is going to be an election for a new mayor. King Atticus Ratticus, powerfully played by Oliver Broad, who is the consummate villain that the audience love to boo and is determined to become the "vermin in ermine" But will he succeed?
Christian James, making his second year's appearance as the romantic hero, is a convincing and loveable Dick Whittington who loses his heart to the delightful Alice (Phoebe Lewis). Both sing beautifully.
Playing the three brothers, Oliver Tattersfield is a dizzy policeman – "evening all" – a commanding roller-skating King Neptune and a striking Sultan who is betrothed to Alice. There is excellent support from Leah Carter and Joey Warne in the ensemble.
Holly Hughes' creative choreography is spot on, including a delightful energetic tap routine.
There is much to enjoy in this production, from flashy pyrotechnics, magical effects, masses of audience participation, dreadful, funny puns and a vibrant musical score, provided by Richard Baker.
My two young companions thought it was "awesome". Maisie, aged five, loved the happy ending when Dick and Alice married. She described the show as "sparkly and cheerful", while eight-year-old Henry enjoyed booing the rat king and joining in the singing competition. He said it was "imaginative and magical". You can't get better than that.
Make sure you add this show to your Christmas wishlist. Highly recommended.
For more details
see the Corn Exchange and New Greenham Arts web site at www.cornexchangenew.com.