by Noel Coward
17 - 26 September 2009
Noel Coward's light-hearted look at the occult has been a favourite with audiences around the world ever since it first appeared in 1941. In it, Charles, a successful novelist, holds a seance in his home as part of his research for a new novel. His wife Ruth and two friends are joined by the spirited Madame Arcati, the eccentric medium who conducts the seance. To Arcati's amazement and Charles' dismay, she summons up the ghost of the novelist's first wife, Elvira, who had died some years before. Since Elvira can only be seen and heard by Charles, the mischievous ghost creates hilarious havoc throughout the rest of this wickedly inventive comedy. Wonderful fun.
by Terence Rattigan
22 - 31 October 2009
Flare Path was Terence Rattigan's first serious play. It was first produced in 1942 while the author was serving in the RAF and is set in a hotel near to a bomber station. It is here that a love triangle involving a bomber pilot, his actress wife and her former lover, a Hollywood actor, is played out with all Rattigan's skill as a weaver of human emotions.But the war itself plays a part in the action because the background to the drama on the ground is the everpresent threat of death faced by the crews who flew the planes. This was filmed as The Way to the Stars.
by Marian de Forrest (adapted from the novels of Lousia M Allcott)
26 November - 5 December 2009
This is the story of the March family in New England during the American Civil War in the 1860s. It traces the lives of a mother and her four daughters who cope with life in the absence of their father who is away fighting in the war and follows them through their later lives when the war is over. The love of the mother and the lives and loves of the four feisty girls make an utterly charming play, charting, as it does, the ambitions, hopes, disappointments and final happiness of four girls who grow into women. Prepare to laugh and, perhaps, to shed a tear or two during what promises to be a delightful evening of theatre.
She Stoops To Conquer
by Oliver Goldsmith
7 - 16 January 2010
This is one of the most enduring of all 18th century comedies – a marvellously funny story of subterfuge in pursuit of love, coupled with a complexity of mistaken identities and the inevitable happy ending. Goldsmith, an Irishman, lived a nomadic life, ending up in London where he became a friend of Samuel Johnson. He wrote comparatively little, but his major work, She Stoops To Conquer, has been a popular favourite for 250 years.
It involves two young men who mistake their host for an innkeeper; the host's daughter who pretends to be a barmaid in order to overcome the shyness of the man she desires; the pompously vain Mrs Hardcastle, wife of the host, and her mischievous son Tony Lumpkin who conspires to confuse the intentions and identities of all the others for his own ends. Confused? Perhaps, but this is an engaging work of fast-moving fun which has never failed to make audiences laugh out loud.
by David Auburn
11 - 20 February 2010
The play is set in Chicago, where Catherine, the 25 year old daughter of a brilliant mathematician, has been caring for her father throughout his decline into mental decay and finally death. A maths student herself, she has given up her career and social life to be with him. With his death, she appears lost.
Then, Hal, one of her father's students, appears and asks to look at the notebooks her father has been scribbling in during his years of decline. Most are filled with rubbish. But Hal discovers among the papers a work of genius - a mathematical proof. Catherine claims it is her work. But can it be? Has this devoted daughter inherited her father's genius - or his madness? Her sister Claire has no doubts - she wants to put Catherine into care. Hal is unsure. Altogether a wonderfully insightful play, exploring the effects of loneliness, genius and uncertainty in an altogether gripping narrative. not to be missed.
by W Somerset Maugham
18 - 27 March 2010
This is set in wealthy England in the 1920s when everyone spoke beautifully, dressed immaculately and behaved impeccably. Even MPs were regarded as honourable people.
Into this country house milieu comes the flighty Lady Kitty, returning to her old home 25 years after she eloped with her husband's best friend. She has come to see her son, Arnold, and is accompanied by her lover, Lord Porteus, not knowing that her husband Clive is also visiting. The meeting, the first for 25 years, leads to some sharp exchanges between the men, who were once Cabinet colleague. The situation is further complicated by Arnold's wife, Elizabeth, who has fallen in love with another house guest, Teddie Luton, who wants her to run away with him. Beneath the elegant and witty exchanges, there is a more serious examination of the condequencfdes of Kitty's elopement. Will Elizabeth follow Kitty's path and complete the circle of events? This is the question answered only at the end of the play.
This production will be a showcase for the Miller Centre Players. It will be seen by some 90 delegates from all over the country, gathering at the Miller Centre for the AGM of the Little Theatre Guild. The occasion is an important one and the play is a delight.
After Mrs Rochester
.by Polly Teale
22 April - 1 May 2010
This tells the true story of the novelist Jean Rhys, a white Creole born in the West Indies, who came to England when she was seventeen. She led a restless and self-destructive life, feeling misplaced in English society. But she had a passion for literature, especially for Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. This followed her discovery that the story of the book introduced the character of Bertha Mason – the first Mrs Rochester, the mad woman in the attic – and that she was also a West Indian. That a West Indian character should have been tucked into the pages of English literature fascinated her. The play takes place in an attic room as Jean, battling with depression, remembers her own past and finds herself in the company of her alter ego, Bertha Mason.
A Few Good Men
by Aaron Sorkin
3 - 12 June 2010
Two privates in the US Marine Corps are accused of the murder of one of their colleagues and are about to stand trial at Court Marshal. Special Judge Advocate Counsel Lieutenant-Commander Joanne Galloway believes Dawson and Downey were just following orders - part of the Marines' unofficial "code red" system of self policing within the ranks. She believes there was no intent of murder. Galloway, a naive lawyer who seeks fairness and justice at all cost, wants to be assigned the case but she has no trial experience. Instead, the military assigns Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee to be Dawson and Downey's counsel. Kaffee is a lightweight lawyer who also has no trial experience and has a history, as Galloway points out, of taking the path of least resistance by plea bargaining regardless of his clients' guilt or innocence. Galloway becomes co-counsel in the case. The two, with their assistant Lieutenant Sam Weinberg, have to decide what to do. What they didn't expect was the confrontation they would have with Lt. Col Jessep, the men's commanding officer, and military tough nut. This cracking American play has all the razor sharp dialogue and sharply cut scenes that you would expect of the writer of 'The West Wing'.
by Alan Ayckbourn
8 - 17 July 2010
This is widely regarded as Ayckbourn's funniest comedy, filled as it is with a sustained and hilarious series of mistaken identities and well-disguised secrets. Greg and Ginny are living together but when Greg discovers a pair of rogue slippers under the bed, he begins to wonder if he is the only man in her life. He becomes suspicious of her rather mysterious intention to "visit her parents" and decides to follow her. Ginny is really going to see her much older former lover to break with him but Greg arrives before she does and assumes the older man and his wife are actually Ginny's parents. Ginny's later arrival only throws the whole thing into a wildly funny miasma of assumptions, half-truths and revelations. Be prepared to find your ribs aching with laughter. It's too good to miss.