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 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Newbury theatre guide

Find out about theatre events coming up in and around Newbury and West Berkshire, reaching out to Oxford, Basingstoke and Reading. Follow us on Twitter Twitter: @NewburyTheatre. Email us at  
Posters of forthcoming productions are here.

Dark times

The theatres are closed and we don't know when they will reopen. Amateur and professional, all will suffer. Some may not survive. The Watermill and Newbury Corn Exchange are asking for donations to help them keep going; other theatres are probably doing the same.

Newbury Theatre is joining up with Penny Post to give updated theatre information, and it will also appear here. Penny Post is a great source of local information - if you don't know it already, I can thoroughly recommend it, particularly now when a lot of us will be stuck at home.

But there's lots happening online

Until 25th May, don’t miss Sea Wall with Andrew Scott. He first starred in Sea Wall in 2012, when it was shown at the Bush Theatre. It was written for the actor by Simon Stephens, the playwright behind the National Theatre’s smash-hit adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This devastating one-man piece was revived in 2018 as part of The Old Vic’s two-hundredth birthday celebrations, with Scott back in the role of Alex, a man coming to terms with loss. This filmed version isn’t on the stage, but it still stars Scott and is directed by Stephens and producer Andrew Porter. It’s on YouTube here and runs for just over 30 minutes.

The Watermill have Zoom sessions each Monday at 14:30 for a free live Q&A session with a theatre professional from The Watermill. The Q&A will last for approximately 1 hour. They also have Take Part sessions via Zoom on Tuesdays - there's an afternoon session for children 7+ and families, and an evening session for adults and teens.
These are free, but donations are welcomed. You need to book online for all these.

The Watermill are having a week off this week after the Bank Holiday.

Q&A - Movement Week, 1st June, 14:30
Join us in conversation with award-winning Movement Director and Choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves. Tom is an Associate Artist of The Watermill where his previous shows include AmélieMacbeth and Sweet Charity.

Take Part - Movement Week - with Choreographer Georgina Lamb, 2nd June, 14:30

Take Part - Movement Week - with Choreographer Georgina Lamb, 2nd June, 19:30

Q&A - Stage Management Week, 8th June, 14:30
Elaine Yeung will answer your questions and share an insight into what is involved to support a show through the rehearsal process and into the theatre.

Take Part - Stage Management - with Ailsa Bonner, 9th June, 14:30

Take Part - Stage Management - with Ailsa Bonner, 9th June, 19:30

The Corn Exchange, Newbury have got Armchair Reviewers' Club in their Creative Online Sessions this week.

Respond to last week's screening, 27th May
For last week’s session of the Armchair Reviewers Club, we sat down to watch It’s Easy To Be Dead in the comfort of our homes. We encouraged our audiences to submit their thoughts on the play via email or social media, and we’ll be creating a ’roundup’ that brings these reviews together.

This week’s screening, 28th May
Join us on Thursday as we watch another theatre performance via a link in the comfort of our homes. This week we’re going to be sitting down to watch the 2018 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Macbeth, featuring Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusak.

Proteus Theatre of Basingstoke have made available full-length video recordings of some of their productions. They are free to watch, but you can support them by making a donation.

Missing in Action, 1st May to 1st June
This is the story of two friends who join the Army…
When he joined up… I couldn’t see him sticking it. He’d never stuck at anything. But he stuck at this. It’s true what they say: it does make a man of you. Well, it made a man of him. When I saw him in his uniform! I don’t mind telling you, if I’d been any prouder I think I’d have burst.
How for one of them, the war ends…
You try not to think about it. What it must be like for them. What they’re going through. But there it is on the news; in the papers. And when you hear that the family’s been informed… Your heart goes out to them, it does truly.
How for the other the war goes on…
I know this sounds terrible – a terrible thing to say – but for them as died, well the war’s over, isn’t it? They can rest in peace. But there’s no rest for him. He’s fighting a war of his own now. And God only knows when that’ll end. Or even if.
Tender, tough and never less than touching.

Houdini, 22nd May to 22nd June
Escapologist, magician, secret agent, lover, husband, devoted son, enemy of the establishment. Harry Houdini was all and none of these things. His life remains a mystery, and his greatest trick remains his ability to escape interpretation, until now…. Harry Houdini was an enigma in his own time, and the mysterious circumstances of his premature death have launched a thousand conspiracy theories ever since. The man who believed he could return from the dead spent the latter part of his career exposing fake mediums and those seeking to exploit the grief of others, despite his widow’s constant attempts to contact him after his death using an intricate code.

Every Thursday, the National Theatre are making NT Live productions available on YouTube, free for a week. More information at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home.. This is what's coming up.

A Streetcar Named Desire, 21st to 28th May
By Tennessee Williams. As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski. This critically acclaimed production was filmed live on stage at the Young Vic in 2014 by National Theatre Live.

This House, 28th May to 4th June
It’s 1974, and Britain has a hung Parliament. The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties battle to change the future of the nation.
During this era of chaos, when a staggering number of politicians die and age-old traditions are thrown aside, MPs find they must roll up their sleeves, and bend the rules, to navigate a way through the Mother of all Parliaments.

Coriolanus, 4th to 11th June
Tom Hiddleston plays the title role in Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge. When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But he has enemies at home too. As famine threatens the city, the citizens’ hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field, Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people. Coriolanus was filmed live on stage at the Donmar Warehouse in 2014 by National Theatre Live.

The Globe are doing fortnightly free YouTube streamings of their productions on Monday nights at 19:00.
More information at www.shakespearesglobe.com/discover/blogs-and-features/2020/04/03/how-to-watch-our-free-globe-player-films/

The Winter's Tale, 18th to 31st May
Blanche McIntyre directs the 2018 version of Shakespeare’s great play of the irrational and inexplicable. Set in a world of monsters, gods and natural disasters, travel from the stifling atmosphere of the Sicilian court, to the unbuttoned joy of a Bohemian festival.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1st to 14th June
The Merry Wives of Windsor is the only comedy that Shakespeare set in his native land. This 2019 production draws influences from British 1930s fashion, music and dance, and with its witty mix of verbal and physical humour, rejoices in a tradition that reaches right down to the contemporary English sitcom.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 15th to 28th June
Dominic Dromgoole directs Michelle Terry and John Light as fairy royalty in the 2013 Renaissance staging of this much-loved comedy. Shakespeare put some of his most dazzling dramatic poetry at the service of this teasing, glittering, hilarious and amazingly inventive play, whose seriousness is only fleetingly glimpsed beneath its dreamlike surface.

The Show Must Go Online has weekly readings of the Complete Plays of Shakespeare (Wednesdays, 19:00) by a global cast, in the order they were believed to have been written. It uses global casts, including professionals and amateurs, and you can either watch the plays or apply to read a part. You can stream previous readings of the plays, starting with Titus Andronicus.

Romeo and Juliet, 27th May

The RSC are showing some of their productions on BBC iPlayer. You can see Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words, Othello, The Merchant of Venice and seven more.

They are also making a further 18 Shakespeare productions available on a 14-day free trial with Marquee TV.
www.rsc.org.uk/news/watch-rsc-shows-from-home

You can search for reviews of previous productions - there are more than 900 pages of them in the Archive!

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This site was last updated on 24-May-2020. Our web hosts are ION Systems.