Our rehearsed play readings, as the name suggests, involves presenting a play with the actors reading from scripts.
Each reading’s director brings their cast together for three or four rehearsals before presenting the reading to an audience of club members and guests. Guest tickets are £5.50 for each reading (available on the door).
Readings are presented on stage with the actors in costume. Sets, props, lighting and sound are all used.
Our rehearsed readings differ from other types of amateur drama:
(A) Indicates play with adult content and/or strong language
26th September, Tuesday at Newman Hall
84 CHARING CROSS ROAD by Helene Hanff.
Directed by David March.
This wonderful show is a dramatization of business letters between a young struggling writer in New York and an antiquarian book store in London. In a sense, these are also love letters. They are about the love of good literature. The play takes place over a twenty year period, beginning in 1949 when Helene Hanff first writes to Frank Doel, the delightfully dusty supplier of so many old volumes to Helene, who shows her gratitude through the years by sending "care packages" to the staff of Marks & Co.
10th October, Tuesday at Newman Hall
SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH by Tennessee Williams.
Directed by Sally March.
This 1959 play by Tennessee Williams tells the story of gigolo and drifter Chance Wayne, who returns to his home town as the companion of a faded movie star, Alexandra Del Lago (travelling incognito as Princess Kosmonopolis), whom he hopes to use to help him break into the movies. The main reason for his homecoming is to get back what he had in his youth: primarily, his old girlfriend, whose father had run him out of town years before. The play was originally written for Tallulah Bankhead, a good friend of the author.
24th October, Tuesday at Newman Hall
*Open Doors Night - guests welcome for free!!*
ONE ACT PLAYS: Old Ones, New Ones...
1. DAD'S ARMY: "THE DEADLY ATTACHMENT" by David Croft & Jimmy Perry. Directed by Tom Meadowcroft
Mainwaring's men have been detailed to guard a captured German U-boat crew until a military escort arrives. When the escort is delayed, the platoon must house them in the church hall overnight. Pike stupidly starts singing a song calling Hitler a twerp, and rapidly finds the U-boat captain about to put him down on a list for people who are to be captured when the Germans 'win' the war. Lots of fun with the brave boys of Warmington-on-Sea in this adaptation of the TV episode from 1973.
2. THE REGINA MONOLOGUES (A) by Rebecca Russell & Jenny Wafer.
Directed by Jane Meadowcroft
This play is told by six modern women, all married at one time to the same man. Their lives are both separate and intertwined, as they each tell their stories from a room in which they all once lived. Their experiences - miscarriage, love affairs, betrayal – are portrayed with humour and pathos. And a great deal of wine
14th November, Tuesday at Newman Hall
LEAR'S DAUGHTERS by Elaine Feinstein.
Directed by Tessa Garrett
What happened to the three daughters of King Lear before they made their entrances in Shakespeare’s classic? Lear's Daughters takes its story and characters from the 'gaps' in Shakespeare's King Lear. This character-driven version, developed by Elaine Feinstein and the London Women's Theatre Group, sees the tragedy through the eyes of the three regal daughters.
A raffle will be held.
28th November, Tuesday at Newman Hall
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE by Joseph Kesselring.
Directed by Sue Jeffery
A timeless and classic hit both on Broadway and in the West End. Arsenic and Old Lace is the amusing story of two charming and innocent elderly ladies who decide that by poisoning their poor, lonely lodgers and burying the bodies in their cellar, they are saving these unfortunates from the sorrows of this world - however, not everybody shares their views!
12th December, Tuesday at Newman Hall
A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens, adapt. Kenelm Foss.
Directed by Roger Meadowcroft
A true family favourite - spooks and spirits and Scrooge all combine to give us a rousing seasonal reading, to go perfectly with our mince pies and punch! This traditional but distinct adaptation
recreates the world of Victorian London and Ebenezer Scrooge, while presenting some unfamiliar twists along the way.
A collection will be taken for POD, the club's adopted charity. Give generously - no humbug!
9th January 2018, Tuesday at Newman Hall
SUMMIT CONFERENCE by Robert David McDonald.
Directed by Adrian Brown
Theatrical invention brings together Eva Braun and Clara Petacci, the mistresses of Hitler and Mussolini, in 1941 and, in daringly controversial repartee, they assume the roles of their dictator lovers. An intense atmosphere of political and sexual oppression parallels seemingly innocent worship of movie stars, but reveals the evils of twentieth century idolatry, charting the perverse, cold logic of the Nazi party. Glenda Jackson and Georgina Hale starred in the London production.
23rd January, Tuesday at Newman Hall
HER NAKED SKIN (A) by Rebecca Lenkiewicz.
Directed by Janet Adams
“A great drama about women, by a woman.” In the 100th anniversary of women gaining the vote, this strong and powerful story depicts two women's different experiences of the pre-WWI women's suffrage movement. Militancy in the Suffragette Movement is at its height. Thousands of women of all classes serve time in Holloway Prison in their fight to gain the vote. Amongst them is Lady Celia Cain who feels trapped by both the policies of the day and the shackles of a frustrating marriage. Inside, she meets a young seamstress, Eve Douglas, and her life spirals into a dangerous chaos. This play is set at a crucial moment when, with emancipation almost in sight, women refuse to let the establishment stand in their way.
6th February, Tuesday at Newman Hall
ONE ACT PLAYS: Loved Ones, Neglected Ones...
WEDDING BREAKFAST by William Dinner and William Morum.
Directed by Carolyn Harman
Two waitresses watch a wedding taking place over the road - when in walks a foreign girl with a strange tale...
THE DOCK BRIEF by John Mortimer.
Directed by Chris Morison
In a cell under the Old Bailey, two men meet. One is Wilfred Morgenhall, an unmarried barrister who never gets any cases and is overjoyed to have won this dock brief, the defence of an accused individual with no lawyer (at public expense). The other is his client Herbert Fowle, an insignificant man who just wants to plead guilty to murdering his wife and get it all over. But Morgenhall – and the British justice system – have other plans… This was the first original play written by John Mortimer, creator of the iconic rumpled barrister, Rumpole of the Bailey.
A raffle will be held.
20th February, Tuesday at Newman Hall
JILL PIPER presents
TO CANADA WITH ODETTE
Jill, a Playgoer of many years standing and an experienced speaker, tells of when, as one of a party of teenagers, she accompanied the celebrated Resistance heroine Odettte (Churchill) on a trip to Canada.
Coffee and cake will be provided.
13th March, Tuesday at Newman Hall
TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare, edited by Vonda Schuster.
Directed by Christopher Warren
In a club first, we are proud to invite you to our first ever full Shakespeare play. Join the lost twins Viola and Sebastian, the puritanical Malvolio, the bellicose Sir Toby Belch, and the whole fantastic household as we give bring Illyria to Westbury in one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies a distinctly Playgoers’ outing. A night of glitter, glamour and gender-swapping is promised!
27th March, Tuesday at Newman Hall
SEPARATE TABLES by Terence Rattigan.
Directed by Edwina Lloyd.
At the Beauregard Private Hotel, Bournemouth, lonely people meet. In “Table by the Window”, a disgraced politician and his former, now-remarried wife, meet for a hoped-for reunion. In “Table Number Seven”, a resigned spinster and a trickster with a repressed secret find each solace in each other’s company. Lonely people can sometimes be driven to desperation. A full cast of fellow guests and hotel staff round out the proceedings.
The end-of-season supper will be served during the interval (at separate tables!). Details to follow