A new adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale, Great Expectations is coming to the famous author’s hometown of Portsmouth this month as it opens at the historic New Theatre Royal.
From the producers who delighted New Theatre Royal’s audiences with Travels with my Aunt in 2015, this powerful new stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic will take to the stage between 22 –26 May.
Nichola McAuliffe will take the role of Miss Havisham in the production by Ken Bentley, directed by Sophie Boyce Couzens and designed by James Turner. Olivier Award-winning actress Nichola McAuliffe is best known for her role in the long-running TV series Surgical Spirit, the films Tomorrow Never Dies and Chéri and for her many stage appearances including Kiss Me Kate for the RSC, The Night of the Iguana in the West End and Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van.
The cast also includes Séan Aydon (Pip), Isla Carter (Estella), Edward Ferrow (Joe Gargery) and Richard Earl (Jaggers/Pumblechook).
Following a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict, young Pip is given an unexpected chance to better himself by visiting the reclusive and mysterious Miss Havisham. In the decaying grandeur of her house, Pip falls in love with Estella and helped by an anonymous benefactor, he moves to the bustling city to pursue his dream of winning Estella’s heart and becoming part of the educated elite.
Peopled by some of Dickens’ most colourful and memorable characters and painted in rich, vivid colour this new production promises a powerful and theatrical telling of Dicken’s universally loved masterpiece.
Tickets available now. Booking advised.
Local acclaimed playwright Roger Goldsmith is, this week, showcasing a brand new work of his at Rosie's Vineyard: Benches.
Talented playwright Roger Goldsmith is no stranger to the area or the world of theatre and has written many plays which have been showcased in London, abroad and in the city.
This week, another piece of his original writing is given its debut at Rosie's Vineyard in Elm Grove, Southsea. Starring Leigh Cunningham, Stuart Frank, Chris Mills, Philip Amor, Alex Howat and Lee Backhouse, and directed by Sam Sampson, the play runs until 3rd May.
You can book tickets for the remaining nights by calling 07951750165 or by emailing email@example.com. It runs nightly from 7:45pm.
Going along? Let us know! We'd love to hear your thoughts. @portstheatre
Forget the Great British Bake Off: this is the show you need. And tickets are now in limited stock with advanced booking advised.
Portchester Players are this week performing the highly entertaining musical The Bakewell Bake Off at Fareham's Ashcroft Centre. And tickets are running into limited stock as the company begin selling the last 20 seats.
Directed by Jacqueline Arnott, the piece takes eight eager contestants, three feuding judges and one bewildered host and mixes them together in a small village. Add the pressure of a baking competition, and you’ve got a recipe for a hilarious musical comedy!
"The small English village of Bakewell is holding its annual baking competition and the eclectic and eccentric group of contestants are each hoping that their baking skills will impress the judges. Come and join the folk of Bakewell for their annual bake off, where signature bakes combine with song and dance in a fantastic feast of fun."
The musical has gained impressive response from those who have seen it before. Tickets are available from the Ashcroft Arts Centre website. Tickets cost between £12 and £14 - advanced booking strongly advised.
Fareham Musical Society have confirmed some of the cast for their September production of Grease through their social media channels.
The casting announcement reveals that the famous lead character of Danny Zuko will be played by Stuart Frank opposite Grace Campbell as Sandy.
Elsewhere, Rizzo will be performed by Clare Plumridge, Sonny by Cam Hall, Marty by Stephanie McEvoy, Roger by Matt Jarvis, Jan by Hannah Edwins, Doody by Sean Ridley, Frenchy by Natalie Cleave and Patty Simcox by Sarah Dawkins.
The company have stated the casting of Kenickie, Teen Angel, Johnny Casino, Cha Cha and Miss Lynch “are still to be confirmed".
As part of their announcement, Fareham Musical Society praised the standard of auditions and said, "An ENORMOUS congratulations to all of our auditionees for [the day of auditions]. This is going to be a very, very exciting show indeed.
"Get booking your tickets now because, come September, GREASE is most definitely the word!"
This week is your last chance to see Bench Theatre Company's latest offering at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre: Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler.
Hedda Gabler tells the story of Hedda; a woman trapped in a loveless marriage, bound by society’s expectations and living under her famous father’s shadow. When old acquaintances arrive, Hedda finds herself caught in a perpetual downward spiral, and her power and influence are threatened by the events set in motion.
This exciting re-imagining of Henrik Ibsen’s classic incorporates music and physical theatre to explore the wide-ranging and still highly relevant themes. Featuring Katie Watson in the lead as Hedda herself, the play is running nightly until Saturday only at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant.
Tickets are, at the time of writing, still available. Link to the box office below.
Tickets: £9.50, £7.50 concessions
Saturday matinee: £8.50, £6.50 concessions
Highly renowned and celebrated company South Downe Musical Society are to return to Ferneham Hall this week with the legendary Rodgers & Hammerstein musical 'Carousel'.
When Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan fall in love, little do they realise that Billy's rebellious ways will result in tragedy. Billy is given a chance to make good, but is it too little too late or will a lucky star save him and those he loves?
Voted 'Best Musical of the 20th Century' by Time Magazine, this timeless classic features hot songs including 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and 'If I Loved You'. The award-winning South Downe Musical Society bring a vibrant new production filled with magical moments, stunning choreography and breathtaking music to the local stage.
And for this not-to-be-missed production, the company are being led once again by director John-Paul McCrohon who has a string of previous award-winning successes under his belt, and recently directed Made In Dagenham: The Musical for the company.
Earlier today, he noted on Social Media, "I cannot help but be awed at each rehearsal by the sheer power, beauty and audacity of what Rodgers & Hammerstein created in 1945... but which feels as fresh, bold, warm, heart-breaking, troubling, complex and relevant as it ever did.
"It is deeply humane, offers no easy answers and does not shy away from the darkness inherent in its storyline but also demonstrates the capacity for love and the humour in the sheer resilience of the human spirit - with a belief in redemption for even the most damaged of souls. What a masterpiece it is - share the experience of it with our excellent cast, creatives, orchestra and crew this week."
Carousel runs nightly from Wednesday to Saturday this week at 7:30pm, with a Saturday matinée at 2:30pm. Tickets are available from the Ferneham Hall Box Office and are expected to sell out, so advance booking is recommended.
Going to see the show? Let us know your thoughts! You can reach us @portstheatre or on Facebook through the comments feed below.
Listen very carefully, we will say this only once! Tickets for Portsmouth Players’ in-house production of ‘Allo ‘Allo are now officially on sale.
The highly respected and multi-award winning company are presenting the classic at The Players Studio Theatre from the 18th July until the 21st.
“Based on the hugely successful British television series that ran for seven seasons, this uproarious comedy relates the adventures of a hapless cafe owner, Rene, in occupied France. You can see all of your favorite TV characters in the flesh, including Rene's tone-deaf wife Edith, Major-General von Klinkerhoffen and the Gestapo officer Herr Flick!
He and his wife have stashed a priceless portrait stolen by the Nazis in a sausage in their cellar, where two British airmen are also hiding until the Resistance can repatriate them. Communications with London using the wireless that is disguised as a cockatoo add to the many embarrassments this intrepid proprietor endures in the company of his patrons. News that the Fuhrer is scheduled to visit the town inspires tricksters disguised as Hitler to frequent the cafe. Meanwhile Rene summons all the wit he can muster to save his cafe and his life.”
You can purchase tickets now and advanced booking is strongly advised. The Players Studio Theatre is located in the Thatched Barn, Milton Park. It offers refreshments and tiered seating.
It’s sure to be an enjoyable evening! Let us know if you’ve booked - we’d love to hear your thoughts.
The Bench Theatre company are looking for submissions for Supernova 8, the company's eighth celebratory festival of one act plays.
Bench is an amateur theatre company based in Havant founded in 1969. Supernova is their festival of new writing and since the first Supernova in September 2000, the company have performed sixty-eight new plays by authors from around the UK.
The company are holding their 8th Supernova festival in February 2019, and are now inviting authors to submit plays for consideration for performance in the festival.
In order to be eligible for entry to Supernova, a play must meet all of the following criteria:
There is no entry fee to the competition. However, in order to submit a play to Supernova 8, an author must grant the company the right, if it is selected, to perform it as part of the festival without any payment for performance rights. If a play has joint authors, both must agree to its entry into the competition. The copyright of the work performed remains with the author(s).
Any one author may submit a maximum of 4 plays for consideration to the festival.
Full details of the selection process and further information can be found on the Bench Theatre's website. Link below.
Good luck with any submissions!
This week the Phoenix Players once again take up the stage in Trinity Theatre, Albert Road, to present one of the most celebrated performances of their year: the traditional annual pantomime!
And this year the company have opted for classic tale Cinderella, "the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes!".
The cast includes some of the company's most famed members, as well as some returning members and some newcomers:
Cinderella - Hayley Wilson
Buttons - Nicholas Nutt
Baron Hardup - Peter Clarke
Baroness - Jo Webb
Grizelda - Brendan McCarthy
Gertrude - Katie Watson
Prince Charming - Juliet Hasker
Dandini - Rhiannon Jenkins
Bodget - Christopher Thorne
Leggett - Kate Burrows
Fairy G - Irene Skelton
Chambers - Paul Taylor
So, if you are looking for something fun this half-term, you need look no further. Some tickets are still available, with booking in advance advised.
Stuart Frank, director of Their Scarves Were Red, the production opening this week from Fareham Musical Society Youth Theatre (FMSYT), told of his swelling emotions following a recent rehearsal.
"I honestly cannot believe what I have watched this afternoon," he said. "Forty four children have just made me cry my bloody eyes out! An amazing full run through of Their Scarves Were Red. I honestly could not be more proud of my amazing cast."
Their Scarves Were Red is a touching musical telling the story of two friends who travel from Brighton to Sheffield on the 15th April 1989: the day of the Hillsborough football tragedy. It is a humorous, poignant, thought-provoking and incredibly emotional piece which comes highly recommended. It's performed here by a staggering talented cast aged from 8 to 16.
"I know over the years I've promoted a lot of shows I'm either in or supporting, but this is just something else," Stuart Frank said. "I truly urge you to support this unique and incredibly moving show. The Justice For Hillsborough Campaign deserves it, and these kids deserve it."
Their Scarves Were Red runs from Thursday 15th February until Saturday 17th. Evenings 7:30pm and a Saturday matinée at 2:30pm. It plays at The Cort Theatre, Henry Cort Community College, Fareham, PO15 6PH.
Tickets available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.