The Corn Exchange, Newbury
0845 5218 218 (calls will cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s Access Charge)
The Corn Exchange, Newbury. Visitor information is here.
The Mill on the Floss, 26th June, 19:30
Adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson, this fluid and visceral re-imagining turns George Eliot’s unforgettable story of first love, sibling rivalry and regret into a wonderfully theatrical examination of the psyche of one of classic literature’s most charismatic heroines. With its poignant portrayal of sibling relationships, The Mill on the Floss is considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel and here Edmundson loses none of its breadth, whilst beautifully examining the complex nature of relationships and love.
Romeo and Juliet, 18th July, 19:00
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Little Baby Bum, 19th to 20th July, daytimes
Join Mia, Jacus, Twinkle and their Nursery Rhyme friends at the world premiere of a brand new live show for little ones and their families. Age guide 2+.
Of Rags and Bones, 28th July 2018, 19:00
Inspired by the short stories of Anais Nin, this devised show presents modern fables of love, loss and urban decay. The finders pick through the abandoned objects of the sleeping city, tracing lost narratives of the people who live there. A Newbury Youth Theatre production.
The Merry Wives of Windsor, 12th September, 19:00
See Theatre at the Cinema.
Seriously Dead, 16th to 17th October, 19:45
Telling the hilarious story of a deceased bank robber, a Café owner and a lovesick ghost, Seriously Dead has audiences in hysterics from the very beginning to the very surprising end. An uplifiting tale guaranteed to make you feel there is nothing serious about being dead because life's party never ends: it simply moves to another location.
Reviews of Beauty and the Beast
1st December 2017 to 7th January 2018
Review from the Newbury Weekly News and the British Theatre Guide.
It's a beauty, oh yes it is
Awful puns, oodles of audience participation... panto's arrived...
Beauty and the Beast, at The Corn Exchange, Newbury, until January 7
The Corn Exchange has a huge festive hit with this year's lavish pantomime Beauty and the Beast.
As the excited youngsters and their mums and dads entered the foyer they were greeted by a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and colourful murals, made by local schoolchildren, that created a truly seasonal atmosphere
Celebrating his 10th panto for the Corn Exchange, Phil Willmott has written a witty script and directs this sparkling family show with style and invention.
All those festive ingredients that make pantos so special are here in abundance, from the colourful set, sumptuous glittering costumes, dramatic lighting and spectacular pyrotechnics designed by Guy Dickens, plus an energetic and highly talented cast, who were determined that we should all have a great time.
The story is well-known. Prince Rupert – the impressive Blair Gibson, who also makes a powerful Beast – is holding a birthday party, when an old woman seeks shelter for the night. She offers a rose in payment, but the Prince sends her away and so she casts a curse on him.
PK Taylor is superbly evil as this Enchantress and was deservedly booed by the audience.
Returning for their third Newbury panto are the splendid Joshua Coley, as the Brummie Pickle, and Amy Christina Murray, as Lilly, quickly establishing a warm rapport with the audience, who are all keen to join in and be part of the gang.
In Newbury Bottom, the rather posh Cuthbert (Danny Stokes) with his catch phrase "OK cool no worries" is waiting on the arrival of his cousin, the sweet Belle, charmingly played by Phoebe Lewis. We also meet the sensible Posy, the Postie (Emma Fraser), making her Corn Exchange debut. Meanwhile, at the castle, Rupert has been transformed into the Beast and Lilly and Pickle are decidedly unhappy about their new wolf-like forms.
They have much fun in their slapstick scene – with plenty of slosh – and hilariously get trapped while making their wallpaper-pasting table.
When Belle is imprisoned in the castle, she slowly falls in love with the Beast, who treats her royally and, of course, there is a happy and emotional ending.
There is the traditional ghost scone, awful funny puns, jokes about Donald Trump and dating apps for witches, and oodles of audience participation, including the song sheet competition as we all joined in Let's Do the Time Warp Again.
There is excellent support from the versatile ensemble of Joey Warne, Victoria-Louise Currie, Oli Dickson and Katie Lee.
Look out for the dragon and the two wolf narrators… to say more would spoil the surprise.
With slick, dazzling choreography by Holly Hughes, scintillating songs and a spirited musical score from Richard Baker and performed in the capable hands of Tom Neill, assisted by Harry Brokensha, this panto is a sheer joy and great family entertainment.
Beauty and the Beast should definitely be on your Christmas wish list and is not to be missed.
There's a review from Muddy Stilettos ("it was brilliant fun... all in all, a great success").
For more details
see the Corn Exchange and New Greenham Arts web site at www.cornexchangenew.com.
Dick Whittington, 27th November 2015 to 3rd January 2016. See the reviews in the archive.
Aladdin, 28th November 2014 to 4th January 2015. See the reviews in the archive.
Jack and the Beanstalk, 29th November 2013 to 5th January 2014. See the reviews in the Archive.