Newbury theatre guide
Find out about theatre events coming up in and around Newbury and West Berkshire, reaching out to Oxford, Basingstoke and Reading. This site is updated very frequently - see What's new below.
In the spotlight
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
KruTalent International, an Entertainment and Talent agency offering bespoke services to event organisers, festivals, venues and marketing agencies in the UK and Europe, are currently working on the ultimate Christmas experience in Ascot and are looking for male actors aged 40 to 70 years old. The aim of the event is to keep the belief of Father Christmas going for children during the run up to Christmas. The event runs from 18th November to 24th December and you would need to be 100% free on the 24th December as well as being free for a training day which would take place on either the 15th, 16th or 17th of November. The rates that you would be paid are all inclusive of travel, and for the whole running time of the event, you would be paid just over £3000 for a month and a half's worth of work depending on your availability for the event. As well as this, you would have full costume and make up done everyday for this role by professional makeup and costume artists. Interested? Contact Maddy .
Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group need a male or female actor aged 35 or more (ish) for their November production of Cinderella. The part is Sgt Puff - more details here.
Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group are offering an early bird discount before 30th September on tickets for their November production of Cinderella.
The Watermill is extending its outreach for young people. It's extending its Associate Youth Theatre this September and will now deliver drama activities all year round to those wanting to join. Taught by theatre professionals, The Associate Youth Theatre will focus on developing skills and working towards presentations. It will meet at North Thatcham Children’s Centre, and will share work it has developed in The Watermill theatre gardens as well as other locations. The Watermill’s three Junior Associate Youth Theatre groups will meet on Saturday mornings and cater for ages from Reception to Year 2, Years 3 and 4, and Years 5 and 6. For other children who would like to become a part of The Watermill community there will be a new group called Prologue on Monday evenings.
RBL Theatre Company are performing The Trials of Oscar Wilde inside Reading Gaol! Oscar Wilde was imprisoned and sentenced to two years of hard labour for “extensive corruption of the most hideous kind among young men”. Inside the very jail where Wilde served his sentence, RBL will perform the devastating transcript of the trials that saw Wilde degraded from unmatchable wit to desperate victim. With exclusive access to Reading's prison, including Wilde's cell, RBL invite you to this once in a lifetime production. Adapted by Beth Flintoff. 29th September to 1st October, 20:00.
And RBL Theatre Company's production after that is Henry I of England by Beth Flintoff at St James' Catholic Church, Abbots Walk, Reading, RG1 3HW from 2nd to 19th November. RBL are honoured to be performing the incredible story of King Henry's life within touching distance of his final resting place, Reading Abbey, and inside the stunning St James' Church. A son of William the Conqueror, father to over twenty bastard children, founder of a nearby zoo, a murderer, a man who imprisoned his own brother for 26 years allowing him to die in gaol, buried in Reading abbey (which he founded) having been sewn inside a bulls carcass and shipped back from France, Henry had an extraordinary life, as brave as it was tyrannical.
Compton Players' production last November of Seal Cove, written and directed by Dave Hawkins, has been awarded the Maurice Spillett Trophy for Best New Show in the NODA South East Region 2016 awards. Chris Horton, of NODA, said: "the award takes into consideration all aspects of the show". Dave Hawkins said: "the fact that it's for the show rather than the play means that the part every single one of the cast and crew played in the production counted towards this unexpectedly gobsmacking award!"
Berzerk Productions have started drama classes at Compton Village Hall every Tuesday evening for young people between 6 and 18 years.
Is pretending to like Beckett an example of The Emperor's New Clothes? See why Daniel Finkelstein of The Times described Happy Days as an "incomprehensible load of old gibberish" here.
Feeling guilty because you don't like (or can't understand) Antigone or Medea? Don't be - read Catherine Nixey's article.
The Oxfordshire Drama Wardrobe has a stock of over 5,000 costume and prop items available for hire to drama groups, schools and colleges. They have costumes from almost every period, from Ancient Rome, through Elizabethan to Georgian. They also have a good range for the Victorian/Edwardian eras, and for the 1920s-1950s, with a large choice of WW2 allied uniforms. They're happy to discuss your needs with you and to see how they can help you to stage a visually striking play without having to break your budget. www.oxondramawardrobe.co.uk
There's an interesting article by the Watermill's Tei Williams about the process in staging a Watermill production, from choosing the play through to the opening night. It's here.
If you're under 25, you can get Watermill tickets for £10 from the box office. This is for performances from Monday to Thursday. You can also get Student Standby tickets on the day for £5.
You can get the latest updates via RSS or Twitter (@NewburyTheatre). If you don't know what RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is, this may not be for you (find out more here), but if you're using an RSS reader already, this is a good way to keep up to date with the changes to this site.
|28 Sep||Reviews of The Wipers Times at the Watermill ("a well-written, very funny and entertaining show" - Newbury Theatre; "the plot drags... missed opportunity" - The Times (2 stars); "the prolonged enthusiastic applause on press night was richly deserved" - British Theatre Guide; "elegantly structured, wonderfully theatrical and perfectly paced" - What's On Stage (5 stars); "entertaining tribute to the maverick team behind the First World War trench newspaper" - The Stage (3 stars); "a quite magnificent stage play... it is, in short, very very good" - TheatreCat).|
|25 Sep||Review of New Era's The Importance of Being Earnest ("a first-class production, extremely well acted and paced... a very professional approach by everybody" - NWN).|
|24 Sep||Russell Players' next production from 7th to 9th October in Swallowfield is Joe Orton's Funeral Games.|
|24 Sep||Boundary Players' next production from 26th to 29th October in Tadley is Two and Two Make Sex.|
|16 Sep||Father Christmasses wanted in Ascot for November and December. Good money paid! See News and special events.|
|16 Sep||TADS' panto is The Doctor Saves Christmas in Tilehurst on 9th and 10th December.|
|14 Sep||Cinema streamings coming up: The Deep Blue Sea 27th September, Miss Saigon 16th October, Alan Bennett’s Diaries Live 16th November, No Man's Land 15th December.|
|13 Sep||Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group need an actor - male or female - to play Sgt Puff in their November production of Cinderella.|
|13 Sep||As part of Thatcham Festival, KATS are presenting Sorry! KATS Haven't a Clue! on 8th October. Tickets are free.|
|1 Sep||Out The Box's production at five locations in the Newbury area is Speed Dating: The Musical from 5th to 11th September.|
|30 Aug||A brown-eyed middle aged male actor is wanted for a supporting role in a film to be shot in Newbury in mid September. See the Message Board.|
Russell Players' next production from 7th to 9th October in Swallowfield is Joe Orton's Funeral Games. A hilariously funny, surreal, black comedy. Cult leader, preacher and con artist Pringle hires the thuggish criminal Caulfield to investigate an anonymous report that his wife Tessa is having an affair with a defrocked catholic priest.
Sinodun Players' The Tempest, Shakespeare’s play of enchantment, love, magic and political intrigue has been given a radical overhaul that promises to enhance the supernatural quality of the Bard’s final and, arguably, greatest masterpiece with original and outstanding staging, soundscape, lighting, costume and haunting music. It's at Wallingford Corn Exchange from 19th to 22nd October.
Boundary Players' next production from 26th to 29th October in Tadley is Two and Two Make Sex. George is getting into his fifties, his sexual virility nagging at him. He is having an affair with twenty year old Jane. His wife, Clare fixes up a way of dealing with the situation. Jane has a boy friend, Nick. The cross antics are seen separately and simultaneously.
Newbury Musical Theatre Society invite you to Return to the Forbidden Planet from 27th to 29th October at Trinity School. Blast off on a routine flight and crash into the planet D'Illyria, inhabited by a sinister scientist, Dr Prospero; his delightful daughter Miranda; Ariel, a faithful robot; and an uncontrollable monster, the product of Prospero's Id.
After years apart, two families come together to rediscover their lost friendship. As they try to move forward they are plunged into a terrifying encounter with the past. Set against the economic crisis of the 1930s, it is a chilling tale of grief, denial and suspense. Compton Players' Bracken Moor is on from 9th to 12th November.
TADS' panto is The Doctor Saves Christmas in Tilehurst on 9th and 10th December. The Evil Destroyer, with the aid of his Dalek, tries to stop Father Christmas from leaving Planet Presents hoping the Doctor will come to the rescue so he can overthrow him and become Ruler of the World... hopefully Christmas will be saved.
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