Hexagon - 21 South Street - Concert Hall, Reading
0118 960 6060, Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm. Directions to the Hexagon and maps showing the three
The Hexagon, Queens Walk, Reading RG1 7UA.
21 South Street, Reading RG1 4QU.
The Concert Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading.
Performances are at the Hexagon unless another venue is given.
Peter Pan, 9th December to 7th January at The Hexagon
Come and join us on a magical journey as we fly away to Neverland this festive season with Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. The Hexagon once again promise a panto full of adventure, with a stunning set, spectacular song and dance routines, a lot of traditional panto slapstick, and of course, a ticking crocodile!
The Privileged, 25th January at South Street
Have you ever seen a polar bear in the flesh? Been close enough to notice just how white these magnificent mammals are? Here is your chance to get up close and personal - remove your shoes, coats and bags, as you are about to encounter the Arctic’s whitest predator, with black skin. Join a well-trained member of staff as we enter the polar bear’s natural habitat and experience this animal like never before. Be one of the privileged few to say they have pet, played with, and fed a polar bear. This is an audience led participatory performance that uses the excitement of a polar bear encounter to explore race, identity and the community.
Spamalot 2018, 30th January to 3rd February at The Hexagon
Lovingly ripped off from the hugely successful 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this spammier than ever production is a riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen. Join King Arthur as he travels with his hapless Knights of the Round Table on a divine mission to locate the illusive Holy Grail – with uproarious consequences.
The Wizard of Oz, 15th to 17th February at The Hexagon
After a tornado whisks away a young Kansas farm girl, Dorothy, to the magical land of Oz, she starts her quest to find the mighty Wizard of Oz who has the power to send her home. Along the way she meets a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman and a Cowardly Lion who help her on her journey. By RARE Productions.
Manwatching, 20th February at South Street
Written by an anonymous woman. Performed by an unprepared man. “So I think it’s fair to say that most women almost definitely do masturbate. We just wait to discuss it until we’re in an oddly anonymous but public situation like this one.” A funny and frank insight into heterosexual female desire, read out loud by a man. Manwatching begins with a male comedian being given a script he has never seen before. He reads the script out loud, sight unseen, in front of an audience. This is a show about what one woman thinks about when she thinks about sex with men.
Beowulf, 21st February at South Street
Seth Kriebel’s Beowulf is an interactive performance-game inviting the audience to explore the world of a story from our legendary past… without leaving their seats. Featuring an evocative soundscape, the audience works together to navigate strange landscapes 1,000 years after the Viking hero’s adventures were first written down. Each show is unique, depending on the audience’s choices, bringing the world of the ancient epic to life… and asking why, after all these years, we still tell each other stories about the monsters that lurk in dark.
The King Lear, 21st March at South Street
Giving a modern comedic twist to Shakespeare's popular tragedy, acclaimed clown theatre company Shifting Sands set the action in a pub. When the landlord of “THE KING LEAR” announces his retirement and the division of his “kingdom” between his daughters he imitates his famous namesake and demands to know which of them loves him the most. In the process he unleashes a playful, irreverent interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, set not in Stratford-Upon-Avon but in a pub! A compellingly inventive retelling mixing slapstick and pathos with warm humour.
Reviews of Snow White
10th December 2016 to 8th January 2017.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
All singing, all dancing panto
Snow White, at The Hexagon, Reading, until Sunday, January 8
According to German historian Eckhard Sander, the story of Snow White dates back to a 16th-century German countess, Margarete, who moved to Brussels, fell in love with a prince and was poisoned by her stepmother, who disapproved of the match, thereby inspiring the fairy tale by the Grimms.
The pantomime at The Hexagon this year has all the usual ingredients – Snow White (Sarah Accomando) looking bright and colourful in her various costumes, Karl Loxley as Prince Michael, smart and courtly and the two funny men, Paul Morse as Dame Dolly Mixture and Justin Fletcher as Jingles the Jester. Katie Cameron had fun as the Wicked Queen hamming it up in front of the mirror and planning Snow White's downfall very noisily indeed.
The usual set-pieces were on display, with a very messy cooking sequence that involved spraying a creamy mixture all over Jingles the Jester's face. Then there was the ghost routine, with the spirit eventually frightening two of the men off only to be scared off itself by one glance at the dame. The panto jokes were much the same as usual with many of them delivered by Dame Dolly Mixture with a Basil Brush type "boom, boom".
He did tell a rarely heard one though, about the man who painted his wife with cheese - he double glossed 'er.
As to the rest, it was a noisy, colourful, star-flashing extravaganza, with singing and dancing that delighted kids in the audience from age four to 94. Towards the end, four little children from the audience were led on stage and usually when this happens they freeze and can't move. Not so this little group, they shouted and yelled and one four-year-old gave a twirl in her sparkly skirt and yelled out her name at the top of her voice. They're getting bigger, bolder and louder, it seems, and the pantos are getting livelier and more colourful every year.
Snow White was well-presented by director Stephen Boden and choreographer Ashley Nottingham, and all the unseen backstage crew who make it all happen every year.
There is a review from Wokingham Today ("entertaining, enchanting and magical... a family-friendly show that is packed with laughs, big songs and something for all the family. From the youngest to the oldest, this is a fantastic night out that everyone will love... a snow wonder – another mega hit for The Hexagon and a real Christmas treat" - 5 stars).
For more details
see the Reading Arts web site at www.readingarts.com.