Guide to Live and Online Theatre

Micron Theatre Company on tour

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26th June to 3rd July

Hungerford Summer Festival has several theatre events at the Croft Field Centre Marquee.
Where Is Mrs Christie?, 5th July, 19:30. Agatha Christie was one of the greatest thriller writers of all time. In 1926 she was at the centre of a mystery as perplexing as any of her fiction which sparked one of the most extensive police hunts in history when she was missing, presumed dead, for eleven days. When she was eventually found in the Swan Hydro Hotel in Harrogate she claimed she was suffering from amnesia and remembered nothing. Neither the press nor the police believed her…
Kennet Opera Presents
, 7th July, 19:30. Hungerford festival regulars Kennet Opera are back in town with a concert stuffed with operatic and choral delights. A huge spectrum of song with selections from the Creation to Die Fledermaus, by way of Handel, Offenbach, Mozart, Verdi, Gilbert and Sullivan and many more. Summer fruits for everyone.
Bouncers
, 10th July, 19:30. Set in 1984, Bouncers tells the story of a northern nightclub and the colourful characters that inhabit its dance floor. It’s Friday night and the weekend’s here. Maureen and the girls are getting their hair done, Barry and the lads are getting a few drinks in down the pub and Ralph, Les, Judd and Lucky Eric are manning the doors at the town’s hottest nightspot, Mr Cinders. Full of sharp one-liners, 80s classics and a host of extraordinary characters – all played by just 4 incredible actors, Bouncers is Godber’s tour de force.

Mikron Theatre Company are back in our area in July with their canal boat productions. This year their two productions are Raising Agents, a story about an attempt to take over a WI branch, and Red Sky at Night, about a woman trying to follow in her father’s footsteps as a TV weatherman.
They’re coming to the Rowbarge at Woolhampton on 20th (RA) and 26th (RS), Minall near Marlborough on 22nd (RS), Goring Lock on 28th (RS) and 29th (RA).

Before the Watermill’s Camp Albion opens on 6th July, they’re taking it around the villages (for open-air performances). It’s coming to Welford Park on 1st July.

Professional theatre locally
Watermill: Bleak Expectations (27th May to 2nd July). A brand new stage adaptation based on ‘the gloriously daft’ BBC Radio 4 series by Mark Evans. See the reviews here.
Camp Albion (6th to 17th July). Newbury, 1996. Nine miles of ancient woodland under threat, and the local community bitterly divided over the proposed route of the new bypass. A new play with music, Camp Albion explores the heroism, humour and heated debate of this extraordinary moment in the town’s history.
Whistle Down the Wind (22nd July to 10th September). America, 1959. Change is in the air. The post war boom is thriving, the civil rights movement is growing and the golden age of television has begun. But, on a farm in rural Louisiana three children are hoping for a miracle. A cast of actor-musicians bring to life Andrew Lloyd Webber’s emotive score in this thrilling musical.
Newbury Corn Exchange: Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors: (2nd to 3rd July). We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! So it’s time to prepare yourselves for Terrible Tudors, live on stage.
Mill at Sonning: Barefoot in the Park (30th June to 20th August). By Neil Simon. Newlyweds Corie and Paul Bratter are excited to begin their life together in their new apartment in Manhattan. It may be small and a six-flight climb, the heating may be busted and snow may be falling through the skylight, but nothing can quash their newlywed bliss.
The Walking Theatre Company are coming to Ogbourne Maizey near Marlborough on 15th July with their open air interactive murder mystery of An Inconvenient Wedding in aid of Youth Adventure Trust. It’s at 19:30 (whatever the weather!) and you’re invited to bring your own chairs and a picnic.

Amateur theatre
Sinodun Players at Wallingford: Bedroom Farce (12th to 16th July). Set in London in 1975, Ayckbourn’s comic genius bursts into life with a melee of fast paced events occurring in 3 suburban bedrooms during one evening and the following early morning. This socially observant comedy involves four couples: Delia & Ernest who have booked a restaurant to celebrate their wedding anniversary; newlyweds Malcolm and Kate are throwing a house warming party and have invited many of their friends including Nick & Jan and the neurotic Trevor & Susannah, whose selfish obsession with their own problems has a seismic impact on everyone else. What could possibly go wrong? Bedroom Farce pulls back the sheets to expose an hilariously bleak view of middle-class relationships as the four couples descend into free fall with the inevitable chaos, illustrating the farcical nature of marriage; the play explores the habits, routines and short cuts we create – some playful, some decidedly passive aggressive!
Newbury Dramatic Society: Sleeping Beauty (in the Croft Hall, Hungerford on 3rd July). This ‘summer pantomime’ has all the traditional features, plus some new twists bringing a few extra characters into the action. In the Land of Nod, King Nun the Wiser and Queen Nell celebrate the birth of their daughter Princess Crystal, joined by a retinue of Good Fairies, their loyal butler Rip Van Winkle and their intellectually challenged Guards. But there is one villainous Fairy out to spoil their happiness. So heroic Prince Valiant must take a trip to the Land of Time to try and save the day. He is helped by some characters from other stories, including a famous secret agent. And even then, fresh perils abound. Will goodness and romance win in the end? We’re not telling. But after all, it is a pantomime.
Blewbury Players: Much Ado About Nothing (20th to 23rd July). Their annual open-air event.
Progress Theatre Company: Great Expectations (20th to 30th July) in the Abbey Ruins, Reading. It’s a new, faithful, and fast-paced adaptation for the stage of Charles Dickens’ classic novel. As the sun sets over the ruins of Reading Abbey, see how orphan Pip comes into his Great Expectations. His journey from boy to man is packed with surprises and setbacks. Join Pip, fearsome Magwitch, haughty Estella, eccentric Miss Havisham, and a cast of memorable characters for a timeless tale of mystery, humour and redemption.

Online productions

For online offerings from the National Theatre and the RSC, among others, see the Newbury Theatre web site.

Theatre at the Cinema

On 21st July, you can see Jodie Comer’s first theatre role in Prima Facie, an NT Live showing from the Harold Pinter theatre in the West End.
Tessa is a young, brilliant barrister. She has worked her way up from working class origins to be at the top of her game; defending; cross examining and winning. An unexpected event forces her to confront the lines where the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof and morals diverge.
Prima Facie takes us to the heart of where emotion and experience collide with the rules of the game.

More amateur groups are dipping their toes back in the water. You can see information about productions just outside our area (Reading-ish, Henley-ish, Basingstoke-ish) at newburytheatre.co.uk

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One Response

  1. Having now seen Leopoldstadt twice in person, I would strongly recommend that you watch it, and if possible watch it in the theatre, While I am sure that you will appreciate the streamed version, you will only get the full impact watching it in person.

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Covering: Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage, Lambourn, Compton, Swindon & Theale