For Press enquiries please contact:
Gemma Twiselton, PR & Media Officer
Tel.: 01722 320 117 ext 110
Thursday 13 February 2014
Premiere of Chris Chibnall’s Worst Wedding Ever at Salisbury Playhouse
Broadchurch-creator Chris Chibnall’s new play, Worst Wedding Ever, will premiere at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 27 March to Saturday 19 April.
Worst Wedding Ever is a comedy drama set in West Dorset about a mother who, after her daughter’s original wedding plans begin to crumble, enlists the whole family to help make the day one she’ll never forget. With a marquee in the back garden, a hand-me-down dress, the pub band and two fully-functioning Portaloos, surely the day will pass without a hitch?
Carolyn Pickles will play Liz, the mother of the bride, whilst Rosie Wyatt and Rudi Dharmalingam will play the bride and groom, Rachel and Scott.
Carolyn Pickles recently played newspaper editor Maggie Radliffe in Broadchurch and her other numerous credits include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, May to December and Emmerdale. Rosie Wyatt recently appeared in the National Theatre’s international tour of One Man, Two Guvnors and in nabakov and Soho Theatre’s production of Blink. Rudi Dharmalingam has performed in The History Boys, both at the National Theatre and on Broadway, as well as in the National Theatre’s productions of Rafta Rafta and England People Very Nice.
The cast also includes Oliver Bennett, Richard Hurst, Martin Hyder, and Rebecca Oldfield as well as Lloyd Gorman, Glyn Kerslake and Christopher Talman who make up the live onstage wedding band.
The production is directed by Salisbury Playhouse’s Artistic Director, Gareth Machin, with design by James Button, musical supervision by Kate Edgar, lighting by Peter Hunter and sound by Mark Noble.
Chris Chibnall is a stage and television writer who created Broadchurch, the most talked about television drama of 2013. The American version is currently in production and Chris is writing Broadchurch 2 which will be filmed later this year. Chris’s stage work includes Gaffer! and Kiss Me Like You Mean It which was shortlisted for a Meyer-Whitworth Award.
Salisbury Playhouse is producing Worst Wedding Ever as part of its commitment to commissioning and producing original drama from the south west. Over the coming years it will continue to champion the unique perspective of the region through further productions.
Worst Wedding Ever runs at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 27 March to Saturday 19 April and is kindly sponsored by Frank and Elizabeth Brenan. For tickets and other enquires please contact the Box Office on 01722 320333 or visit the show page.
Tuesday 11 February 2014
Casting announced for brand new touring co-production of Betty Blue Eyes
A 21-strong team will take to the stage this spring in the new touring production of the musical comedy Betty Blue Eyes, playing at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 24 April to Saturday 17 May, in its co-production with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Mercury Theatre Colchester and West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Set in 1947 austerity Britain, Betty Blue Eyes tells the story of humble chiropodist Gilbert Chilvers and his ferocious wife Joyce. When an invitation to the social event of the year fails to materialise, the Chilvers resolve that they must do whatever it takes to get their fair share of the banquet’s centrepiece – a rations-busting illegal pork roast!
Fresh from his role with The Book of Mormon, Haydn Oakley stars as Gilbert Chilvers. Amy Booth-Steel, direct from appearing in the National Theatre’s The Light Princess, will play Gilbert’s wife, determined social-climber Joyce Chilvers.
Haydn’s extensive theatre credits include Wonderful Town at Manchester Royal Exchange, The Secret Garden at Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Passion at Donmar Warehouse. He has also appeared in Wicked and Spamalot.
In addition to The Light Princess, Amy’s stage credits include the National Theatre’s production of She Stoops To Conquer, the UK tour of One Man, Two Guvnors and the role of La Rosa in Sister Act at The London Palladium. Amy also made the final 12 in the BBC’s search for Nancy in I’d Do Anything.
Playing Mother Dear, Gilbert’s interfering mother-in-law, is Sally Mates. No stranger to musical theatre, Sally was in the original RSC and West End cast of Les Misérables. She appeared in the 25th
anniversary concert at the O2 Arena, as well as the 2012 film. Sally has also appeared in the West End productions of Godspell and Fiddler On The Roof, as well as on popular TV shows Midsomer Murders and Wire In The Blood.
Completing the cast are Laura Baldwin, Adam C Booth, Ricky Butt, Rebecca Louis, Kate Robson-Stuart, Oliver Izod, Tobias Beer, Jenni Bowden, Rachel Knowles, Lauren Logan, Matt Harrop, Kit Benjamin and Anthony Ray,
Betty Blue Eyes is directed by Mercury Theatre Colchester’s Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd whose recent work includes adapting and directing the national tour of Michael Morpurgo’s The Butterfly Lion and directing last year’s production of Howard Goodall’s The Hired Man.
Choreography is provided by Andrew Wright, winner of the 2013 What’s On Stage Award for Best Choreographer, and nominated at the 2012 Olivier Awards and the 2011 Broadway World Awards. His numerous credits include the West End and touring production Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum at Chichester Festival Theatre and Stepping Out at Salisbury Playhouse.
Musical Direction is provided by Richard Reeday, with design by Sara Perks, lighting by Mark Dymock and sound by Adam McCready.
Betty Blues Eyes runs at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 24 April to Saturday 17 May as part of a national tour. For tickets or other enquiries please contact the Box Office on 01722 320333 or visit the show page.
Thursday 6 February 2014
Third Annual Theatre Fest West Launched
Salisbury Playhouse has announced the programme for Theatre Fest West 2014, a celebration of the most imaginative theatre from the region. Now in its third year, Theatre Fest West is bigger than ever, welcoming companies from across the south west to take part in events at Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Trowbridge Arts during April.
Highlights at Salisbury Playhouse include Visitors, the new play by Barney Norris, which opens Theatre Fest West on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 April. In a farmhouse on the edge of Salisbury Plain a family is falling apart. Stephen cannot afford to put his mother into care and Arthur cannot afford to stop working to care for his wife. When a young stranger moves in to care for Edie the family is forced to ask if they are living the way they wanted. Presented by Up in Arms, Visitors stars Linda Bassett, whose many screen credits include East is East, Calendar Girls and Larkrise to Candleford.
Following their hugely popular 2012 production of The Crowstarver, Exeter-based Theatre Alibi returns on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 April with Hammer and Tongs, which digs deep into the human compulsion to argue the toss. From farcical fisticuffs at a wedding disco to squabbling for control of the TV remote, this is a very human comedy – physical, funny, absurd, musical, moving and absolutely bloody minded.
Forest Forge Theatre Company presents Battles Lines on Tuesday 15 April – a trilogy of short plays that explores the region’s experiences of war. Covering the First and Second World Wars whilst also encompassing modern warfare, this trio of plays has been written by David Haworth and explores the way war has shaped the lives of generations. The first play, The Call Up, is performed in the afternoon followed by a double bill of Keep Smiling Through and In Our Name in the evening.
Young people can watch and giggle as two full-grown adults play with their food as they search for the recipe for the perfect story. Jack at the Beanstalk Café serves up a nourishing bean-feast of stories on Wednesday 16 April.
On Saturday 19 April Bok Theatre needs audiences to take on the role of apprentice pirates in Pirate Paye of Poole. Eve has to disguise herself as a boy to join Arripay’s crew and infamous Harry Paye takes audiences on a journey of great adventures. Perfect Easter weekend entertainment for those aged 5 and over!
On Monday 7 April, The Story Exchange will be roaming the streets of Salisbury, engaging passers-by with the act of story making. Armed with games, exercises, challenges, competitions and spontaneous performances, the madcap Exchange staff wheel their barrow through the streets so the whole family can enjoy sharing stories at this free event.
There are plenty of other shows for all ages taking place as part of Theatre Fest West and further details are available here. To book please contact the Salisbury Playhouse Box Office on 01722 320333 or visit the website.
Thursday 9 January 2014
Playhouse show named Best Regional Production
National website The Public Reviews has announced its “Best of 2013” and Salisbury Playhouse is delighted that On Golden Pond has been named the Best Regional Production in the South Coast section. You can read the full article here.
Monday 6 January 2014
Salisbury Playhouse searches for original drama from the South West
Salisbury Playhouse is re-igniting its commitment to the commissioning and production of original drama and is inviting submissions of new work from the South West region.
Worst Wedding Ever, a comedy about a family wedding, is written by Dorset-based Chris Chibnall (the creator of ITV’s Broadchurch). Running in the Main House from Thursday 27 March to Saturday 19 April, this will be the first Salisbury Playhouse commission of a brand new drama for nearly ten years.
Over the coming years, Salisbury Playhouse will continue to champion the unique perspective of the region through the reanimation of existing stories and the search for compelling new voices. As part of this search, Salisbury Playhouse is keen to hear from emerging writers in the South West region.
Gareth Machin, Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse, says “We know there is a wealth of writing talent living and working in the region and Chris Chibnall is a superb example of this. Over the coming months we want to engage with the very best emerging talent and to find ways of bringing their vision, ideas and stories to our audience.”
For details of how to submit work for consideration please visit Original Drama. This current invitation for submissions will be open until the end of March 2014.
Wednesday 27 November 2013
Help support Salisbury Playhouse in The Big Give Christmas Challenge
Salisbury Playhouse has been selected to take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, running from 5 to 18 December, and is aiming to raise £20,000 in online donations which will go towards the 40th Anniversary Campaign. As part of this challenge we are competing for our donations to be matched so we could be in with a chance of raising as much as £40,000. To be in with the best chance of having their donations matched, supporters can donate online at 10am on 5, 6 and 7 December. Donations can be made via www.thebiggive.org.uk and there will be facilities available to donate online at Salisbury Playhouse on 5, 6 and 7 December.
Friday 8 November 2013
Salisbury Playhouse announces spring/summer 2014 season
Public and online booking opens Friday 15 November
- Premiere of Worst Wedding Ever by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall
- New production of the musical Betty Blue Eyes
- Oh What a Lovely War – a collaboration between Stage ’65 Youth Theatre and Musical Theatre Salisbury
- Theatre Fest West – third annual celebration of theatre from the region
Salisbury Playhouse has announced its Spring/Summer 2014 season which includes the premiere of a new play by Dorset-based Chris Chibnall, who created ITV’s Broadchurch, the most talked about television drama of 2013.
Worst Wedding Ever is a humorous story of a mother who enlists the whole family to help make her daughter’s wedding day one she’ll never forget. With a marquee in the back garden, a hand-me-down dress, the pub band and two fully-functioning Portaloos, surely the day will pass without a hitch? This production, kindly sponsored by Frank and Elizabeth Brenan, is directed by Salisbury Playhouse’s Artistic Director, Gareth Machin, and runs from Thursday 27 March to Saturday 19 April.
Stiles and Drewe’s Betty Blue Eyes is one of the finest and funniest new British musicals of recent years. Based on Alan Bennett’s film A Private Function, it was originally staged in the West End by Cameron Mackintosh. This brand new production is co-produced with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Mercury Theatre Colchester and West Yorkshire Playhouse and runs from Thursday 24 April to Saturday 17 May.
Salisbury Playhouse’s Stage ’65 Youth Theatre will join forces for the first time with Musical Theatre Salisbury to present Joan Littlewood’s musical entertainment Oh What a Lovely War. Directed by Mark Powell, the production runs from Monday 4 to Saturday 9 August, opening on the 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the First World War.
Theatre Fest West will once again celebrate the most imaginative theatre from the South West region with events taking place at Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Trowbridge Arts during April and May. Full listings will be announced early in the new year.
The Main House season also includes a new production of the classic psychological thriller Gaslight, Patrick Hamilton’s drama of murder and mind games. This is directed by Edward Dick and runs from Thursday 6 February to Saturday 1 March.
The Playhouse will welcome touring productions of Sebastian Faulks’ acclaimed novel Birdsong, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and As You Like It presented by Bristol-based Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.
Meanwhile, The Salberg will host a selection of the best contemporary dramas including Bristol-based Wardrobe Ensemble with their new play about the 2010 Chilean miner crisis, 33, Out of Joint’s production of the spy thriller Ciphers and the award-winning Dark Vanilla Jungle performed by Game of Thrones’ Gemma Whelan.
Back by popular demand, Romeo & Juliet: Unzipped unravels Shakespeare’s tale of teenage passion in a specially designed production for Key Stage 3 students. This production will also be presented at The Egg in Bath.
There is a variety of theatre for young people including performances in the Main House from BBC TV favourites Charlie and Lola in Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play whilst in The Salberg there are adaptations of Anne Fine’s Care of Henry and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen.
Public booking opens on Friday 15 November with tickets available from the box office on 01722 320333 or from www.salisburyplayhouse.com.
Monday 14 October 2013
Busy first month for the BTEC Acting students – and there’s still time for budding actors to join the course
The first students have started on the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts, jointly delivered by Wiltshire College and Salisbury Playhouse, and have had a busy first few weeks.
They have already taken to the stage alongside Salisbury Playhouse’s Mind the Gap for a production of the specially commissioned 60s Stories and are now busy preparing a performance in response to the current Salberg double bill Elegy for a Lady and The Yalta Game before creating a Christmas show. For those keen to join them, there are a few places available on this year’s course for entry before the November cut off. Male students are particularly welcome.
All students on the course are taught by a team of acting, directing and technical professionals who are expert in their field. As well as performing, the students have the opportunity to watch productions, observe professional rehearsals and design presentations, attend talks with directors, actors and creative teams, and gain work experience.
Course Leader, Marnie Forbes Eldridge, explains “The students create at least two performances a term and work with different actors, directors and creative teams. This is a unique insight into the world of Salisbury Playhouse and it is not too late to join the current students. If you would like to learn from the professionals in a producing theatre whilst gaining a qualification please get in touch.”
The BTEC is a unique partnership programme, designed as a high quality, industry relevant training programme and is for those aged 16-19 who are considering a career in acting or associated professions. The course gives students the opportunity to experience Salisbury Playhouse, one of the country’s leading producing theatres, from within.
Iona Johnson, 17, is studying for her BTEC and says “I feel privileged to be a part of this unique opportunity, working around industry professionals in a producing theatre. I am thoroughly enjoying this exciting course and being taught by enthusiastic, dedicated tutors”.
To apply or for further information please contact Marnie Forbes Eldridge at email@example.com or ring 01722 320117 by Thursday 31 October.
Tuesday 1 October 2013
Free exhibition to mark 70 years of theatre in Salisbury
A special week-long exhibition to celebrate 70 years of theatre in Salisbury will be opened by Christopher Biggins at Salisbury Playhouse on Monday 21 October.
Taking place in the foyer areas from Monday 21 to Saturday 26 October, Down Memory Lane is a rare opportunity to view fascinating memorabilia, including props, costumes and photographs, from the original Garrison Theatre, the Salisbury Arts Theatre and the current Playhouse in Malthouse Lane.
The free exhibition will be open every day from 10am to 4pm with experts, including the Playhouse’s Volunteer Archivists Arthur Millie and Jane Ware, available to answer questions.
To complement the exhibition there will be a number of special events. On Thursday 24 October there will be a special lunch and an audience with former Theatre Manager Alan Corkill. On Saturday 26 October there is the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon cream tea accompanied by Arthur Millie and former Playhouse photographer Peter Brown, whilst in the evening there will be a dinner accompanied by a question and answer session with a panel of Playhouse experts, including actress Sonia Woolley and Arthur Millie.
Down Memory Lane runs from Monday 21 to Saturday 26 October from 10am to 4pm daily. Entry to the exhibition is free but there is entry charged for the special events. For more information please contact the box office on 01722 320333.
Thursday 19 September 2013
Stories from the 1960s
Audiences can step back in time to the 1960s as Mind the Gap presents 60s Stories, an evening of drama, mime and poetry collated by David Haworth in The Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse on Wednesday 25 September.
60s Stories is based on the stories, memories and experiences of members of Salisbury Playhouse’s Mind the Gap, which have been collected over the past six months as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s All Our Stories project.
Joining members of Mind the Gap for this one-off event will be students from Salisbury Playhouse’s BTEC Performing Arts course, accompanied by live music from the BTEC Music students at Wiltshire College.
To coincide with the performance, a display of Mind the Gap’s work, images and objects will be in the Hawkings Lounge at Salisbury Playhouse from 23 September to mid-October.
60s Stories is in the Salberg for one night only on Wednesday 25 September. To book your FREE ticket please ring the Box Office on 01722 320333.
Mind the Gap provides weekly workshops for over 50s who wish to develop drama and movement skills. For more information please contact Eugenia Whitby on 01722 345165.
Thursday 12 September 2013
Vote for us in national competition
Salisbury Playhouse has been nominated for the Most Welcoming Theatre Award in Association with Classic FM as part of the annual UK Theatre Awards.
For the first time the winning theatre will be decided by a public vote via the Classic FM website and Salisbury Playhouse is encouraging local people to vote.
Voting opens on Thursday 12 September and votes can be placed by visiting www.classicfm.com/theatre. All votes must be received by Monday 30 September in preparation for the UK Theatre Awards ceremony on Sunday 20 October in London.
The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour outstanding achievement in regional theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Sebastian Warrack, Executive Director of Salisbury Playhouse says “Salisbury Playhouse entertains over 100,000 people each year and we are delighted to have the chance to compete for this prestigious award. This is a superb way for our audiences and the local community to show the country how much Salisbury Playhouse means to them”.
Wednesday 28 August 2013
Salisbury Playhouse offers apprenticeships
For the first time we are offering two apprenticeships, giving young people the opportunity to train in either technical theatre or administration.
These one year positions will enable two people to work alongside theatre professionals in one of Britain’s leading producing theatres, with an on-site scenery workshop, costume department and props store. The apprentices will undertake nationally recognised training accredited by Wiltshire College.
The Technical Theatre apprenticeship is open to those aged 18-24 years and the successful applicant will work with both the stage and electrics departments, increasing their knowledge of sound, lighting, flying scenery and working as part of the backstage team.
The Community Arts Administrator apprenticeship is open to those aged 16-18 years and the chosen candidate will work with the Participation department, offering administrative support and assisting on a wide range of community projects.
Sebastian Warrack, Executive Director, says “As a publicly funded organisation we take very seriously our responsibility to harness emerging talent and develop the creative skills of the next generation to ensure the success of both our business and the wider cultural sector, one of the fastest growing in the economy. We look forward to welcoming the apprentices to join our team in the autumn.”
The apprenticeships add to the range of training opportunities currently provided by Salisbury Playhouse, including work placements, Arts Awards and the BTEC Performing Arts that is being delivered in partnership with Wiltshire College.
For more details and an application form click here. The closing date for completed applications is Friday 6 September.
Thursday 22 August 2013
Get on your bike for Cycle to Work Day
Salisbury Playhouse is encouraging employees to pledge to cycle to work on Thursday 12 September as part of national Cycle to Work Day.
This day aims to see more than a million people from across the UK, including multiple gold medal winning Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, taking part in the biggest ever national Cycle to Work Day. Supported by British Cycling, Sustrans, The Bicycle Association, Business in the Community and championed by Dame Sarah Storey, Cycle to Work Day aims to highlight the benefits of cycling as a means of transport and encourage more people to cycle more frequently.
Census data shows that 760,000 people nationwide now cycle to work regularly, an increase of 110,000 from 2001.
Frank Kenny, Volunteer Sustainability Champion, says “This initiative fits very well with our sustainability programme and helps us to reduce our overall environmental impact. The added benefits are that you get gentle exercise before and after work, you get to see our great city at street level and best of all it is absolutely free!”
For more information on how to get involved please visit www.cycletoworkday.org
Friday 9 August 2013
South West theatre companies invited to join regional celebration
Salisbury Playhouse is calling out to South West theatre companies and performers to take part in Theatre Fest West 2014 – a celebration of the most imaginative theatre from the region.
Over four and a half thousand people enjoyed last year’s Theatre Fest West and, now in its third year, the 2014 festival will be bigger and better than ever with events taking place at Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Trowbridge Arts.
Submissions are being accepted for productions that are available during March and April 2014 and Salisbury Playhouse would like to hear from artists and companies that are either based in or have stories to tell about the South West.
Companies that have performed at Theatre Fest West in the past include Penzance-based Squashbox, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Exeter-based Theatre Alibi. Performances have also taken place in more unusual spaces, such as Kilter Theatre’s The Last Post which was performed in a converted Luton van parked outside the Playhouse.
Mark Powell, Associate Director at Salisbury Playhouse, says “Theatre Fest West is fast becoming an important part of the theatre calendar. It allows us to celebrate the wide variety of excellent work that is produced within the South West and gives us the opportunity to collaborate with both local venues and theatre practitioners from across the region”.
Submissions are welcome from professional, student and amateur companies but they must have work ready to showcase. Companies interested in taking part in Theatre Fest West 2014 should e-mail Mark Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org with a summary of the production and company and details of the scale and costings. The deadline for submissions is 31 August 2013.
Friday 2 August 2013
Playhouse practitioner wins award
We are delighted that Participation Associate Practitioner Rebecca Seymour was joint winner for the Arts and Health South West Individual Award 2013. Rebecca has been working with Mind the Gap, our weekly drama and movement workshop for over 50s, for the last two years as well as running other Playhouse activities based at the hospital or in community centres.
Mark Powell, Associate Director, says “We are thrilled for Rebecca. Her work with the Playhouse and our partners provides stimulating and healthy opportunities for much of the community in Salisbury and the surrounding area.”
Friday 28 June 2013
Shout about how much your theatre means to you
Salisbury Playhouse has signed up to My Theatre Matters, a national campaign run by Equity, The Stage and the TMA, that encourages people to shout about how much their local theatre matters to their community.
Show your support or find out more about how you can spread the word by visiting www.mytheatrematters.com or pick up a leaflet from our foyer.
Thursday 27 June 2013
Start Secondary! students present their work
Today we are welcoming Oak Lodge School, The Clarendon Academy and Pewsey Vale School to perform at Salisbury Playhouse as part of Start Secondary!, Salisbury Playhouse’s secondary school project.
Running for the first time, the project has taken place throughout this academic year, engaging students with Salisbury Playhouse and its practitioners through focused workshops. Students have experienced a variety of activities and today they are able to share their work with participants from other schools.
For more information on the project please contact Eugenia Whitby on 01722 320117.
Thursday 20 June 2013
Beginners Please! participants take to the stage
Beginners Please! is our nationally celebrated Participation project aimed at key stages 1 and 2 (ages 5-11).
The project offers young people the opportunity to follow the work of the Playhouse over an academic year, learning about the people who work there and the skills they need, whilst taking part in workshops and producing their own play to perform in the Salberg Studio.
This year 560 pupils from 10 schools have taken part in Beginners Please! and we are delighted to be welcoming them all to Salisbury Playhouse over the next week to perform their plays.
More information regarding Beginners Please! can be found in the Participate section of our website.