Much Ado About Nothing, 7th to 8th July 2017
This Shakespearean comedy tells the story of two pairs- Claudio and Hero who are soon to be wed, and Benedick and Beatrice who are more likely to exchange witty jibes than words of affection. While Bendedick and Beatrice are tricked into love by their friends, Claudio and Hero fall victim to the scheming of a jealous prince.
Royal British Legion, Hungerford
Tickets from our web site.
Review of Mack and Mabel
15th to 18th February 2017.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Town Show takes off to Tinsel Town
Mack and Mabel goes back to the silent movie era
Community of Hungerford Theatre Company, Mack & Mabel, at John O'Gaunt School, Hungerford, from Wednesday, February 15 to Saturday, February 18
The Community of Hungerford Theatre Company is in every sense a true 'community', bringing together townsfolk from the age of eight to senior citizens to produce the annual Town Show. There are no auditions and a large cast joins forces with a vast army of backstage crew and helpers to successfully create this enjoyable production.
It's a challenging undertaking and for this, their 38th show, they performed Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman's 1974 musical Mack and Mabel.
This poignant love story is based on the true-life romance between silent film director Mack Sennett and his rising starlet Mabel Normand.
It is told in flashback from Mack's viewpoint, with a sterling performance by Neil Padgen in the title role, who seldom left the stage and performed with brio.
Charlotte Shanahan was splendid as the likeable young delicatessen worker Mabel Normand, catapulted to stardom and appearing in Mack's highly successful "two reelers".
These classic silent films featured dashing heroes, dastardly villains, beautiful bathing belles and the comic Keystone Cops.
Following this success, the company moved to larger studios in Los Angeles and, while on the train journey, Mabel falls in love with Mack – but he doesn't reciprocate, as he sings I Won't Send Roses.
The dawn of the 'talkies' is now with us, but Mack still wants to keep his style of comedy on the silver screen, although Mabel is becoming more frustrated with his directing technique of counting – "One: pick up plate, two: walk across the floor, three: smash plate on actor's face" – which is hilariously shown in a great slapstick scene and song I Want to Make the World Laugh. She desperately wants to perform in more serious drama and is seduced by a rival filmmaker, William Desmond Taylor (Terry Brooks), with some disastrous consequences.
This was very much an ensemble production from a large hard-working cast (too many to name individually), who energetically embraced the characters with confidence.
There was much to enjoy in this entertaining musical, including a Keystone Cops chase, an impressive tap dance scene with the song Tap Your Troubles Away assuredly led by Lottie Ames (Julie Gower).
The ending is truly sad, as Mabel falls from favour and resorts to alcohol and drugs, and Mack sings I Promise You a Happy Ending.
David Clayton skilfully directed this ambitious production, with the orchestra conducted by Jo Pollin, and the whole company deserved the audience's enthusiastic applause.
Mack and Mabel, 15th to 18th February 2017
Love Triangle 2, 1st October and 8th October 2016. See the review in the archive.
Goodnight Mister Tom, 17th to 20th February 2016. See the review in the archive.
Love Triangle, 24th October to 14th November 2015. See the review in the archive.
Spring and Port Wine, 11th to 12th June 2015. See the review in the archive.
Whistle Down the Wind, 18th to 21st February 2015. See the review in the archive.
Whistle Down the Wind, 5th to 6th December 2014
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 31st July to 2nd August 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Wizard of Oz, 19th to 22nd February 2014. See the review in the archive.
Davy, 19th to 20th July 2013
Up Pompeii, 20th to 22nd June 2013
The Labyrinth, 16th to 17th May 2013
Fiddler on the Roof, 20th to 23rd February 2013. See the review in the archive.
Bedroom Farce, 12th to 14th July 2012
Brigadoon, 15th to 18th February 2012. See the review in the Archive.
The Likes of Us, 23rd to 26th February 2011. See the review in the Archive.
The Dracula Rock Show, 10th July 2010 - a Hungerford Children’s Theatre production
The Cleaners, 10th to 11th June 2010 - a Hungerford Youth Theatre production
Grimm Tales, 20th March 2010 - a Hungerford Young Performers production
Carousel, 17th to 20th February 2010. See the review in the Archive.
A Cream Cracker Under the Settee, A Dog's Life, Still Waters, 20th to 25th July 2009, in HADCAF
Robin Hood and Friends, 27th June 2009
The Love Nest, 28th to 30th May 2009
The Fate of King Minos, 28th March 2009
The King and I, 18th to 21st February 2009. See the review in the Archive.
Down at the Old Bull & Bush, 7th to 8th July 2008
Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs, 5th July 2008
Love Begins at Fifty, 6th to 7th June 2008. See the review in the Archive.
Blitz!, 20th to 23rd February 2008. See the review in the Archive.
Gone With The Books, 21st to 22nd September 2007. See the review in the Archive.
Romeo and Juliet, 7th July 2007 - a Hungerford Children’s Theatre production
Two Short Socks, 6th July 2007 - a Hungerford Youth Theatre production
Hello Dolly, 14th to 17th February 2007. See the review in the Archive.
Flower Drum Song, 15th to 18th February 2006. See the review in the Archive.
Scheherazade, Tales of Arabian Nights, 8th July 2006
Anon, 30th June 2006, at HADCAF. See the review in the Archive.
The Gut Girls, 6th to 7th June 2005
Annie Get Your Gun, 16th to 19th February 2005. See the review in the Archive.
The Piper, Easter 2005 - a Hungerford Young Performers production. See the review in the archive.