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 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Special events

Morris dancing

The Kennet Morris Men are in the area.
29th June 20:00: Henley-on-Thames - Market Place
1st July from 11:00: Reading - Our Diamond Jubilee Day of Dance
10th July 20:30: Reading - The Lyndhurst Arms
10th July 21:15: Reading - The Retreat
17th July 20:00: Silchester - The Calleva Arms
24th July 20:30: Shinfield - The Bell and Bottle
31st July 20:00: Caversham - The Fox and Hounds
31st July 21:00: Caversham - The Prince of Wales
14th August 20:00: Little London - The Plough
21st August 20:00: Whitchurch Hill - The Sun Inn
2nd September: Wallingford Bunkfest
2nd October 20:00: Tester evening - learn how to dance Morris at St Mary's Church Hall, Church Lane, Shinfield

Greenham: War and Peace

Greenham: War and Peace is a large scale outdoor community event on the Common on 8th and 9th September 2017. It’s being held to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Greenham Common Trust and will cover the incredible history of the common over the last hundred years. The event is run by Greenham Common Trust, organised by a professional production company working with The Watermill Theatre and The Corn Exchange, Newbury. It will be filmed by the BBC and featured on South Today and BBC Radio Berkshire, and we anticipate an audience of several thousand each night.

Open air productions 2017

The Wizard of Oz, 20th to 21st May, 18:00 at the Hawk Conservancy, Andover
Join farm girl Dorothy on her adventures through the magical Kingdom of Oz. With the help of her dog Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the cowardly Lion, can the Wizard of Oz help her or will the Wicked Witch of the West get hold of her special silver shoes?

Storming Utopia, 24th June, 20:00 at Magdalen College School Rose Garden
A theatrical experiment in practical utopianism, and a story about life on an island – a ‘mash-up’ of themes and stories from Shakespeare’s Tempest, More’s Utopia, and the political geography of post-Brexit Oxford. This new inter-generational show, made in partnership between Oxford University’s TORCH and Pegasus Theatre, brings alive the conflicts, tensions, and hopes that animate the lives, and loves, of our diverse East Oxford community today.

In at the Deep End, 25th June, 17:30 at Forbury Gardens, Reading
15th July, 19:30 at Britchcombe Farm, Uffington, Faringdon
25th July, 19:30 at The Rowbarge, Woolhampton
29th July, 19:30 at The Riverside Tea Garden, Sonning Lock
1st August, 20:00 at Benson Marina, Benson
9th August, 19:30 at Wolvercote Green, Wolvercote, Oxford
Skipwick RNLI is all at sea. Crew members are hard to come by and Coxswain Darren’s management style isn’t helping. So when seventeen year old Shannon volunteers, it’s all hands on deck – particularly for Darren’s teenage son, Billy. Can the station survive in this ‘me first’ age? Will eccentric fundraiser Hazel’s ideas ever turn a profit? And can Darren and Billy chart the choppy emotional waters closer to home? With marvellous maritime music and fathoms of fun, join Mikron Theatre Co as we dive into two hundred years of saving lives at sea!

Much Ado About Nothing, 29th June to 19th August at Wadham College, Oxford
Messina, 1943. War is raging… the Italian Resistance defend their lands… and their hearts. The Oxford Shakespeare Company makes a welcome return to Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, which they produced back in 2002, and is a natural successor to last year’s wondrous Love’s Labour’s Lost. Will Beatrice and Benedick ever fall in love? Will Claudio and Hero ever marry? Resisting love though is only part of their troubles; Don John and his gang of early Mafiosi, driven by greed and jealousy, seek to undermine the sanctity of blood and the bonds of family. Meanwhile, the well-meaning antics of the Watch cause an altogether more comic misrule... OSC welcomes back a number of past actors, who join Director Nicholas Green and Composer Nicholas Lloyd Webber on their third collaboration following the successes of last year and 2015’s Twelfth Night. For his fourteenth OSC production Costume Designer Adrian Lillie is exploring the fading romantic glamour of a world on the brink of change.

Mansfield Park and Ride, 30th June to 2nd July at The Walled Garden, Down Grange, Basingstoke
A hilarious and affectionate ode to stereotypical interpretations of Jane Austen’s work in TV, cinema and theatre, written by award-winning playwright Brendan Murray, directed by Mary Swan and performed by Proteus Theatre.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4th to 6th July at Magdalen College School Field, Oxford
By William Shakespeare. Duke Theseus is due to marry Queen Hippolyta in four days’ time. Entertainment is required. Prize money is at stake. An angry father compels a young couple to flee Athens for the neighbouring woods, where the fairy world is gathered. Passion, slapstick, dreams and Shakespearean comedy all ensue in a gorgeous outdoor setting on the banks of the Cherwell.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, 5th July to 5th August, in central Oxford
Back by popular demand, last year’s anarchic adventure of Shakespeare’s comedy is taking to the streets of Oxford. This version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is part play, part quest, part treasure hunt and just a little bit Crystal Maze! Meet in groups of 10 at a secret location, follow the clues and watch out for fairies… A Creation production.

The Importance of Being Earnest, 6th to 8th July at Shaw House Outdoor Theatre, Newbury
Oscar Wilde's trivial comedy written for serious people. A New Era production.

The Wind in the Willows, 12th to 22nd July, at Caversham Court Gardens
Mole, Toad, Ratty and Badger are brought to life as they tell the tale of the events at Toad Hall in this playful adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book, perfectly suited to the beautiful and enchanting setting of Caversham Court Gardens. Why not bring a picnic and some fizz to one of the area's favourite annual events, presented by Reading's longest-running open-air theatre production? With a laid back atmosphere in one of the area's prettiest locations by Grahame's beloved Thames, The Wind in the Willows will be enjoyed by the whole family. A Progress Theatre production.

Alice, 15th July to 19th August at University Parks, Oxford.
We’ll be building our very own Wonderland in the beautiful University Parks this summer, and letting loose the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and Queen of Hearts. The whole family can fall down the rabbit hole with plenty of helpings of magic, music, puppetry and acrobatics as we join Alice on her journey towards adulthood. Seating is unreserved so come early, bring a picnic and enjoy a summer afternoon in the park before the adventure unfolds in our Big Top. It’s a weatherproof show so don’t worry about rain – it’s always dry in Wonderland! A Creation production.

Love's Labour's Lost, 18th to 29th July at Trinity College Gardens, Oxford
Set in the Oxford of 1895, Oxford Theatre Guild's witty new production of Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy captures the perfect English Summer. Croquet on the lawn, Cricket in the Parks, lazy afternoons beside the river and romantic intrigues everywhere you turn. This timeless tale of students falling in and out love is one that will delight audiences of all ages.

Great Expectations, 19th to 22nd July
This year’s summer production by Blewbury Players is an adaptation by Julia Golding of one of Dickens’s best known and loved novels.

Best Foot Forward, 19th July, 19:30 at the Eyot Centre, Henley-on Thames
27th July at The Rowbarge, Woolhampton
30th July, 15:00 at Goring Lock
1st August, 15:30 at Benson Marina, Benson
A hike through the history of hostelling. Something’s afoot at Pearling Manor and it isn’t just the walkers. The beautiful hostel, rich in YHA history, is lovely but falling apart. External forces are out to grab and turn it into a golf club. Cue Connie, first ever warden, with a heart as big as her rucksack. She takes us on a journey through the YHA’s past in the hope of securing its future. Through thickets and thin we’ve managed to keep Our promise of somewhere cheap to sleep If that’s threatened we must defend it Looking to the past in order to transcend it With harmonies, hills and humour, join Mikron Theatre Co on a hike through the history of hostelling.

Twelfth Night, 25th July to 3rd August at Old Schools Quadrangle, Bodleian Library, Oxford
Set in the 1920s with Europe reeling in the wake of war, Shakespeare’s tale of mistaken identity, mischievous mishaps and misplaced love is accompanied by unforgettable jazz music inspired by the likes of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Brought to life by an ensemble of actor-musicians, this dazzling production balances comedy, romance and live music, showcasing The Watermill’s critically acclaimed bold and playful style in the glorious, historic setting of the Bodleian Quad. Tickets from Oxford Playhouse Box Office.

All at Sea!, 26th to 30th July at Welford Park
Continuing to follow the extraordinary life and times of local Charlotte Peake (poet, mystic and free thinker), the Boxford Masques plunge into the 1920's; the world of jazz, glamour, women's emancipation and unprecedented social and political change. The residents of Welford Park, with some familiar staff and friends, all embark on a sea voyage in search of broader horizons. Themes of diaspora and shipwreck pre shadow our own age as our brave voyagers struggle to come to terms with leaving home and finding new homes in unexpected places. The Queen Anne house of Welford Park itself will become our ocean liner and the audience co-passengers on this exciting, spectacular and touching musical romp across the stormy waves of a new age!

The Importance of Being Earnest, 11th to 13th August, 19:00 at Britchcombe Farm, Uffington
AmEgos Theatre are thrilled to present this Oscar Wilde classic. When Algernon discovers that his friend, Ernest, has created a fictional brother for whenever he needs a reason to escape dull country life, Algernon poses as the brother, resulting in ever increasing confusion. This comedy of love, manners and deliberately mistaken identities will always delight audiences.

The Comedy of Errors, 12th August, 19:00 at The Vyne, Basingstoke
By William Shakespeare. This fantastical comedy follows two pairs of identical twins, Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus, and their servants, both named Dromio. When they were babies, the twins and their parents were separated in a shipwreck; now, years later, as one half of the twins search for the other they unwittingly find themselves in the same city on the same day. Performed by The Lord Chamberlain's Men.

Crossing Lines, 12th August, 21:30 at Goldwell Park, Newbury
Action theatre PAN.OPTIKUM, one of Europe’s most spectacular outdoor performance companies, join together with more than 30 young people from nine European countries to make a performance of giant proportions that combines dance, rap, performance, video projection and huge set. Free, no booking required.

The Wind in the Willows, 14th August, 18:00 at Shaw House Outdoor Theatre, Newbury
Pack your picnics and join the boat-loving Ratty, the sensible yet curious Mole, wise old Badger and the fantastically irrepressible Toad as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime culminating in a colourful battle with the sly weasel to save Toad Hall! Eye-catching costumes, toe-tapping music and larger than life characters promise to capture the imagination of the youngest of audience members whilst the sheer nostalgic charm of this beloved story is guaranteed to take older generations on a glorious trip down the riverbank onto memory lane. The perfect summer holiday treat for all the family! Performed by Immersion Theatre.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, 14th August, 18:00 at Bucklebury Farm Park, Newbury
The Walking Theatre Company’s adaptation of the Shakespeare classic. A Father plans a wedding for his daughter, and love is in the air… or is it? The bride-to-be loves another man, and the best Maid loves the Groom! While Oberon, King of the Faeries, has lost the love of his Queen, mortal and faerie worlds collide, mayhem, magic and fun commence! Join us for a ‘Hen Party’ like no other! Incorporates Gaelic.

Newbury Yarns, 19th August, 11:00 and 15:00 at Newbury Clock Tower
The Watermill Theatre brings drama, music and storytelling to the town centre with Newbury Yarns, a free promenade theatre event suitable for families. Beginning at the Clock Tower and moving through the town to finish at the Marketplace, the performance will blend drama, comedy, storytelling, traditional folk music and brand-new songs, to bring local history vividly to life. From Jack of Newbury’s daring exploits to the Combe Gibbet Executions and the Civil War witch, Newbury Yarns reimagines local legends and historical events, often in the very spot where they happened. Told from the perspective of two ghostly actors from the now-demolished Pelican Lane Theatre, each tale stands alone, and audience members can join at any point. For those who follow the complete journey however, a tale emerges in which the mystery behind Newbury’s lost theatre is revealed. Newbury Yarns is a free event and no pre-booking is required.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, 19th August, 17:45 at The Vyne, Basingstoke
By William Shakespeare. An introduction to works of The Bard, you'll be whisked away to the land of the fairies in this production for children. Midsummer night. An enchanted forest. Puck and his musical fairy band tell a tale of lovers, mechanicals, and magical mayhem. The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons present their innovative and hilarious open-air version of Shakespeare's timeless comedy - told, as ever, in their own distinctive and anarchic style.

Pride and Prejudice, 20th August, 18:00 at Basing House
Take a step back in time with Chapterhouse Theatre Company to meet Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen's most loveable heroine. When Elizabeth meets the rude and abrupt Mr Darcy, she loathes him at first sight. But is there more to him than meets the eye? Brought to life by award winning writer Laura Tuner, this brand-new adaptation celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and promises to be the most splendid evening of the summer. A Chapterhouse Theatre Company Production.

StockFest

Two-week village festival at Stockcross in Berkshire. Tickets and details from www.stockfest.co.uk. These are the theatre-related events.

1791: Mozart's last year, 17th August, 19:30 at The Sutton Hall, Church Road, Stockcross RG20 8LN
Mozart died aged 35 in December 1791 and Kennet Opera's 'celebration in song and words' is mostly opera and choral works from his final year, when his creativity was as astonishing as ever. The show won't just be music – some items will be staged and acted. And a lively commentary will come from Emanuel Schikaneder (1751 – 1812), the actor-manager, singer and composer, an associate of Mozart. Seating is at tables, so bring along your own drinks and make believe you’re at a Vienna cafe!