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. Posters of forthcoming productions are here.
In the spotlight
Have you booked your Winterval show yet?
Yes, OK, I know. But what can you call them? They're not all pantos, and they're not all Christmas shows - some are in November, some in January. Whatever you want to call them, you'd better get a move on as the Watermill's The Borrowers has started. Apart from that, there's The Golden Goose, Jack and the Beanstalk (three times), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Robin Hood (twice), Beauty and the Beast (twice), The Wind in the Willows, A Christmas Carol, Aladdin, A New Coat for Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, Puss in Boots, Amongst the Stars, Peter Pan (twice), Santa in Love, Snow White, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood Goes Out West. Get booking.
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
Basingstoke Amateur Operatic Society need three males, aged around 20, to play the roles of Motel, Perchik and Fyedka, plus male and female ensemble members for their March production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Haymarket.
The York Nativity Play is back at Aldermaston Church for the 61st year on the 4th (dress rehearsal / performance) and 7th to 10th December. The Nativity Play is taken from 8 individual plays in the 14th Century medieval York Mystery Cycle, one of the earliest if not the earliest transcribed play scripts in the English language. The 8 plays make up the story of the first Christmas, from the Annunciation to the Purification. E. Martin-Browne carefully edited the version making it suitable for performance in the quiet and meditative space of a church rather than the market place. It was his enthusiasm and knowledge that was instrumental in bringing about a revival of the whole Mystery Play Cycle, in York, for the 1951 Festival of Britain. In this play the dialogue is interspersed with period choral music originally chosen by Reverend Stanley Young. It is sung acapella (unaccompanied) from high up in the bell ringing chamber of the church. It is mostly anonymous but three pieces are by notable composers William Byrd, Johann Eccard and Michael Praetorius. TICKETS ARE FREE. Please request by email to the Box Office: . There is an exit collection for The Children's Society and for the church restoration fund.
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.
|16 Nov||Review of Kennet Opera's The Marriage of Figaro ("blend of voices in the ensemble pieces was a highlight... Camilla Foster-Mitchell was an irresistible Susanna" - NWN).|
|15 Nov||Didcot Phoenix's panto from 19th to 20th January is Red Riding Hood Goes Out West.|
|14 Nov||Basingstoke Amateur Operatic Society need three males, aged around 20, to play the roles of Motel, Perchik and Fyedka, plus male and female ensemble members for their March production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Haymarket.|
|11 Nov||Sinodun Players are back in action at the re-roofed Corn Exchange, Wallingford, with their panto Cinderella from 12th to 27th January.|
|8 Nov||Review of NMTS's Hollywood the Musical ("an extremely brave and ambitious production... a bright and entertaining work" - NWN).|
|5 Nov||New season at The Watermill, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Jerusalem.|
|5 Nov||More reviews of Under Milk Wood ("a treat... Alistair McGowan does a sterling job" - The Telegraph (3 stars); "using subtle movements and minimal props, each of the actors morphs roles in the space of a breath" - The Observer (4 stars)).|
|29 Oct||Basingstoke Amateur Operatic Society are auditioning for their next production of Fiddler on the Roof on Sunday 5th November.|
|29 Oct||Review of Mortimer Dramatic Society's Keeping Down With the Joneses ("some very funny lines and some accomplished performances" - Newbury Theatre).|
|27 Oct||Reviews of the Watermill's Under Milk Wood ("McGowan is wonderful... all five [other actors] were impressively good" - Newbury Theatre; "imaginative production... the Watermill, with its bucolic, intimate space, makes an ideal setting" - The Times (3 stars)).|
|26 Oct||New Era Players' next production between 29th November and 9th December in Wash Common is a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol by John Mortimer.|
|26 Oct||Boundary Players' next production is Vintage Hitchcock from 15th to 18th November in Tadley, a live Radio Show by Joe Landry.|
|26 Oct||Review of Compton Players' Richard III ("Peter Watt gave a very fine performance in a long and difficult part... a smooth, well-acted and skilfully-directed performance" - NWN; "intelligent, insightful and enthralling" - NODA).|
|18 Oct||Review of Nomads' Thoroughly Modern Millie ("orchestra [was] always a delight to listen to... it was jolly... not one of Nomads' finest" - NWN).|
|18 Oct||Review of The Mill at Sonning's Perfect Wedding ("a very funny, fast-moving farce... a thoroughly entertaining two hours of theatre" - NWN).|
|18 Oct||There are free drama workshops for children on Wednesday 25th October at Newbury Library.|
WSMC are touring their production of 60 Years of Number One Songs to Grove, Drayton and Hagbourne between 17th and 25th November. If you loved the charts as a child and remember listening to the countdown then no matter what age you are now you’ll love WSMC’s next concert, which celebrates number ones through the ages.
We have searched long and hard to find something as fun and entertaining as last year's sell-out production of Cinderella and we believe The Golden Goose is it! We are Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group and the show is on from 23rd to 25th November. It's suitable for adults and children of all ages and is sure to brighten up those dark November evenings.
Loddon Players' next production is the Murder Mystery A Recipe for Murder from 24th to 25th November. Clint Plumb has gathered his loyal customers and a number of special guests to announce the exciting plans for a new extension to the Village Hall, but what he reveals is not quite what everyone expected and tempers fly!
AmEgos' next production from 29th November to 2nd December in Wantage is Spamalot, 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.
A Christmas Carol is New Era Players' production between 29th November and 9th December in Wash Common. This is an exciting new adaptation of the story by John Mortimer. It weaves together song, mime, and choral narrative on a stage which is teeming with Dickensian life. It is Christmas Eve. Ebenezer Scrooge is in his counting house...
Hook Players' panto is Aladdin on 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th December. Marvel at the exotic locations! Tremble at the dangers in which Aladdin finds himself. Laugh with the slapstick! Boo the villain Abanazer! Panto has something for everyone: humour, spectacle, goodies v baddies, music, magic and a few surprises along the way. Let yourselves go in the community singing.
TADS' panto from 8th to 9th December in Tilehurst is a traditional Pantomime with Dame Trott and her sons, Jack and Simple Simon with Daisy the Cow. Jack’s in love with the Squire’s daughter, Jill but has no prospects. The Giant's plans to capture the children are thwarted with the aid of Fairy Cake. Snott and Bogie, the Drainbusters, pop in and out to keep things going.
Didcot Phoenix's panto from 19th to 20th January is Red Riding Hood Goes Out West. Red Riding Hood arrives in the Wild West town of Not Very Big Boulder to save Grandma from the outlaw, Bad Bart, and his incompetent sidekick, Brains. Add in the Indian brave Big Bad Wolf and squaws Maxihaha and Minihaha - can the Lone Ranger save the day?
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