What's on: THEATRE

Performances at local theatres, theatrical events, comedy, theatre workshops.

Russell Players: 'Alarms and Excursions'

Friday 11th October
Saturday 12th October
Sunday 13th October

Evenings 7.30pm

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Swallowfield Parish Hall, Swallowfield Street, Swallowfield RG7 1QX

How to get there.

Russell Players: 'Alarms and Excursions'

The Russell Players present Alarms and Excursions by Michael Frayn.

The plays examine some of the frustrations experienced at the hands of technology. We've all become irritated by a mysterious buzz, a continuous humming, a burglar alarm or a cooker timer going off unexpectedly and refusing to be turned off.

Imagine these devices in your home turning against you one after the other. Such mysteries are not just confined to the home, it can happen anywhere; a politician is lost for words when the auto cue goes off script; an in-flight announcement ends with more than a seat-belt coming undone. Cast your mind back to the days before mobile phones, imagine being stuck at the airport waiting for a lift and the inconvenience of relying on public telephones.

The frustration of it all when the only thing you are communicating with is the answer phone. Chaos and exasperation ensue in these hilarious Michael Frayn plays.

Tickets: adult £10, including light supper, are available from Swallowfield Stores
or our ticket office on 07555 073597
or online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/russellplayers (Booking fee applies) .

This performance is brought you by arrangement with Samuel French.

The Russell Players were founded in November 1977 by a group of Swallowfield Parishioners having performed informally together in 1976. We have had a long held tradition of staging pantomimes at the end of January / beginning of February each year.

More information: russellplayers.co.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Present Laughter'

Wednesday 16th October

to Saturday 26th October

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Present Laughter' by Noël Coward

Actor Garry Essendine is at the height of his fame. He's handsome, witty, surrounded by adoring fans, and about to take his latest theatrical hit overseas. He’s also in the middle of a raging mid-life crisis. We find him in his once-beautiful apartment, hounded from every corner: a beautiful debutante wants to bed him, an aspiring playwright wants to worship him and his own producer's wife wants to become better acquainted.

Under the ever-rolling eyes of his long-suffering secretary and the unshockable gaze of his estranged but determined wife Garry struggles to keep all the balls in the air.

This sparkling comedy about sex, fame and the theatre itself - and a man wrestling with his own self-image - is widely regarded as Noël Coward's most autobiographical play.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Vita and Virginia'

Wednesday 6th November

to Saturday 9th November

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Vita and Virginia' by Eileen Atkins

This two-handed season extra is based on the letters between two remarkable women of the 1920s. Novelist Virginia Woolf is 40 when she meets the aristocratic and idiosyncratic Vita Sackville-West, ten years her junior, who likes to dress in men's clothes. Both writers and both married, the women fall in love and begin a passionate twenty-year correspondence.

While Vita reveres Virginia's literary prowess, Virginia is at times dismissive of Vita’s literary ability and is overly sensitive of her own, tortured by regular bouts of depression. Funny, touching and tender, their letters speak of everyday life, of themselves, their friends and the literary worlds, showing the women behind some of the most beloved works of the 20th Century.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'A Christmas Carol'

Wednesday 4th December

to Saturday 14th December

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'A Christmas Carol' by James Hutchison, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens

It's Dickens but not as you know it, in this fun, fresh and lively adaptation of the Christmas classic. Of his version, Hutchison writes the reason he loves the story so much is the "opportunity to show that people have a second chance. There's so much depression in the world that being able to realize that there is another day and that you can write on a brand-new page tomorrow and that no matter where you've been you can turn things around and start over is an important message."

With some familiar faces, a few new ones, and a good old-fashioned ghost or two this fresh take on an old tale is sure to delight our audiences and leave you feeling thoroughly festive.

Booking opens 1st October.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Audience' & 'The Real Inspector Hound'

Wednesday 22nd January

to Saturday 1st February

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Audience' & 'The Real Inspector Hound'

'Audience' by Michael Frayn; 'The Real Inspector Hound' by Tom Stoppard.

Two unrelated one-act plays come together to show the role the audience plays in live theatre, which we are delighted to be bringing to the Wokingham stage. Both comedies, both reflective on the notion of observing the observers, you'll leave wondering why these two plays weren't written as one.

Frayn's The Audience turns everything you know about theatre on its head, questioning who is audience and who is to be scrutinised. Comedy ensues as our playwright holds a mirror up to the audience to show their own little quirks and foibles.

Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound changes the audience once more, as two theatre critics watch and commentate on a ludicrous production of a classic murder mystery. The lines between stage and audience become blurred, so we are never sure what is real and what is production.

You'll laugh, you'll squirm and you'll probably never feel the same about sitting in the supposed safety of an audience seat ever again.

Booking opens 1st November.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe'

Wednesday 17th February

to Saturday 22nd February

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe'

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis, dramatised by Adrian Lewis. Music and lyrics by Shaun Daley and Adrian Lewis.

We are delighted to be joined once more by our fantastic Youth Theatre in this exciting production of CS Lewis' much-loved story.

Join the Pevensie children as they step through the wardrobe into the land of Narnia, where the White Witch has made it always winter and never Christmas, think of that.

Helped by the likes of Mr Tumnus the fawn, Mr Beaver, and the awe-inspiring Aslan, Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter must look fear in the face as they strive to see good triumph over evil and save Narnia.

Booking opens 1st December.

Tickets £14, Students £7 can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Anne Boleyn' by Howard Brenton

Wednesday 18th March

to Saturday 28th March

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Anne Boleyn' by Howard Brenton

Specially commissioned for The Globe Theatre, Howard Brenton dramatises the life and legacy of Henry VIII's second wife who helped change the course of the nation's history.

In the second when courtier's daughter Anne catches the attention of the married king during a court masque by throwing an orange at him, a chaos of religious controversy begins.

Brenton's play starts after her death when the newly-crowned King James I is rummaging in the possessions of the late Queen Elizabeth. Among them he comes across startling evidence that Anne was a religious conspirator, as in love with some of the most dangerous ideas of her day as she was with her husband. She comes alive for the new king and for our audiences as we meet a brilliant but reckless young woman whose life and death transformed England forever.

Booking opens 1st January.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Enchanted April' by Matthew Barber

Wednesday 22nd April

to Saturday 2nd May

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Enchanted April' by Matthew Barber

Escape dreary Edwardian London to the idyllic Italian Riviera in this charming comic romance.

Sweet-natured Lotty Wilton has had enough of the bleak English winter and her oppressive husband. When she sees an advertisement to rent a castle in Italy for the month of April she jumps at the chance to escape her downtrodden existence. Sensing an instant kinship with fellow housewife Rose Arnott who has her own sorrows, Lotty persuades her along on the adventure.

Seeking to reduce the costs the two ladies find Caroline Bramble, a beautiful and exhausted socialite, and Mrs. Graves, an overbearing widow, to join them. As the month passes sun-drenched San Salvatore works its magic on each sad and hardened heart, healing grief and bringing hope. And with the arrival of two chastened husbands and one attractive young artist romance blooms again.

Matthew Barber's play, based on Elizabeth Von Arnim's beloved novel of the 1920s, is a gentle and romantic comedy of manners.

Booking opens 1st February.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Apologia' by Alexi Kaye Campbell

Wednesday 21st May

to Saturday 7th June

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Apologia' by Alexi Kaye Campbell

Written and set in 2009 Apologia tells the story of a disastrous family reunion, offering a sharp and perceptive look into what has happened to the idealists of 1960s and the children who grew up with them.

Successful art historian Kristin Miller's has invited her two sons and their partners to celebrate her birthday.

As a young mother in the 60s she was heavily involved in political activism, storming Parisian barricades and living in Florence. Having recently written a book about her past she has completely failed to mention either of her sons in the story of her life.

What should be a time of celebration turns into a confrontation of the cost of Kristin’s commitment to her passions on her family life.

In this modern drama life choices are examined by all characters as they fully come to terms with the impact of their decisions.

Booking opens 1st March.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Stepping Out' by Richard Harris

Wednesday 8th July

to Saturday 18th July

7.45pm

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Wokingham Theatre, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5TU

How to get there.

Wokingham Theatre: 'Stepping Out' by Richard Harris

It's the 1980s, Maggie is still PM and Lady Di's coiffure is the height of fashion for ladies of the era. Against this backdrop seven women and one man gather to learn tap dancing on a Thursday night, with former-pro-turned-teacher Mavis leading them, joined by her grumpy pianist Mrs Fraser.

The story follows the group - from a mixture of ages, backgrounds and dancing abilities - as their relationships progress and their circumstances change. Dancing becomes the glue that holds them together in this funny, uplifting play that celebrates women, friendships and bravery, with the odd leg warmer thrown in for good measure.

Booking opens 1st April.

Tickets can be booked online from the theatre.

More information: www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk.


Timeless announcements: THEATRE ARTS

These theatre art activities run permanently.

Showtime Academy: Performing Arts for 8 - 19 year olds!

Showtime Academy

Showtime Academy

Saturdays during term time

10am-1pm

The Loft, Finchampstead Baptist Church (FBC) Centre, Gorse Ride North, Finchampstead RG40 4ES

How to get there. Access to FBC available from Nine Mile Ride or Barkham Ride by an entrance on Gorse Ride South and Gorse Ride North.

Established in 1999, the Showtime Academy leads the field in fun, performance based training in the song, dance & drama. Aimed at students aged 8 - 19 years old, we look to produce at least two quality musical performances each year for those with the desire to get up on stage and entertain.

Whilst members of the Academy do not have to have had any previous performing experience, we are looking for people who want to get involved and have fun!

If you have enthusiasm, want to make some great friends, work with experienced West End performers and technicians the Showtime Academy could definitely be the place for you.

More information: www.showtimeacademy.com.