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.
The Gruffalo, 24th to 26th October, daytimes at The Corn Exchange
Meet a wheeler-dealer Fox, an eccentric old Owl and a maraca-shaking, party mad Snake! Mouse can scare these hungry animals away with tall stories of the terrifying Gruffalo, but what happens when he comes face to face with the very creature he imagined...? Voted the nation’s number one bedtime story by BBC Radio 2 listeners, The Gruffalo has been performed to well over a million people worldwide and has even hit the small screens in a star-studded TV animation. Age 3+.
Skeleton Ball, 1st November, 13:00, 15:30, 18:00 at The Corn Exchange
Hocus Pocus and Halloween spirit come out to play at out the Skeleton Ball. After the success of last year, we are celebrating Halloween again with three spook-tacular family Skeleton Balls. There’s Spooky Make & Do; spine-tingling story-time along with the chance to dance at the bone-jangling disco and win a prize for the best fancy dress. So round up your friends and family, get your spooky costume on, and come join the scariest family event in Newbury!
Shakespeare School Festival, 4th November, 19:00 at the Corn Exchange
Celebrating Shakespeare's 450th birthday. The UK’s largest youth drama festival and enables over 1,000 primary, secondary, and special schools to stage abridged Shakespeare productions in their local professional theatre. Four local Newbury schools will perform four different Shakespeare plays.Come and party with Shakespeare and celebrate their achievements.
The Trench, 6th November, 19:45 at the Corn Exchange
A total theatre experience of engrossing intensity. Inspired by the story of a miner who became entombed in a tunnel during WW1, Les Enfants Terribles tour with their award-winning Edinburgh Fringe sell out show. Blending live music, puppetry and physical performance, The Trench follows one man's epic journey as he battles for salvation and sanity. As the horror threatens to engulf him the boundaries between reality and fantasy begin to blur as he discovers a strange world beneath the mud and death leaving him to question what's real, what's not and whether it even matters?
Nabucco, 13th to 15th November
By Verdi. Sung in English. A Kennet Opera production.
Aladdin, 28th November to 4th January at The Corn Exchange
All aboard the magic carpet! Alladdin and his enchanted lamp are coming to town in this magical adventure. Will Aladdin manage to rescue the Princess from the evil Villain? And will his Mother ever get her washing dry?
JOHN, 9th December, 20:00
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Love’s Labour’s Lost, 11th February, 19:00
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Love’s Labour’s Won, 4th March, 19:00
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Reviews of Jack and the Beanstalk
29th November 2013 to 5th January 2014.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News and the British Theatre Guide.
A script full of beans...
And a spectacular beanstalk says it's panto-time at the Corn Exchange
Jack and the Beanstalk, at The Corn Exchange, until Sunday, January 5
The Corn Exchange's pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk is 'gigantic' fun... Wait till you see the Giant as well as giant beans thrown through the audience and the bean sauce... but you really have to go to enjoy this experience - I'm not going to reveal any more of the superb surprises in store.
Once again, Phil Willmott has written and directed Newbury's special Christmas treat and it's filled with all the traditional elements; beautiful costumes and set, a messy slosh scene, spectacular beanstalk, truly scary giant, dreadful jokes and oodles of audience participation. All great fun and the audience loved it.
Anthony Topham is splendid as the evil Squire Wrong 'Un, who is determined to buy up all the property in Newbury Bottom and make life impossible for the villagers with his pay-day loan business 'robin.com' proving to be very lucrative.
Mathew Grace returns for his fifth year, but this time he's not playing his recurring role of Billy Bumpkin, but a talking vegetable Beansprout, and he's really grown into the part and won the affection of the audience. He comments: "No one seemed surprised to see a talking vegetable" to which the fairy replies: “You haven't been clubbing in Newbury." It was that sort of fun panto.
Also returning for his sixth year is Joseph Wicks who makes his debut as the pantomime dame - Dame Trott - who is the deputy mayoress and principal of the dancing academy. His outrageous costumes become more outlandish at every entrance, especially when his cup cakes started to accidently fall off.
In the title role of Jack "the professional giant-tamer", recently graduated Jack Beatson impressively plays the handsome hero. He had excellent stage presence and a very fine singing voice. He falls in love with Jill, superbly played by Michelle Crook - and don't they make a lovely couple?
Looking after Jack is Candice the Cabbage Fairy, an 'Eastender' with attitude, strongly played by Natalie Harman.
Oh and not to forget the delightful Daisy the cow (Gary Mitchinson and Brad Sarginson) who everyone loved. There was excellent support from Charlotte Whitaker and a troupe of talented young dancers as the villagers, inventively choreographed by Holly Hughes.
There is a stirring first act finale that parodies the finale from Les Misérables, truly excellent. All too soon we were all joining in the song sheet competition and, of course, it all ends happily.
Phil Willmott and the whole cast should be pleased with this fun family panto but perhaps a little tweaking with the sound balance will help us hear the words better in some of the songs. Tickets are selling fast so don't miss out.
There are reviews from WhatsOnStage ("a sense of excitement and adventure that is often lost in pantomime... a fantastic romp of a show" - 4 stars) and the Reading Chronicle ("forget the washed-up soap opera stars and former celebrities, when it comes to family-friendly pantomime fun, Newbury Corn Exchange is the place to go... another golden egg in Newbury").
For more details
see the Corn Exchange and New Greenham Arts web site at www.cornexchangenew.com.
Cinderella, 30th November 2012 to 6th January 2013. See the reviews in the Archive.