The Portsmouth Players open their musical 'Oliver!' tomorrow night, November 1st, at the Kings Theatre.
Following their recent acclaimed and well received musicals at thw Kings Theatre, Lionel Bart's masterpiece tells the story of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.
Containing the famous musical numbers 'Food Glorious Food', 'Consider Yourself', 'You've Got To Pick a Pocket or Two' and 'Oom Pah Pah', the musical is highly recommended viewing this week.
Tickets are available from the Kings Theatre box office. The show runs nightly until Saturday 5th November and has a Saturday matinée at 2:30pm.
This week is your last opportunity to enter South Downe Musical Society's competition to win tickets for their next production: 'Made In Dagenham'.
The competition asks entrants to submit details of a busy and determined woman, using the hash tag #busywoman, on social media.
The musical, based on the 2010 film of the same name, centres itself on the true story of the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968. It champions women's rights - the strike was a direct result of women being paid less than their male counterparts.
With music by David Arnold and lyrics by Richard Benn, the musical is a feel-good comedy which audiences are sure to enjoy. It follows South Downe's last production of 'Grease', which was exceptionally well received.
'Made In Dagenham' is to be staged at the Kings Theatre from 10th to the 12th of November, with a Saturday matinée. Tickets ate available now.
The #busywoman competition closes on Sunday 30th October at noon. Details below.
Multi-award winning CCADS have begun promoting their final production of this year: 'Let The Right One In'.
Tonight the cast of the play, which is being staged at The Square Tower in December, joined film revellers at Café au Cinema in Osborne Road for a screening of the original Swedish movie adaptation.
The play tells the story of lonely and bullied teenaged Oskar, who befriends a girl named Eli, who hides a deep secret. The piece is described as "remarkably haunting and compelling" and was hugely acclaimed at The Royal Court, in the West End and on Broadway.
Adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne, who is the writer of the smash West End hit 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', the play concludes CCADS' incredible 25th year and follows their last production at The Square Tower; 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'.
Tonight at Café au Cinema the cast promoted the show whilst watching the film at the superbly comfortable venue. New to Southsea, the venue offers film screenings with hot drinks and snacks from the comfort of their beanbags. Full listings of their screenings can be found on their Facebook page.
CCADS' production of 'Let The Right One In' runs from December 6th until Saturday 10th in the evenings from 7:30pm. Tickets are available by telephoning 07834367659 and will be released online at www.ccads-theatre.co.uk.
It Started With a Touch by Roger Goldsmith at Rosie's Vineyard
'Would you report your son to the police when you witness him beating up an innocent man?'. This is the question posed to us in Roger Goldsmith's powerful piece 'It Started With A Touch'. Jane Athron's simple design of black and white within the set and costume provided a gritty and harsh sense of contrast to the atmosphere.
The show itself had one or two occasional faults, the space was perhaps a tad too small to accommodate the energy of the performances, and there were some unnecessary character exits followed by an immediate re-entrance. This doesn't however in any way taint what is ultimately a beautifully constructed piece with some intensely raw performances.
The show centres around Caroline, a wife and mother who has to make the tough decision to turn in her son to the police when she witnesses him violently attacking another man. Since Caroline is the centre of the story, we experience her world and the people around her through her eyes.
As her lesbian lover Fay, Katie Watson delivers a multi faceted performance both caring and appropriately paranoid, who is briefly visited by friend Leslie, played by Faye Williams who seemed wonderfully dry and uninterested with an underlying sense of cattiness.
The victim of the assault, Henry, was handled delicately by Matt Johnston, who showed an endearing tenderness throughout. Leigh Cunningham as council estate daughter-in-law Alison was everything the role needed: mouthy, loud and unrelentingly harsh.
The real drama however comes from Caroline's immediate family. Chris Mills as son Steven played 'bad boy' effectively, showing little to no concern for his mother or her wishes, while Patric Howe as mentally and verbally abusive husband Michael gave a performance so realistic that at times it was uncomfortable to watch.
Goldsmith's writing itself is nothing short of remarkable. The characters are so easily well played because the writing behind them is so reflective of every day conversation.
Top praise must of course go to Angie Lily as Caroline. Her emotional range was awe inspiring, and the ability to jump so convincingly from one state of mind to another was a lesson in acting itself. Throughout there always seemed to be this sense that Caroline was right on the edge of tipping over into an emotional breakdown, which provided the show with a heightened level of suspense, and a feeling of holding ones breath. Truly remarkable.
HumDrum are back at The Spring in Havant this week with Larry Kramer’s semi-autobiographical 1985 play The Normal Heart.
Set between 1981 and 1984, the play tells the story of the American authorities’ reactions to the first outbreaks of AIDS and how one man challenges their attitudes to try to raise awareness.
“It certainly pulls no punches”, says director Sam Sampson. “The American government seemed determined to bury their collective head in the sand and it’s down to Ned Weeks, the central character, to rally the forces of the gay community and force some kind of action”.
Unfortunately for Ned, he has little control over his mouth or his temper and alienates rather than rallies the people he most needs on-side. Then one of the people closest to him reveals a shattering secret.
“The advances in medicine mean that, these days, HIV and AIDS are not an automatic death-sentence – but back then, when the virus first surfaced, contracting it meant you were dead. This is the truth that faces Ned and his friend, Dr Emma Brookner who have to find a way to persuade the government to provide money for research and the gay community to change its behaviour”, says Sam.
“It isn’t unrelenting misery and there’s a streak of humour that runs through it” Sam assures us, “and, ultimately, it’s a celebration of the human spirit”.
The show runs at The Spring from Tuesday 18th to Saturday 22nd October with performances starting at 7.30. Tickets are £10.00 (£9.00 concessions).
Picture shows Mikey Palmer as Ned and Michael Gondelle as Felix.
Local talented writer Roger Goldsmith brings his award-winning play 'It Started With a Touch' to Portsmouth this week.
Recently performed to high acclaim in the US, the play is to be staged at Rosie's Vineyard from Monday through to Wednesday this week.
Completely sold out for its entire run we wish Roger and the cast best wishes for their performances.
The play is directed by Steve Pitt and stars Angie Lily; Chris Mills; Leigh Cunningham; Katie Watson; Matt Johnston; Patric Howe and Faye Williams. We look forward to seeing it.
Going along? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Send us your comments and opinion, or comment below.
HumDrum are well into rehearsals for their next production THE NORMAL HEART. The powerful piece is to be staged at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant.
Set in 1981, it tells of the gay community in New York who are facing a killer; an unknown, seemingly-new disease that is establishing itself in their ranks.
Larry Kramer’s semi-autobiographical play 'The Normal Heart' examines the early attitudes and responses to the AIDS epidemic and is essential viewing from a historical and social point of view.
Moving and emotionally charged, with some excellent staging choices from director Sam Sampson, this piece is highly recommended viewing. As ticket sales ramp up as the play draws near, advance booking is strongly advised.
The play runs from Tuesday 18th until Saturday 22 October from 7.30pm. Tickets are just £10, or £9 for concessions. Link to the box office below.
Prestigious company The Portsmouth Players have unveiled a new campaign asking for new members.
The company, who stage critically acclaimed productions in Portsmouth, are appealing for those who sing, dance or act; or those who would be interested in stage management or backstage crew.
Open auditions are to be held on 10th October 2016 at their venue in the Thatched Barn, Milton Park from 6:30pm. Applicants need to be 18 years old or over.
The company present their highly anticipated production of OLIVER! at the Kings Theatre from 1st to 4th November 2016 at the Kings Theatre, Southsea. Tickets are available now with advance booking highly recommended.
South Downe Musical Society have announced a competition where you could win tickets to see their forthcoming production of 'Made In Dagenham'.
The launch of the competition coincides with the unveiling of their Instagram feed, which will show exclusive behind the scenes and rehearsal material leading up to the production. You can follow it on made_in_dagenham_sdms.
You can enter the competition itself by posting a picture of a busy woman who does a lot for others, using #busywoman. We've listed the rules below, with a link to the company Facebook and the Instagram page.
'Made In Dagenham' is being performed at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, from Thursday 10th until Saturday 12th Novermber at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, with a Saturday matinée.
Tickets are on sale now and the show is strongly recommended, following in the footsteps of South Downes Musical Society's highly successful and well performed production of 'Grease'.
Get following the Instagram and thinking about your #BusyWoman. We wish you all the best of luck with your entries!
Inspired by a true story and based on the hit movie, MADE IN DAGENHAM is an uplifting musical comedy about friendship, love and the importance of fighting for what is right, brought to the Kings for the very first time by the award-winning South Downe Musical Society.
Like millions of other working women, Rita O'Grady is just trying to get her husband out of bed, get the kids off to school and get to work at the factory on time. But life is about to change forever when Rita leads her friends in a battle against the might of Ford.
Funny, touching and timeless, MADE IN DAGENHAM shows how ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they stand together.
Entering the competition? Please use a platform SDMS can see, so don't send your images directly to us or post them here. We recommend Facebook and Instagram, and don't forget to use #BusyWoman. Good luck!
This week saw the Southsea Shakespeare Actors expand their repertoire even further with T.S.Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, with a production that felt every bit authentic despite some sound and lighting setbacks. The story tells us of the quarrel between Thomas Beckett and King Henry II. Following Beckett's 7 year absence as a result of the argument, in which time the town of Canterbury are losing hope in God, he returns to the town, encouraged by others to make peace with the King, and is ultimately killed, as a result of deciding otherwise.
Setting it in Portsmouth Cathedral itself was a smart move by director Lauren Farnhill, and placed the minds of the audience right along with the cast, back in the early 12th century. One particular problem when working in such a space is, of course, sound levels, and many lines, particularly near the beginning were lost as a result. Some performers seemed unaffected however, and delivered their performances with particularly good diction and clarity, most notably Vincent Adams, Danny Carter, Neil Gregory-Reader and Rob Bartlett as the First, Second, Third and Fourth Knights. Both Carter and Adams particularly gave a welcome injection of humour in what normally would be a wholly serious piece.
Farnhill's use of a very strong female ensemble as the women of Canterbury were the particular highlight. Although small roles, each performer gave an individual delivery which stood out on its own merit. Sarah Mayell-Thomas, who also doubled as Second Tempter gave two strong and diverse performances, while Katie Farnhill, Vicky Martin and Gail Oakley were stand outs, each giving passionate well delivered stories to the audience. Nick Downes as Fourth Tempter, again gave a strong delivery showing a particularly good understanding of the text.
Patric Howe as Thomas Beckett, who is more well known for his bold and domineering performances, instead gave a delicacy and sensitive touch. This, contrasted with the brutality of the act committed against him, gave dynamics and a wonderful sense of light and shade.