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
See What's on for a list of everything.
News and special events
Outdoor theatre project for older people.
West Berkshire residents over the age of 65 have the unique opportunity to take part in an outdoor show, The Intergalactic Caravan, which will tour to a festival later this summer. Associate artist at the Corn Exchange Newbury and 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space, Kristoffer Huball is offering a unique opportunity for those aged 65 plus to collaborate with him on an exciting new piece of outdoor theatre, The Intergalactic Caravan. Working together at 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space on Greenham Business Park, the participants will create a piece of original street clowning which will be previewed in Newbury, followed by a small tour to one of the UK's largest outdoor performing arts festivals. To find out more information come along to the launch event at the Corn Exchange Newbury on Wednesday 22 March at 14:00 where you will be invited to learn some more about Kristoffer’s work, clowning and the project itself. More details here.
The Corn Exchange, Wallingford is currently raising funds for a new roof - the existing roof has been there for 160 years and is beginning to leak badly when it rains. The overall cost is £500,000 and they have to raise £350,000 (from grants, loans, sponsorship and fundraising events). The work is taking place in the summer and the theatre/cinema will be closed from June till the autumn.
Mikron Theatre Co are back again this summer with shows at The Rowbarge, Woolhampton; Forbury Gardens, Reading; and The Riverside Tea Garden at Sonning Lock. The shows are Best Foot Forward, a hike through the history of hostelling, and In at the Deep End, the history of the RNLI. Rowbarge 25th and 27th July, Forbury 25th July, Sonning 29th July.
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.
|19 Mar||This year's HADCAF (Hungerford And District Community Arts Festival) includes four plays and one illustrated talk (about War Horse) between 2nd and 16th July.|
|17 Mar||Loddon Players' Out of Sight... Out of Murder is from 27th to 29th April.|
|13 Mar||Kennet Opera's spring presentation is 1791: Mozart's last year, a celebration in song and words on 5th April at St Mary's Church, Speen.|
|10 Mar||Over 65s have the unique opportunity to take part in an outdoor show, The Intergalactic Caravan, which will tour to a festival later this summer. The launch event is at the Corn Exchange, Newbury on 22nd March.|
|7 Mar||Review of the Watermill's Faust x2 ("it’s certainly gripping with strong performances from the three actors" - Newbury Theatre).|
|7 Mar||Faringdon Dramatic Society's next production is the comedy My Friend, Miss Flint from 10th to 13th May.|
|3 Mar||WSMC are touring their production of Magical Musicals between 12th and 20th May to Grove, East Hagbourne and Steventon.|
|1 Mar||Rare Productions Youth Theatre Group are holding open auditions in Newbury on Monday 6th March and Sunday 12th March for their June production of the musical Hairspray at the Corn Exchange, Newbury. More information from the Corn Exchange or 01767 681049.|
|1 Mar||Review of KATS' West End Showstoppers ("superb choreography throughout gave an outstanding polish to the show and the chorus gave of their very best... an excellent entertainment" - NWN).|
|1 Mar||Review of the Community of Hungerford Theatre Company's Mack and Mabel ("very much an ensemble production from a large hard-working cast who energetically embraced the characters with confidence... the whole company deserved the audience's enthusiastic applause" - NWN).|
|27 Feb||There's a free taster session and workshop for this year's Boxford Masques on Saturday afternoon, 4th March at Newbury Museum.|
|23 Feb||Kingston Bagpuize Drama Group's next production from 27th to 29th April is An Evening of Award Winning Comedy and Drama, with a selection of one-act plays.|
|22 Feb||Review of New Era Players' Sneaking into the Theatre ("highly-enjoyable, funny and poignant play" - NWN).|
|22 Feb||Review of Boundary Players' The Titfield Thunderbolt ("huge fun... yet another excellent show by Boundary Players" - NWN).|
|21 Feb||BATS Next Generation would love you to go and see Avenue Q at the Haymarket Basingstoke from 23rd to 25th February.|
Next at the Watermill is Faust x2 from 2nd to 25th March - the world premiere of a version with music of Goethe's dramatic poem, adapted by and starring Ian McDiarmid. A powerful story of lust, sacrifice and regret, Faust x2 is a thrilling, atmospheric and moving re-telling of the immortal legend of Faust.
New Era's next production from 15th to 25th March in Wash Common is The Kitchen Sink by Tom Wells. Set in a run-down northern seaside town it follows the ups and downs of a family during the course of one year. Things aren’t going to plan and each character has issues to face and problems to resolve. Amid the dreams and dramas of family life something has to give!
TADS' next production is The Uninvited from 24th to 25th March. A brother and sister purchase Cliff End at a suspiciously low price. The reason is soon apparent. Fifteen years earlier a murder may or may not have occurred by the gnarled tree that can be viewed from the parlour window. They begin to sense the evil spirit that still inhabits the house.
Sinodun Players' spring production at Wallingford is the classic cricketing comedy Outside Edge by Richard Harris from 29th March to 1st April. It’s a Saturday afternoon in summer and an important local cricket match is underway. But while the team captain is trying to keep his men focused on the game, there’s slow-burning meltdown among their wives and girlfriends.
AmEgos' next production from 5th to 8th April in Wantage is Sondheim's award-winning, macabre musical Sweeney Todd. The victim of an injustice that robbed him of his wife and child, Sweeney Todd exerts a terrible revenge on society, disposing of his customers in a truly gruesome way, aided and abetted by his landlady, Mrs Lovett.
Peter Knight, a mystery writer, is grinding out a murder story in a Gothic mansion in Vermont when it is hit by lightning. His characters seem to come to life and create the perfect murder plot for him. Mayhem ensues as the stunned author struggles to regain control of his own creations. Loddon Players' Out of Sight... Out of Murder is from 27th to 29th April.
WSMC are touring their production of Magical Musicals between 12th and 20th May to Grove, East Hagbourne and Steventon, featuring hits from Grease, Chicago, The Sound of Music and Blood Brothers plus family favourites like The Jungle Book and The Little Mermaid and more modern shows including The Commitments, American Idiot and Rock of Ages.
If you want your group's poster to be on the front page, then email it to the