Wife After Death
by Eric Chappell
18 - 27 April 2013
Never mind the title, this is a very funny comedy, written by the man who gave us Rising Damp and other enduring sitcoms. This one concerns the funeral of television comedian and national treasure Dave Thursby. His open coffin is on display in the drawing room of his lovely home and gathered around are his widow and his agent, his writer and their wives - plus Dave's former wife who arrives unexpectedly. As the drinks flow and the day unfolds, grief turns to outrage as the truth about this revered celebrity begins to emerge.
by Don Taylor
3 - 12 January 2013
The play (which should not be confused with the film The Exorcist!) takes place in a 17th century cottage owned by Edmund and Rachel. Their friends Dan and Margaret have come to spend Christmas with them. As they sit down for their dinner all the electricity fails. A power cut? Maybe but the phone is out of order too. It is the start of a series of macabre events which mount relentlessly to a bizarre and terrifying climax.
by Amy Rosenthal
4 - 13 July 2013
Unmarried sisters in their fifties share a London flat. Nina is brisk, dynamic and gainfully employed; Nancy is plump, self conscious and suddenly redundant. Urged by Nina and their faithful friend Max, to find a hobby, Nancy unwittingly stumbles into a job as a model for a group of eccentric life drawing students, and their philandering teacher, Philip. Initially horrified to discover that life models pose naked, Nancy is unexpectedly liberated by the experience which she initially keeps a secret from her sister. But her new found confidence unsettles Nina's self possession.
This is a very well written, funny and heart-warming play, full of well defined, fun characters.
by Helen Edmundson
30 May - 8 June 2013
The Clearing is set in Ireland three years after the end of the English Civil War when Cromwell's men are systematically transporting women and children to the colonies and driving both Royalists and Irish families from their homes to the barren wastelands of Connaught – a seventeenth century version of ethnic cleansing. Against a background of brutality, suffering and deprivation, this powerful drama explores the themes of alienation and the conflict of culture whilst highlighting the essential truth that racial hatred springs from fear. The central characters are an English aristocrat and his Irish-Catholic wife whose passionate and loving relationship is changed irrevocably by the moral dilemmas they must face. The characterisations are rich and memorable and the dialogue is both tense and deeply moving.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
by William Shakespeare
14 - 23 March 2013
This play remains one of Shakespeare's best loved comedies. Scripted mainly in prose and easily understood by audiences of all ages, it is an hilarious story of intrigue, plot, counter plot and cuckoldry laced with a touch of true love.
Sir John Falstaff seeks to replenish his coffers by seducing two wealthy wives of eminent citizens. The wives hoodwink him into thinking he is succeeding which, in turn, arouses suspicion in the mind of a jealous husband. At the same time, the fair Mistress Anne Page is plagued by parents, each intent on an arranged marriage to different suitors.
Eventually, with the help of some fairy magic, Falstaff and the jealous husband are made to realise their foolishness; Anne is wedded to her true love and all parties are united in good humour.
This presentation of the play is set in the mid 1700's and enacted in the court yard of a coaching inn. Throw in a dancing bear, a basket of soiled linen, a watery muddy ditch, a sodden Falstaff and a vengeful husband and there you have the ingredients for an evening of outrageous fun.
The Long Road
by Shelagh Stephenson
18 - 27 October 2012
"Mary wants us to talk about the girl that killed our son. I want to wipe her off the face of the earth".
Arguably Shelagh Stephenson's finest play, The Long Road is a raw, compelling drama about a family's long and painful struggle to come to terms with the murder of their youngest son Danny, in a random knife attack by a teenage girl.
When Danny's mother decides to visit his killer in prison to try to make sense of why her son was killed, the family is thrown into further turmoil.
This honest and poignant play communicates directly with the audience to give the voice of both victim and perpetrator, in a powerful study of loss and the true nature of forgiveness.
by Richard Everett
7 - 16 February 2013
"I worked it out the other day. I have boiled seven thousand gallons of water and poured two hundred thousand cups of tea. I've also baked four thousand six hundred medium sized quiches and personally baked two tons of light crust pastry. And what for?"
As a vicar's wife, Grace has spent a lifetime on her best behaviour. Now, after the death of her husband Bardolph, she can enjoy the new-found freedom of being able to do and say exactly what she wants.
A touching and thought provoking comedy, it explores what happens to Grace after her husband has passed away. Into her grief comes her sister who has spent thirty years working in Africa and the couple who are measuring up the rectory prior to moving in. Grace's daughter tries to be the glue that holds everything together but then a shattering, long-kept secret comes to light.
The play takes a light hearted look at the now and the hereafter and uses some sharp edged wit and probing questions to ask whether God can do anything right at all. "Or is the whole thing a divine exercise in trial and error?"
The History Boys
by Alan Bennett
22 November - 1 December 2012
An unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form boys in pursuit of sex, sport and a place at university. A maverick English teacher at odds with the young and shrewd supply teacher. A headmaster obsessed with results and a history teacher who thinks he's a fool.
Alan Bennett's very successful and humorous play is intensely moving and has been described as one of his finest works. Winner of a host of awards, the original production played to sell out performances at the National Theatre, the West End and on Broadway.
by Tim Firth
13 - 22 September 2012
"We're going to need considerably bigger buns!"
So says one of the characters in this dramatization of the true story in which a group of WI ladies created a sensation when they hit upon the idea of making their own 'girly' calendar. Their daring enterprise was a bid to raise sufficient funds for a new settee in the local hospital's waiting room. In fact, they have so far raised a staggering sum in excess of £3 million, donated to leukaemia research.
"Dazzlingly funny . . .utterly captivating . . .the mingling of pathos and comedy is simply unbeatable".