Hexagon - 21 South Street - Concert Hall, Reading
0118 960 6060, Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm. Directions to the Hexagon and maps showing the three
The Hexagon, Queens Walk, Reading RG1 7UA.
21 South Street, Reading RG1 4QU.
The Concert Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading.
Performances are at the Hexagon unless another venue is given.
Legally Blonde, 19th to 22nd April at The Hexagon
Follow the ups and downs of Elle Woods as she is dumped by her boyfriend, but follows him to Harvard Law School where she discovers her true potential. A Reading Operatic Society production.
Happy Hour, 29th April, 20:00 at Macdevitts South Street
A dark comedy… One man’s odyssey, to save his son and his own sanity, from the sinister forces he’s exposed them both to. Bernie wants his pub to be “child friendly”, a party atmosphere, a sort of… Santa’s Grotto, with himself as Father Christmas. But he’s so busy making his dream come true, that his own ten year-old son, Teddy, doesn’t get a look in. Blind to his son’s need for love, his wife’s need for moderation and his best friend’s need for honesty, Bernie sails his prized ship, The Toby, directly and decisively, onto the rocks.
Home, 3rd May at South Street
A tale of unexpected friendship. Exploring a new and unknown world, Home immerses audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) in a multi-sensory story of discovery. Home is the latest bold and exciting production from Frozen Light. The world is not how they remember it. Where are they now and where is their home? Scarlet and Olive must learn how to survive and create a future together in an environment that is full of surprises. Will the stars shine on this unexpected friendship? And how will they face the challenges that lie ahead?
Off the Block # 6, 5th May at South Street
RBL, the company that bought you King Henry I of England, return with their annual night of four new short plays written in relay over four days. Having got their scripts on the morning of the performance, sixteen professional actors, four directors and four composers have just one day to get the shows ready for the performance that night.
Arabian Nights, 10th to 11th May at South Street
It is wedding night in the palace of King Shahrayar. By morning, the new Queen Shahrazad is to be put to death like all the young brides before her, but she has one gift that could save her - the gift of stories. Come and experience the innovative retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, from Ali Baba to the Envious Sisters.
Ventoux, 17th May at South Street
Ventoux is the most fearsome mountain encountered on the Tour de France. It is also the story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani – whose drug-fuelled race there in 2000 was the greatest cycling had ever seen. Ventoux charts the parallel lives of these champions who overcame great adversity in tandem, and the mountain that cast them in opposing directions.
The Wizard of Oz, 17th to 20th May at The Hexagon
The Sainsbury Singers invite you and your family to join us Somewhere over the Rainbow as we present the magical musical The Wizard of Oz with a creative steam-punk twist. This famous story needs little introduction as we Follow the Yellow Brick Road to The Merry Old Land of Oz. Packed full of classic songs from the original 1939 film, we travel beyond our imagination with Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow in search of the mysterious Wizard of Oz.
Elephant and Castle, 25th May, 20:00 at South Street
The first thing I said to my partner Lillian in my sleep was “I want to get in a wardrobe and take you to Elephant and Castle.” Do you tell the truth when you talk in your sleep? Does your sleep talk even make sense? And could it just be that you analyse your relationships in a way that’s more honest than you do when you’re awake? That’s the dangerous premise behind Elephant and Castle, a new, experimental show that springs from three years of recorded sleep talk. From there, it becomes tender, funny, uncomfortable and dark too, as the mutterings never quite take the form of honest coherence. But does the incoherence conceal the truth? Is there something struggling to be said? Something perhaps that is painful and potentially disastrous for this relationship? Using live music and extracts from those recordings, Elephant and Castle is a Gig Theatre show about how honest it’s possible to be and have your relationship survive.
What If I Told You, 7th June, 20:00 at South Street
Throughout Pauline Mayers' life, people have made assumptions about her based on her gender, background and race. She's defied these at every turn, tearing up the narrative that society tried to impose on her. Now, Pauline is finally ready to tell the world her story. Carefully balancing dance and theatre, What If I Told You immerses us in Pauline’s world as she invites us to pause and reconsider the stories we tell about our past.
Celebration, Florida, 9th June, 20:00 at South Street
Veering between reality and simulation, Celebration, Florida orbits around ideas of surrogacy; a stand-in to replace a person you miss, a re-creation of an experience you can’t stop thinking about, nostalgia for a place that never existed. This is a show for anyone who has ever missed anyone or anything. Greg will speak to you through two performers using pre-recorded audio and headphones. The performers will know almost nothing about the show before they walk on stage.
Ugly Chief, 22nd June, 20:00 at South Street
Mike Melody (TV antique dealer celebrity) was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Victoria was put in charge of planning the funeral her Dad would want - complete with eulogies, a congregation dressed in tangerine Blackpool FC colours and a New Orleans jazz procession. A year later the doctors realised they had misdiagnosed Mike. But they are going ahead with the funeral anyway... To make this show Victoria trained to be a funeral director. Using those experiences and a huge amount of research Ugly Chief looks at the British Funeral Industry and how we deal with death in modern society. Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true events performed by a genuine father and daughter. It's a eulogy for a living soul. It explores the taboos around death and its practicalities, and the fractious relationship with a parent whose opinions you don't always agree with.
A Murder is Announced, 27th to 29th July at The Hexagon
The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper that a murder will take place this coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock. “A murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October the thirteenth, at little Paddocks – at six-thirty p.m.” Unable to resist, the group gather at the house at the appointed time, when the lights go out and a gun is fired. Enter Miss Marple, who must unravel a complex series of relationships and events to solve the mystery of the killer...
Reviews of Snow White
10th December 2016 to 8th January 2017.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
All singing, all dancing panto
Snow White, at The Hexagon, Reading, until Sunday, January 8
According to German historian Eckhard Sander, the story of Snow White dates back to a 16th-century German countess, Margarete, who moved to Brussels, fell in love with a prince and was poisoned by her stepmother, who disapproved of the match, thereby inspiring the fairy tale by the Grimms.
The pantomime at The Hexagon this year has all the usual ingredients – Snow White (Sarah Accomando) looking bright and colourful in her various costumes, Karl Loxley as Prince Michael, smart and courtly and the two funny men, Paul Morse as Dame Dolly Mixture and Justin Fletcher as Jingles the Jester. Katie Cameron had fun as the Wicked Queen hamming it up in front of the mirror and planning Snow White's downfall very noisily indeed.
The usual set-pieces were on display, with a very messy cooking sequence that involved spraying a creamy mixture all over Jingles the Jester's face. Then there was the ghost routine, with the spirit eventually frightening two of the men off only to be scared off itself by one glance at the dame. The panto jokes were much the same as usual with many of them delivered by Dame Dolly Mixture with a Basil Brush type "boom, boom".
He did tell a rarely heard one though, about the man who painted his wife with cheese - he double glossed 'er.
As to the rest, it was a noisy, colourful, star-flashing extravaganza, with singing and dancing that delighted kids in the audience from age four to 94. Towards the end, four little children from the audience were led on stage and usually when this happens they freeze and can't move. Not so this little group, they shouted and yelled and one four-year-old gave a twirl in her sparkly skirt and yelled out her name at the top of her voice. They're getting bigger, bolder and louder, it seems, and the pantos are getting livelier and more colourful every year.
Snow White was well-presented by director Stephen Boden and choreographer Ashley Nottingham, and all the unseen backstage crew who make it all happen every year.
There is a review from Wokingham Today ("entertaining, enchanting and magical... a family-friendly show that is packed with laughs, big songs and something for all the family. From the youngest to the oldest, this is a fantastic night out that everyone will love... a snow wonder – another mega hit for The Hexagon and a real Christmas treat" - 5 stars).
For more details
see the Reading Arts web site at www.readingarts.com.