site search by freefind advanced

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

New Era Players

The New Era web site is at Twitter @NewEraPlayers or Facebook.

Backstage helpers wanted! See below.

Next production


New Era Theatre, Wash Common, Newbury RG14 6NU.

Box office

07919 916009 or email . Book tickets online at the New Era web site.

Reviews of Emma

14th to 23rd March 2024

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

The best amateur dramatics in the Newbury area

If you want to discover the best amateur dramatics in the area, I advise you see a play by New Era. They are housed in their very own cosy, intimate and traditional venue in Wash Common.

Emma, Jane Austen’s comedic story, follows the matchmaking endeavours of the titular character Emma Woodhouse. Despite her good intentions, Emma’s attempts at arranging marriages often lead to misunderstandings and complications, particularly when she tries to pair up her friend Harriet Smith with various suitors. Throughout the story, Emma learns about the complexities of love and relationships, ultimately finding her own romantic happiness in the end.

This smart, witty and humorous adaptation by Paula K Parker was slickly and professionally brought to life by director Lisa Harrington.

I was immediately engaged in the story of Emma’s meddling matchmaking, played confidently by Pippa Higgins – a wonderful performance throughout – driving the story with sharpness and wit. Emma’s friend Harriet, embroiled in her mischievous games, was played sensitively and innocently by Emily Beck, such a lovely actor.

Emma’s worrywart of a father, Mr Woodhouse, was by far my favourite, what a natural talent Keith Phillips is. I warmed to his character immensely and his physicalisation bought the character the life.

Even lighter touches and humour came from wonderful duo Mrs Bates, played with physical hilarity and good timing by Pam Hillier-Brooke, and friendly chatterbox Miss Bates (Karen Ashby). Emma’s steady and sensible friend Mr Knightly was played nicely by Chris Billingham.

There were so many wonderful performances, each professional and polished.

The set was simple but effective and the costumes beautifully made. There was even a Regency dance excellently choreographed by Jacqui Trumper.

I enjoyed every aspect of this slick, polished and amusing play.


About New Era

This small, friendly and very successful theatre group was established in Newbury in 1978, and we are lucky enough to have our own small theatre in Wash Common. (click here for a map). We produce several plays each year covering a wide variety of theatrical styles.

New Players Acting Membership

Share the experience of performing on stage; join the challenge of set-building or the creativity of costume design; enjoy the teamwork in whatever direction your talents take you. You could be an active participant in our future productions, or join us for play readings, workshops, theatre outings and a variety of social events. Whether you are experienced or just have bags of enthusiasm, you can be assured of a warm welcome.

If you are interested in becoming an acting member please email our membership coordinator at the address .

New Era - Backstage halp wanted

Audience Membership

To book tickets for any of our productions, please contact our Box Office on 07919 916009 for more information.

Previous productions