by Noel Coward
24 September - 3 October 2015
This is a comedy in the finest tradition of Noel Coward, full of witty one-liners and acid put-downs. Set in the 1930s the story revolves around Garry Essendine, a theatrical star with an ego the size of Drury Lane who attracts a succession of passionate debutantes and dotty playwrights like moths to a candle. Dealing with them, and the predatory wife of his agent, are his long-suffering secretary and his ex-wife both of whom strive to extricate Garry from his many entanglements.In all, a delightful piece of light-weight theatre, guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of any audience.
by Terence Frisby
29 October - 7 November 2015
This is a gripping courtroom drama staged "in the round", giving the audience the feeling of being part of the proceedings.
The play opens in the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, where James Highwood - a successful and well-known television presenter of a programme called British Justice? - is on trial charged with murder. Refusing his solicitor's plea to obtain legal representation, Highwood conducts his own defence, admitting responsibility for the death but pleading manslaughter – a plea that brings him into conflict with the judge and prosecuting counsel.
Overshadowing the whole case is the question of whether Highwood actually committed the crime in the first place....
This adroitly written courtroom drama was first seen in London’s West End in 1994, starring Diana Quick and Martin Shaw.
by Michael Frayn
3 - 12 December 2015
It has been called the funniest farce ever written and features the desperate efforts of a troupe of actors to keep a touring production of a dud comedy on the road, despite a series of chaotic events being played out off-stage. Here, with the use of two ingenious sets, we see these increasingly distracted players both on-stage and behind the scenes, accompanied by slamming doors, sulky girls, jealous lovers, an inebriated burglar and a plate of obstinate sardines. It all adds up to an hilarious and classically comic piece of theatre.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by John Nicholson & Steve Canny
7 - 16 January 2016
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes story gets a gloriously funny makeover. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on his estate, with a look of terror still etched on his face, and the paw prints of a gigantic hound beside his body, the great detective Sherlock Holmes is summoned from Baker Street, with Dr Watson in tow. Together they unravel the mystery surrounding his death, and investigate the ancient curse of the Hound of the Baskervilles. Packed full of verbal and visual ingenuity this is a sublimely funny adaptation of a classic tale.
by Ira Levin
11 - 20 February 2016
This chilling mystery thriller by the author of Rosemary's Baby explores the thin line between fantasy and reality, madness and murder. Students Susan and Larry find themselves as guests enticed to the Brabissant mansion by its dissolute caretakers, the lonely Mackeys. Struck by Susan's strong resemblance to Veronica Brabissant, long-dead daughter of the family for whom they work, the older couple gradually induce her to impersonate Veronica briefly to solace the only living Brabissant, her addled sister who believes Veronica to be alive. Once dressed in Veronica's clothes, Susan finds herself locked in the role and locked in Veronica's room. Or is she Veronica, in 1935, pretending to be an imaginary Susan?
by Harold Pinter
10 - 19 March 2016
Jerry is a literary agent; Emma runs anart gallery; Robert is a publisher. Emma and Robert are married and Jerry is Robert's best friend, but Emma and Jerry have had a seven-year affair. The play opens with Emma and Jerry meeting for lunch in 1977, two years after the affair has finished and by a brilliant device, the relationship of the three is traced backwards nine years to the evening when it all began. First presented at the National Theatre in 1978.
As You Like It
by William Shakespeare
21 - 30 April 2016
As You Like It is Shakespeare's rom com. The play begins at the court of Duke Frederick, a usurper who has exiled his elder brother to the Forest of Arden. Eventually many of the characters are either exiled, or take refuge there and every aspect of love, loyalty and loss is explored. Music is an important element of the play, which also features the famous 'All the World's a Stage' speech. This production moves Shakespeare's play into the swinging, psychedelic mid-1960s – think Forest of Arden meets Austin Powers – and promises to be a highly romantic and entertaining evening. Groovy Baby!
The Owl & The Pussycat
by Bill Manhoff
26 May - 4 June 2016
In a San Francisco loft, aspiring author Felix focuses his binoculars on a prostitute plying her trade. He complains to the landlord, has her evicted, and finds he has trouble pounding on his door in the form of Doris, not a prostitute but an aspiring 'model and actress', thank you very much. She figures he owes her a bed for the night, an arrangement that leads to hilarity. Alan Alda and Diana Sands took the roles on Broadway, George Segal and Barbra Streisand on film.
The Accrington Pals
by Peter Whelan
7 - 16 July 2016
This lyrical, absorbing play, premiered by the RSC, is set in Accrington during 1914–16. The 'Pals' are the men from the local volunteer battalion who march high-spiritedly off to the Great War with their experiences in the trenches contrasted with those of the women left behind. At times funny, at times sad, it paints a moving and powerful picture of the changes in civilian life during wartime.