New Era Players
The Heiress, 28th to 30th November and 4th to 8th December
Is it possible to combine wealth and love? The Tony award-winning play The Heiress was the first full length production by New Era Players in our Wash Common theatre, 40 years ago. It is set in 19th century New York and revolves around the wealthy Sloper family who live in the much sought-after New York address of Washington Square, New York. The story has at its heart the character of Catherine, the heiress of the title, who has money of her own and will inherit another fortune on her father’s death. She meets Morris, a charming, articulate young man who persuades her that he has fallen in love with her and wishes to marry her. We are very lucky to have a link back to our original production in Marie Jacobs, who played Catherine 40 years ago and is playing Mrs Penniman in this production.
New Era Theatre, Wash Common, Newbury RG14 6NU.
07919 916009 or email .
Review of The Heiress
28th to 30th November and 4th to 8th December 2018
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Legacy play for New Era
Forty years on, company celebrate by returning to first production
New Era Players: The Heiress, at New Era Theatre, Wash Common, from November 28 to December 1 and Tuesday, December 4, to Saturday, December 8
Forty years ago. New Era Players performed The Heiress as the first full-length play in their friendly small theatre and it proved an inspired choice. Based on the 1880 novel Washington Square by Henry James, the play, an adaptation by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, provides opportunities for set builders and the wardrobe team to show their talents. In this production both did an excellent job.
The story is set in the New York household of Dr Sloper (Keith Kerr), a man embittered by the loss of his wife, who died giving birth to Catherine (Pippa Higgins). Sloper is cold to his daughter, who therefore regards herself as unattractive and of no consequence.
When her Aunt Elizabeth (Sue Keer) brings daughter Marian and fiancé Arthur (the lively Vikki Goldsmith and a rather quiet Charlie Wolfenden) to see her brother and his daughter, they have with them Arthur's brother, the handsome Morris Townsend (Patrick Lintin).
Morris subjects the insecure Catherine to a barrage of praise over the next few weeks to such effect that she agrees to marry him. Her father, suspicious that Townsend is only out for his daughter's inheritance, refuses his permission. Is he right?
As the play continues and Catherine is jilted, it seems so, but then Morris returns, vowing undying love and again Catherine agrees to marry him. Is this wise?
I will not tell you the outcome, for there are more performances to come after the publication of this review.
What I can say is that this is an enjoyable, powerful play, that has deft touches of humour. As Catherine, Higgins was superb and this was an outstanding performance. She was closely followed in excellence by Keer as her callous father. After a slightly nervous start, he grew into the part, becoming totally believable, as was Lintin playing Catherine's self-assured, over-loud suitor.
Marie Jacobs, who played Catherine in that long-ago production, now cleverly brings a touch of scattiness to the role of Catherine's Aunt Lavinia and I especially liked Keer as her sister Elizabeth, while Georgie Gale as Townsend's sister and Karen Ashby as Maria, the doctor's housekeeper, gave good supporting performances.
This tale of love and money, directed by Stephen Bennett, with an excellent cast, is a good opener to the next 40 years for this talented, hardworking, enthusiastic company.
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 .
To book tickets for any of our productions, please contact our Box Office on 07919 916009 for more information.
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A View from the Bridge, 14th to 16th June and 19th to 23rd June 2018. See the review in the archive.
The Glass Menagerie, 14th to 24th March 2018. See the review in the archive.
A Christmas Carol, 29th November to 9th December 2017. See the review in the archive.
Dear Lupin, 7th to 9th September and 12th to 16th September 2017. See the review in the archive.
The Importance of Being Earnest, 6th to 8th July 2017 at Shaw House Outdoor Theatre, Newbury
Di and Viv and Rose, 15th to 17th June and 20th to 24th June 2017. See the review in the archive.
The Kitchen Sink, 15th to 18th March and 21st to 25th March 2017. See the review in the archive.
Sneaking into the Theatre, 9th to 11th February 2017. See the review in the archive.
Collaborators, 30th November to 3rd December and 6th to 10th December 2016. See the review in the archive.
October Double Bill 2016, 27th to 29th October 2016. See the review in the archive.
The Importance Of Being Earnest, 7th to 10th September and 13th to 17th September 2016. See the review in the archive.
Pride and Prejudice, 30th June to 2nd July 2016. See the review in the archive.
God of Carnage, 8th to 11th June and 14th to 18th June 2016. See the review in the archive.
Gaslight, 9th to 12th March and 14th to 19th March 2016. See the review in the archive.
Foxfinder, 2nd to 5th December and 8th to 12th December 2015. See the review in the archive.
Twists in the Tales, 29th to 31st October 2015. See the review in the archive.
Pride and Prejudice, 9th to 12th September and 15th to 19th September 2015
Be My Baby, 11th to 13th June and 16th to 20th June 2015. See the review in the archive.
Travels With My Aunt, 12th to 14th March and 17th to 21st March 2015. See the review in the archive.
Someone Somewhere Smiled, 12th to 14th February 2015. See the review in the archive.
The Memory of Water, 4th to 6th December and 9th to 13th December 2014. See the review in the archive.
An Evening with Valerie Maskell, 16th to 18th October 2014
Oh What a Lovely War, 11th to 20th September 2014. See the review in the archive.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 3rd to 5th July 2014
Heroes, 12th to 21st June 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Passion, 24th to 28th March 2014 at St John's Church, Newbury. See the review in the archive.
Calendar Girls, 29th November to 7th December 2013. See the review in the archive.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 12th to 21st September 2013. See the review in the archive.
Our Man In Havana, 13th to 15th June and 18th to 22nd June 2013
Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare, 25th to 27th April 2013
Quartet, 14th to 16th March and 19th to 23rd March 2013. See the review in the archive.
Absent Friends, November 2012. See the review in the archive.
When We Are Married, September 2012
Sylvia, June 2012
The Actor and the Audience, April 2012
Talking Heads, March 2012
Bouncers, December 2011
People Snogging in Public Places, October 2011
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby: Part Two, September 2011
Disposing of the Body, March 2011
Twelfth Night, December 2010
Amy's View, September2010
Humble Boy, March 2010
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery, December 2009
Nicholas Nickelby, September 2009
Present Laughter, March 2009
The Lion in Winter, November 2008
84 Charing Cross Road, September 2008
Hobson's Choice, June 2008
Duet For One, March 2008
Playhouse Creatures, November 2007
Make Way for Lucia, March 2007
The Trojan Women, March 2007
The Philadelphia Story, November 2006
Art, September 2006
A Murder Is Announced, June 2006
The Winslow Boy, March 2006
Arms and the Man, December 2005
Single Spies, September 2005
This Happy Breed, June 2005
The Playboy of the Western World, March 2005
The Miser, November 2004
Shadowlands, September 2004
Solitaire, a set of monologues, June 2004
The Beauty Queen of Leenane, March 2004
The Murder of Maria Martin, or The Red Barn, November 2003
Maskerade, September 2003
Pygmalion, June 2003
Shakers, March 2003
Daisy Pulls it Off, December 2002
Les Liaisons Dangereuses, September 2002
The Red Hot Donahue Sisters Discover Droitwich, June 2002
Next to a Stranger, March 2002
The Fire Raisers, December 2001
Rattle of a Simple Man, September 2001
Suddenly At Home, June 2001
Cider With Rosie, March 2001
A Woman in Mind, December 2000
Charley's Aunt, September 2000
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Night School; Landscape; Victoria Station
Dancing at Lughnasa
The Birthday Party
Arsenic and Old Lace
Under Milk Wood
The Plough & the Stars
Ring Round the Moon
Born in the Gardens
Shadow of a Gunman
The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue
The Real Thing
Le Malade Imaginaire
Juno & the Paycock