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.
I Peaseblossom, I Caliban, 11th March, 13:00 (I Peaseblossom) and 19:45 (I Caliban) at The Corn Exchange
Re-live these famous stories from the startling perspectives of characters usually consigned to the sidelines. Acclaimed playwright Tim Crouch’s unique interpretations of Shakespeare’s classic plays.
I, Peaseblossom: A funny and heartbreaking tale told by Shakespeare’s most neglected fairy.
I, Caliban: A sorry tale of injustice, inebriation and loneliness narrated by the lonely monster from The Tempest.
It’s Dark Outside, 18th March, 19:45 at The Corn Exchange
An old man wanders into the wild. As the sun sets he finds himself in a surreal western, on the run from a mysterious tracker hell-bent on hunting him down. A heartfelt tale about death, redemption and dementia.
Arthur’s Dreamboat, 22nd March, 11:00 at The Corn Exchange
The amazing story of a little boy called Arthur who starts growing a beautiful green boat on his head, but no one (not even his dog!) seems to notice. This magical playful children’s show with breath-taking puppets and music by Tom Gray, of the Mercury Award winning band Gomez, celebrates the richness of our imaginations and the joy of immersing ourselves in innocent fantasy.
Guys and Dolls, 9th to 12th April, 19:30 and 14:30 on Saturday at The Corn Exchange
Let us take you back to the classic Broadway era with this wonderful score that includes Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat and Luck Be A Lady. It’s New York City in the 1940’s and all the hot gamblers are in town. They are depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game; the only problem is he needs $1000 to get the place to hold it in. Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission runs into Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan's $1000 bet that he can’t get Sarah to go with him to Havana. Will Sarah go with Sky? Will Nathan get his game? Will Adelaide ever get Nathan to tie the knot? Come along and find out. A Newbury Musical Theatre Society production.
Aliens Love Underpants, 16th to 17th April, daytimes at The Corn Exchange
Aliens Love Underpants of every shape and size, but there are no underpants in space so here’s a big surprise! This zany and hilarious tale based on the best-selling children’s book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort is delightfully brought to life on stage for the very first time. With stunning effects, madcap action, original music (and lots of aliens of course!), this fantastically fresh and funny production will delight the whole family.
Once Upon a Time in a Western, 3rd May, 20:00 at New Greenham Arts
A tumbleweed silently rolls across the dusty stage... The clink clink clink of spurs echoes throughout the theatre... The saloon door opens with a long, drawn-out creak... The piano player hits a bum note and comes to a stop... A short, dark stranger lifts the rim of his hat and shoots a steely stare out to the audience... Welcome... to Kidneystone... Le Navet Bête are an award winning troupe of clowns whose high energy, spectacular and hilarious shows have wowed audiences across the globe. Directed by John Nicholson of Peepolykus.
The Sooty Show, 4th May, 11:00 and 14:30 at The Corn Exchange
Izzy Wizzy Let's get busy - It's The Sooty Show! Direct from City, Sooty heads into town in a fabulous new show to delight the whole family. Joining the nation's favourite bear will be Sweep, Soo and Sooty's TV Partner Richard Cadell, who will be attempting to keep Sooty from getting up to mischief! Boy will he have his hands full! It's Sooty's Birthday party and things aren't going to plan. Sooty and Sweep get messy baking the Birthday cake and will Soo ever decide which dress to wear? Special party guests include legendary Sooty favourites Butch the bulldog and Ramsbottom the snake.
Henry IV Part I, 14th May, 8th June
See Theatre at the Cinema.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, 22nd May,
3rd and 12th June
See Theatre at the Cinema.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, 30th May, 11:00 and 14:00 at The Corn Exchange
Take one castle, one broom and one book of sorcery. Add a boy with the tingle of magic in his fingertips and a spell that spirals out of control ... and you have the classic tale of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice! Garlic Theatre conjures a bewitching tale, full of mystery and enchantment, with its blend of physical theatre, humour and technical wizardry. Puppets, mime and a dash of real magic will leave adults and children enthralled. Garlic Theatre is an international award winning company whose productions have delighted audiences with their delicious mix of wit, humour and inventiveness. Age 4+.
Knightmare Live, 7th June, 19:45 at The Corn Exchange
Riddles, magical characters and hideous monsters ... Welcome watchers of illusion to the castle of confusion. The immortal words of Treguard the Dungeon Master ring out for the first time in 20 years as he opens the doors to the world of adventure. But do you dare enter? Following a critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe run and sold out dates at both London’s Bloomsbury Theatre and Brighton Comedy Festival, Knightmare Live now offers you the chance to don the immortal helmet of justice. Guided by two top comedians, an audience member will attempt to defeat Lord Fear's mighty dungeon in the greater game of chance.
Carrie’s War, 10th to 11th June, 19:45 and 13:30 on Wednesday at The Corn Exchange
It’ll be such fun, living in the country. You’ll love it! When the Second World War air raids threaten their safety in the city, Carrie Willow and her brother Nick, are evacuated to a small Welsh village. Billeted with the kind but timid Auntie Lou and her miserly brother Mr Evans, the children quickly learn that this is a place unlike any they have ever known. From the whispering woods of Druid’s Grove to the harvest fields, they get to know and love the countryside and the characters that inhabit it; the aging, glamorous Mrs Gotobed, Mr Johnny, who speaks a language all of his own, and Hepzibah Green, the mysterious housekeeper with her tales of magic and wonder and a terrifying curse…. Apollo Theatre Company presents a new production, bringing Nina Bawden’s classic novel to the stage in a feast of nostalgia for the whole family.
Henry IV Part II, 18th June, 11th July
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Bond! An Unauthorised Parody, 26th June, 19:45 at The Corn Exchange
Bond is back… older and still wisecracking… Following recent performances in the USA and Australia, Gavin Robertson focuses his attention on the Bond phenomenon, in his latest physical cartoon style adventure - spoofing the characters adored by millions, and exploding every cliché in the book(s)… solo! In which Bond meets his greatest arch-villain yet - Ian Fleming himself, courtesy of a time-machine, and featuring the smallest car chase (n)ever seen! Minimum props, maximum effect!
Old Macdonald Had a Farm, 27th July, 13:30 at The Corn Exchange
Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. A fun filled farmyard tale written especially for parents to enjoy with their children. Age 4+.
The Little Red Hen, 1st August, 14:30 at The Corn Exchange
Making bread is hard work, but not if the animals lend a hand! A treat for the whole family with no scary bits! Age 3 to 7.
Two Gentlemen of Verona, 3rd and 26th September
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.