Bench Theatre company, based in Havant, are putting the finishing touches on their production of 'Woman In Mind' which opens for a two week run on the 14th July 2016.
The show centres around Susan, "a middle aged housewife, who lives a drab, disappointed existence. Ignored by her husband, disowned by her son, she survives by conjuring up an imaginary family with whom she can live out her dreams. But when the strain gets too much, fantasy and reality start to collide in an increasingly absurd and comic sequence of events."
The play, by Alan Ayckbourn, was well received in London in 1986 when it first opened on the West End. It's long been an ambition of Bench Theatre to perform this piece, but the right cast and circumstances have only just presented themselves. And it's no wonder they were keen - it's widly accepted as one of Ayckbourn's most acclaimed and poignant works.
The show stars Sally Hartley; Simon Walton; Stephen Burt; Pete Woodward; Sarah Parnell; Kirtsy Terry and Ben Tanner. It is directed by Andrew Caple.
Tickets are on sale now from the Spring Arts Centre in Havant.
Multi-award winning theatre company CCADS have announced on Social Media they are to reveal their 2017 lineup on Friday.
2017 will be the company's 26th incredible year in the Portsmouth Theatre scene.
To celebrate the release, you'll find fun clues posted on Twitter, which you can follow with the hashtag #CCADS2017 or by following them @CCADSTheatre. Can you guess which shows they might be announcing?
Following their successful run of 'Into The Woods', the company are coming together tomorrow to begin the rehearsal process for 'Betty Blue Eyes'. The musical plays from 6th - 9th September 2016 at The Station Theatre, Hayling Island. Booking advised.
Portsmouth Players are searching for two talented boys to play Oliver and The Artful Dodger in their forthcoming production at The Kings Theatre.
They are are also seeking boys and girls for the gang and the workhouse. All applicants should be between seven and fourteen years old (flexibility on upper age limit depending on look) and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an audition pack.
Posting on Social Media, the company said; "We are still on the look out for more boys to apply to be in our next production 'Oliver'... get in touch asap for an info pack."
The hit musical by Lionel Bart is to be performed from 1st until 5th November 2016.
Audiences have been responding positively to HumDrum's 'A Man of No Importance', which shows at The Spring Arts Centre in Havant this week.
Amongst the positive feedback were comments from one lady who attended last night. She told us she enjoyed it just as much as several professional shows she had seen in London the week before.
The show also gained positive reviews in both the Portsmouth News and Southern Daily Echo.
The show runs for two more nights (evenings only, 7:30pm) and tickets are still available. You can book online, or contact the box office directly on 02392 472700.
Acclaimed theatre group New Apollo Theatre are presenting their latest comedy 'A Postcard From The Pier' this week in the Garden of the Queen's Hotel.
The performance is staged under a tent, so is not weather permitting. It plays on Tuesday 21st; Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd June 2016. Doors open at 7pm, and the show begins at 8pm.
"A POST CARD FROM THE PIER begins with glimpses of an "End of the pier" variety show. One of those shows that used to run for months and months in British seaside towns until recently. Trouble is, some of the "turns" are getting a bit old for their acts! Lots of fun!
That is followed by a short play about McGILL, the fellow famous for his naughty post cards. This is a sort of "Carry On Up The Pier" really. Lots MORE fun to be had there.
Written by John Stanton and Stuart Olesker."
Tickets are only available from New Apollo at present - £10.00 in advance or £12.00 at the door.
Please phone them on 023 92 736288 to book your tickets. Highly recommended fun.
HumDrum return to The Spring in Havant this week with the first local performance of A Man of No Importance – a musical based on the 1994 film starring Albert Finney and Brenda Fricker.
The story concerns Alfie Byrne, a bus-conductor in Dublin during the early 1960s, who is the mainstay of the local church theatre group. His obsession with putting on the plays of the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde eventually brings him into conflict with the church when he chooses to stage what he sees as Wilde’s masterpiece, Salome. The church, however, has a very different view of the play and, with the help of one of Alfie’s friends, kick back against Alfie.
On top of all this, Alfie harbours a secret that threatens to destroy both him and the people he loves…
“Even in today’s more liberated climate, the piece resonates”, says director Sam Sampson, “and without wishing to spoil the plot there are events going on in the world this week that, unbelievably, still echo Alfie’s situation. It’s a story about humanity and understanding and – ultimately – love in all its many forms”.
“It may sound a bit heavy”, chips in music director, Matt Mellor, “but there’s a wonderful streak of humour in the piece, too."
The score is heavily-influenced by Irish folk-music and Sam speaks highly of the band that’s been put together by Matt to accompany the show.
“The cast sang the score through with the band for the first time last week. Up until now, at rehearsal, we’ve just had Matt on keyboards. Now, Matt’s a good player, don’t get me wrong, but the addition of violin, cello and woodwind really lifted the sound. The cast were buzzing by the end of the rehearsal”.
The show runs from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25thJune at The Spring. Tickets are available from the box-office on 023 9247 2700.
Following their production of 'Cats', multiple award-winning theatre company CCADS are now presenting Stephen Sondheim's fantastical fairy-tale musical 'Into The Woods'. As the cast prepare for their opening night this Thursday (16th June) at Ferneham Hall, we were fortunate enough to catch up with director John-Paul McCrohon who spoke to us about the piece and CCADS' twenty-five incredible years.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us. This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of CCADS! It's a fantastic achievement, you must be very proud.
It's incredible. I was very young when I started it off and it was the classic humble beginnings story. It built and built and bult. We went into the main body of the main theatrical scene about five years after we started, so it's been twenty-five years of existence and twenty years in the thick of it!
This is a tough question, but do you have any particular highlights or shows that stand out over that time?
I only have one child but I imagine it's like trying to chose between your children! I feel very fortunate that everything we work on; pieces, plays and musicals; they are all things I'm really passionate about. I am very proud to say over the twenty-five years we've brought a lot of works to the area for the very first time, both plays and musicals, as well as giving fresh takes on established pieces. So it is difficult to pinpoint a particular show, but I'm proud we continue to do that.
'Into The Woods' opens this week at Ferneham Hall. For those unaware, can you tell us a bit about it?
'Into The Woods' is set in the world of the Grimm Fairy Tales. It concerns a baker and his wife who are desperate to have a child and it doesn't look like that is going to happen for them. They are visited by the Witch who lives next door to them who tells them in order to get that child they have to get four objects for her. So they have to get the cape as red as blood; the cow as white as milk; hair as yellow as corn and the slipper as pure as gold. All of these well known and loved fairy tale characters: Cinderella; Rapunzel; Jack and Little Red Riding Hood, are in the woods on their own quests and the Baker and his wife become part of all of their stories as they try to get these objects in a race against time.
Can you tell us a bit more about the venue and staging?
I always knew wherever we were going to do it I wanted to do it in what I would call an 'environmental' way. I wanted the audience to feel they were in the woods themselves so it needed to be a space in which we could build out; we could create runways and place the action amongst the audience as well as on the stage. Ferneham Hall is ideal for that because it's a very open space.
A lot of the physical set, without giving too much away about the exact nature of it, is being designed by one of Guildford School of Acting's head scenic designers. The woods are not going to be Disney woods, they're going to be Grimm fairy-tale woods – there's a definite sense of the gothic in there. I hope people are going to be excited by the way it looks and feels.
We've seen CCADS perform Stephen Sondheim (composer and lyricist) very successfully in the past. What is it that excites you so much about his work?
I think, quite simply, he's a genius. Sondheim's work is so rich in drama and truth and wit and heart – all of that is there in 'Into The Woods'. I know his shows really well – I have to admit I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to Sondheim! Every time I see them or listen to them I notice something new. The power of what he writes, as well as the humour, is outstanding.
Disney released a blockbuster version of 'Into The Woods' last year. Do you think that is a hindrance at all?
No I don't think so. I really enjoyed the film, I thought it was terrific. It is exciting for me to think there are people, maybe families, who have never been to see a Sondheim musical on stage before who, because of that film, now might be tempted to Ferneham Hall. I think they will get everything they expect from having seen the film plus a lot more. The film is made for a film audience, it has to work as a film, and there is a lot that gets jettisoned in order to make it work in that format. The original stage musical is even more rich, more full of depth and power than the film was. I think it's exciting to be doing it at this time.
Overall, why do you think people should be tempted along to see 'Into The Woods'?
My six year old son loves this show – he saw the movie. He also can't escape the songs with both myself and my wife rehearsing it! I really do think you can bring children as young as that to see the show and they will get something out of it. It's fast moving and it's funny and they will recognise the fairy tale characters. But it works on so many levels. It's full of humour – you will laugh a lot. And then, in the midst of laughing, it will hit you right in the heart and you will cry. You go through every experience with this. We found that in rehearsal and I hope that then transmits to the audiences, it's such a rich piece. It's also very much a show for adults, they will take home a lot of the messages as well as laugh at it. Whoever you are, whatever age you are, whatever your background is, there is something for you in this show. It's going to take you through a whole rollercoaster of emotions, and that's why you should come and see it.
'Into The Woods' is at Ferneham Hall, Fareham from Thursday 16th June to Saturday 18th June 2016. We've included a link to the box office below. Advanced booking strongly advised.
Those aware of the BBC sitcom 'Hi-de-Hi' will know of its success. It gained high ratings over the eight years it was originally broadcast and won a BAFTA in 1984 for Best Comedy Series. Set in the fictional holiday camp Maplins in the fifties, the series centred on the entertainers and management working there. The show's title even became a famous catchphrase.
Following the success of the hit sitcom; Paul Carpenter and Ian Gower utilised the colourful characters and wrote a successful stage play of the show which this week, we're pleased to see, is being performed in Portsmouth.
The Portsmouth Players, who recently offered the local scene Spamalot and Showtune, are performing the hilarious piece in the Players Studio Theatre in Milton Park. Opening on Wednesday 15th, the show runs until Saturday 18th June 2016 with a matinee on Saturday afternoon (2:30pm). The production is being directed by John Bettesworth.
It promises to be hilariously good fun, regardless of your prior knowledge of the BBC show. Tickets are £11 with no online booking fee. We've included a link to the box office below.
Book now - and enjoy your visit to Maplins Holiday Camp this week!
The Phoenix Players, based in Trinity Theatre in Southsea, are seeking a versatile pianist to asssit them with their next production.
They are looking for someone who can help out at rehearsals and on the performance nights in October.
The show looks set to be an Old Time Music Hall piece so should be tremendous fun to work on.
All those interested can contact the company via their website, a link to which we've included below. They can cover expenses if needed.
Roger Goldsmith, writer of 'It Started With A Touch', has confirmed his latest casting for the piece.
Katie Watson (Sleeping Beauty; Songologues Volume II) is to appear in the production, alongside Leigh Cunningham; Angie Lily; Patric Howe; Matt Johnston and Chris Mills.
It is to be staged in Rosie's Vineyard on the 17th; 18th and 19th October 2016, following a strong previous production in London.
Posting on social media, Goldsmith said "I'm as excited as I was when Wimbledon Studio selected the play as part of their Fresh Ideas in 2011."
Advance booking is strongly advised. More details soon.