For Press enquiries please contact:
Gemma Twiselton, PR & Media Officer
Tel.: 01722 320 117 ext 203
Wednesday 23 July 2014
Casting announced for Bedroom Farce at Salisbury Playhouse
Casting has been announced for the first show of the Salisbury Playhouse autumn/winter season, Alan Ayckbourn’s ingenious comedy Bedroom Farce, which runs from Thursday 4 September to Saturday 4 October.
Graham Seed, best known for playing Nigel Pargetter in Radio 4’s The Archers for nearly 30 years and whose many theatre credits include Accolade at the Finborough and the national tour of Journey’s End, will play Ernest with Penelope Beaumont, who recently appeared in Mark Rylance’s production of Much Ado About Nothing at The Old Vic, playing his wife, Delia.
They are joined by Mawgan Gyles, who was in last year’s Salisbury Playhouse production of Dangerous Corner, and David Partridge, who last performed at the Playhouse in The Recruiting Officer. Completing the cast are Niall Costigan, Emma Noakes, Emily Wachter and Eleanor Wyld.
Bedroom Farce takes place in three bedrooms as three couples prepare for a night out. Each couple is interrupted by the overbearing Susannah and Trevor and their ‘relationship problems’ in one of Ayckbourn’s most popular plays that shines a light on the trials and tribulations of Seventies marriage.
Bedroom Farce is directed by Salisbury Playhouse’s Artistic Director, Gareth Machin, who most recently directed the hit production of Chris Chibnall’s Worst Wedding Ever. The production is designed by Tom Rogers, whose recent work at Salisbury Playhouse includes The Recruiting Officer and Joking Apart. Lighting is by Howard Hudson and sound by John Leonard.
This funny and touching play is performed in the round in the specially reconfigured Main House and runs from Thursday 4 September to Saturday 4 October. For tickets or other enquiries please contact the Box Office on 01722 320333 or visit the show page on our website.
Tuesday 8 July 2014
Salisbury Playhouse to offer 18 month placement as part of national training scheme
Salisbury Playhouse is delighted to be working again with the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme to offer a young director an 18 month placement, working alongside Artistic Director Gareth Machin.
The RTYDS is committed to providing unique opportunities for early career and emerging directors to work with professional regional theatre companies to develop their craft as a director and to learn about the operations of theatre buildings and about cultural leadership.
The RTYDS selects up to four theatre companies to take part in this scheme and works with the artistic directors of the selected theatres to choose four young directors from a pool of some of the brightest new talents in the UK. The scheme can claim an impressive list of past participants – many directors have been or are now artistic directors of the UK's leading theatres.
Gareth Machin says “RTYDS is the most prestigious and successful training scheme for theatre directors in Great Britain. We are proud to be hosting the scheme for the second time in three years, particularly as it is absolutely consistent with our commitment to nurture and offer opportunity to the very best emerging theatre artists. I am excited about the new creative energy and ideas the director will bring to the organisation and am looking forward to working closely with the successful director over the coming months”.
For more information or to apply please visit www.rtyds.co.uk. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Monday 4 August 2014.
Monday 7 July 2014
Mind the Gap works with primary school pupils
Members of Mind the Gap, Salisbury Playhouse’s drama group for over 50s, have been working with young people from St Mark’s CE Junior School as part of The Milford Street Bridge Project.
The Milford Street Bridge Project is a community heritage and arts project, best known for the two large murals under the bridge which takes the ring road over Milford Street.
In 2013 they received funding to produce a website and Educational Resources for local schools. The Educational Resources, aimed at children in Salisbury primary schools, consists of six PowerPoint presentations on themes arising from their archives: Growing Up, Celebrations, Shopping, Schools, Eileen O'Leary (a young Salisbury woman who died on the Titanic) and the Titanic. As well as photos, information and audio clips, the presentations also include ideas for expanding children’s learning through oral history, dance, drama and art. To go alongside the presentations there are five boxes of handling objects for children to hold, play with, examine and wear.
Over the last few weeks children at St Mark’s Junior School have been trialling the packs and enjoyed some sessions working with experts. Mind the Gap has been working with children in Year 5 on the "Growing Up" theme, focussing in particular on playing games. They have explored games "then and now", at home, at school and on The Greencroft.
Rebecca Seymour, Project Manager of Mind the Gap, says “It is really moving to see Mind the Gap working with Year 5 pupils. The work they created in last week’s session based on children’s playgrounds was lovely. They are all getting on so well and the children have been very caring and respectful to the members of Mind the Gap”.
More information about The Milford Street Bridge Project can be found at www.milfordstreetbridgeproject.org.uk.
Tuesday 1 July 2014
Playhouse maintains its Arts Council funding to 2018
Salisbury Playhouse is delighted that Arts Council England will continue to fund the organisation at the same level to its current funding, until 2018, as part of the National Portfolio Funding Programme announced today.
As an arts and educational charity and a nationally recognised producing theatre, last year Salisbury Playhouse’s work reached over 110,000 people through its productions and community activities. It contributed more than £9 million to the local economy and regularly draws audiences from Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and further afield.
In the past year Salisbury Playhouse has had tremendous success with the world premiere of Worst Wedding Ever from Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, while its participation activity has included the culmination of the START and Beginners Please projects which have introduced young people from 17 local schools to theatre for the first time.
Sebastian Warrack, Executive Director, says “This news is a vote of real confidence from the Arts Council in the organisation and means we can continue to entertain and engage with the people of Salisbury, Wiltshire and well beyond”.
Monday 23 June 2014
Playhouse project introduces hundreds of local teenagers to theatre
Nearly 600 young people from across Wiltshire have been learning more about theatre and the arts thanks to START - a project run by Salisbury Playhouse.
This year the project has seen six local schools taking part: Clarendon Academy, Oak Lodge Secondary Special School, Pewsey Vale School, Hardenhuish School, Wellington Academy and Avon Valley College. Some of the schools will be sharing their work in a performance on the Main House stage at Salisbury Playhouse on Thursday 26 June.
The project began in 2012 with support from The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts to work with local secondary schools throughout the academic year, introducing young people to theatre. This scheme was designed to provide vital access to the arts at a time when financial constraints and the curriculum are putting pressures on drama education and can be delivered through English, Music, Performing Arts or other subjects.
The students, aged 11-18 years, have explored the world of theatre, how Salisbury Playhouse creates its work, and have seen a wide variety of productions. They have also benefited from backstage tours and workshops on a range of themes including careers, musical theatre, technical skills and Shakespeare.
Marnie Forbes, Project Leader, says “START has really developed this year and we have worked with schools from all over Wiltshire. Each school has a different need and we have been able to facilitate these, especially when curriculum changes and requirements are making studying the arts more problematic. The young people have been able to discover how productions are made, watch them on the stage and transfer useful creative skills such as leadership and problem solving to their own creative practise across the school”.
Schools taking part from September include Hardenhuish School and South Wilts Grammar School. There is still time for schools to join the project. For more information or to get involved please contact Eugenia Whitby on 01722 320117 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday 20 June 2014
Primary schools perform at Salisbury Playhouse as part of Beginners Please
Over the next week local primary school children will be taking to the stage in The Salberg to perform for friends and family.
Over the last academic year Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils from 11 schools have been learning more about the theatre as part of Beginners Please, a project run by Salisbury Playhouse. They have had the opportunity to follow the work of the Playhouse, learn 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 the participating schools have been Woodlands Primary School, Amesbury Archer Primary School, St Martin’s Primary School, Broad Chalke CE Aided Primary School, Dinton CE Primary School, Bemerton St John CE Primary School, Pembroke Park Primary School, St Marks CE Junior School, Manor Fields Primary School, Pimperne Primary School and Harnham Infant School.
There is still time for schools to sign up to join the next Beginners Please project which begins in September 2014. For more information please visit the Participate section of the website or contact Eugenia Whitby on 01722 345165 or email@example.com.
Wednesday 28 May 2014
Stage '65 Youth Theatre and Musical Theatre Salisbury perform together to commemorate start of First World War
Rehearsals have begun for Oh What a Lovely War, the first collaboration between Salisbury Playhouse’s Stage ’65 Youth Theatre and Musical Theatre Salisbury, which will be performed in the Main House at Salisbury Playhouse from Monday 4 to Saturday 9 August.
This stirring and satirical musical entertainment was an immediate hit for Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop when it opened in 1963. Through sketches and songs, such as Pack Up Your Troubles, Keep the Home Fires Burning and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, the optimism of the Home Front and the horrors of the fields of Flanders are brought to life.
Taking to the stage will be 60 members of Stage ’65 Youth Theatre and Musical Theatre Salisbury. Members of both organisations will also provide support in backstage roles, assisting with costume, props, lighting and sound.
The opening performance will take place on the 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the First World War and is part of a programme of events taking place both locally and nationally to mark this occasion.
Oh What a Lovely War is directed by Salisbury Playhouse’s Associate Director Mark Powell, with set design by Steve Howell, costumes by Karen McKeown and lighting by Peter Hunter. The Musical Director is Liz Weager and the Conductor is Ian Hooper.
Director Mark Powell says “We are delighted to be collaborating with Musical Theatre Salisbury for this project. It is hugely exciting to be working with so many talented people of all ages and to be marking the centenary with such an iconic piece of theatre. We’re going to create a community spectacle not seen for years on the Playhouse’s stage.”
Martyn Davies, Chairman of Musical Theatre Salisbury, says “It is both a pleasure and privilege for us to work with Salisbury Playhouse in this special way. Almost every family has some connection with the First World War which, for the cast and audience, will make Oh What a Lovely War an engaging, emotional and memorable experience”.
A moving and funny evocation of the tragedy and pathos of one of the most ferocious conflicts in history, Oh What a Lovely War runs at Salisbury Playhouse for just one week from Monday 4 to Saturday 9 August. For tickets or further information please contact the box office on 01722 320333 or visit the show page.
Saturday 10 May 2014
Salisbury Playhouse announces autumn/winter 2014-15 season
Public and online booking open Friday 16 May
- The Main House is transformed for Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce and Rattigan’s Separate Tables
- The team behind last year’s hit panto is reunited for Mother Goose, including the return of Kieran Buckeridge in the title role
- The acclaimed national touring production of The Kite Runner
- Mark Bruce’s magical and heart-wrenching dance theatre production of Dracula
Salisbury Playhouse has announced its Autumn/Winter 2014/15 season and, for the first time since the record-breaking Way Upstream, the Main House auditorium will be transformed with seating on all sides, bringing audiences closer to the action. This formation will be used for the first two Salisbury Playhouse productions, Alan Ayckbourn’s popular comedy Bedroom Farce, running from 4 September to 4 October, and the Terence Rattigan classic, Separate Tables, playing from 16 October to 8 November. Both productions will be directed by Salisbury Playhouse’s Artistic Director, Gareth Machin, with design by Tom Rogers and lighting by Howard Hudson.
Salisbury Playhouse is one of the few regional theatres producing home-grown, traditional pantomimes that can be enjoyed by all. This year sees the team behind the last two family pantomimes return, including writer Andrew Pollard, director Joyce Branagh and designer Keith Orton, with much-loved panto dame Kieran Buckeridge in the title role of Mother Goose, running from 3 December to 10 January.
Over the past few years Salisbury Playhouse has established a strong following for its musical entertainments in The Salberg, and recent productions have included London Calling and Spread a Little Happiness. This year’s musical celebration is the travel-themed Come Fly with Me. This collection of music through the decades will be directed by Adam Lenson, who has worked extensively at The Menier Chocolate Factory, and will include favourites such as Fly Me to the Moon, Beyond the Sea and Leaving on a Jet Plane
Salisbury Playhouse is delighted to be welcoming Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse’s acclaimed production of The Kite Runner. Based on the best-selling novel and film, the production will visit Salisbury from 17 to 22 November as part of the national tour.
The celebrated Bristol-based Mark Bruce Company will bring its award-winning dance production of Dracula to the Main House for just two performances on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November. The haunting and heart-wrenching tale is brought to life by a company of ten dancers in this magical production which won the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance.
A variety of touring productions will visit The Salberg including Theatre Centre with Muddy Choir, Living Spit with Elizabeth I: Virgin on the Ridiculous and there will be a fresh and inventive adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with all the characters played by just two performers!
With a wide selection of productions for young people and a range of complementary workshops and activities, there is something for everyone this season at Salisbury Playhouse.
Public booking opens on Friday 16 May with tickets available from the box office on 01722 320333 or from www.salisburyplayhouse.com.
Thursday 1 May 2014
Award winning composers reveal all about putting on a show at Salisbury Playhouse
Olivier Award-winning songwriting partners George Stiles and Anthony Drewe are visiting Salisbury Playhouse for a special free event to accompany Betty Blue Eyes on Saturday 3 May.
Songwriting With Stiles and Drewe, presented by Musical Theatre Network, will give fans of musical theatre a fun insight into writing musicals and the journey involved in getting a production from page to stage.
Stiles and Drewe’s musicals include Betty Blue Eyes and Honk!, which won an Olivier Award for Best Musical, and they wrote the new songs for the Disney and Cameron Mackintosh production of Mary Poppins.
Songwriting With Stiles and Drewe takes place on Saturday 3 May at 6pm. Tickets are free and can be booked via the Salisbury Playhouse box office on 01722 320333. The event can also be combined with seeing Betty Blue Eyes, either at the 2.15pm or 7.30pm performance.
Tuesday 15 April 2014
Shakespeare’s 450th birthday to be celebrated at Salisbury Playhouse
Salisbury Playhouse is celebrating William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on Wednesday 23 April with Happy Birthday Shakespeare!, a special collection of performances in the Playhouse Rehearsal Room.
A selection of scenes, sonnets, soliloquys and songs will be performed to celebrate the nation’s favourite playwright, presented by members of Salisbury Playhouse’s community groups and local musicians and performers.
A free afternoon event will include performances from Winterbourne Opera, Mind the Gap and students from Salisbury Playhouse and Wiltshire College’s BTEC Acting course. They will be joined in the evening by Salisbury Playhouse’s Stage ’65 Youth Theatre with Potted Pericles and Musical Theatre Salisbury with a selection of songs from Kiss Me Kate.
Mark Powell, Salisbury Playhouse’s Associate Director, says “It’s great that members of the wider community have volunteered to take the lead roles in celebrating Shakespeare’s special day. This will be a varied and relaxed entertainment for anyone to enjoy.”
Happy Birthday Shakespeare! takes place on Wednesday 23 April at 2pm and 7pm and tickets are available from the box office on 01722 320333. The afternoon event is free whilst tickets for the evening performance cost £5 which includes birthday cake!
Monday 17 March 2014
National Theatre Connections Festival returns to Salisbury Playhouse
Salisbury Playhouse will present five different plays by eight different schools and young theatre groups from Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 May as part of the National Theatre’s Connections Festival. Every year ten brand new plays are written exclusively for Connections by some of the most influential British playwrights, giving young people aged 13-19 from all over the country access to the best new writing for theatre. From Plymouth to Inverness and from Belfast to Norwich, Connections celebrates great new writing for the stage and the energy, commitment and talent of young theatre-makers.
The five plays confirmed at Salisbury Playhouse are:
Same by Deborah Bruce - presented by Portal Theatre Company from Godolphin School, Salisbury and Ascendance Theatre Arts, Cardiff
Same is set in an old people's home in the week that Josie dies. Her teenage grandchildren reminisce about their memories of her, and the residents in the home feel the effects of her death on their lives as her funeral takes place. Is the gulf between the young and old as wide as it feels, or are we fundamentally the same inside whatever age we are?
Deborah Bruce says “It is very exciting to be part of Connections, and to have the unique opportunity to see several different interpretations of my play all at once and all over the country. Youth Theatre was such an important and precious part of my teenage life and I strongly believe in the importance of drama when it comes to imagining what it might be like to be someone other than yourself; an invaluable skill as a human being! I'm so looking forward to seeing how all these young performers have approached inhabiting the characters in my play”.
Horizon by Matt Hartley – presented by Berry Youth Theatre, Eastleigh
It’s the last day of the summer holidays and for one group of friends that means there is only one place to be: Horizon Shopping Centre. For some it's a chance to gossip and flirt, grab a milkshake and bargain in the sales, earn some money and catch a film, but for two sisters it’s everything they've come to resent: an image of what their future looks like. As closing time approaches a summer of resentment and frustration can no longer be contained and two sisters stand up and fight for what they believe in.
Matt Hartley says “NT Connections has been a joy from the very beginning. To be provided the platform to create a story that, I hope, reflects, excites and engages with a generation of future theatre makers across the whole country is a privilege. The passion and ambition shown by all the participants has helped to remind me why I wanted to be a writer in the first place”.
The Wardrobe by Sam Holcroft – presented by Salisbury Playhouse and Wiltshire College’s BTEC Performing Arts (Acting) students, Nuffield Youth Theatre, Southampton and St Swithun’s School, Winchester.
Across five centuries of British history, small groups of children seek sanctuary in the same solid, old wardrobe. It's the safest place they know – but is it safe enough?
Sam Holcroft says “Writing for Connections has been a joy, for so many reasons. The extraordinary enthusiasm of everyone involved, from the National Theatre staff to the directors, to the hundreds of young performers taking part, was just so inspiring. Dreaming up multiple roles and scenarios exclusively for young people was a unique and exciting challenge in itself. And the programme as a whole is awe-inspiring: every year it generates brand new, inventive plays for young people; every year the process of making each of these new plays helps to inspire a new generation of theatre-makers across the length and breadth of the UK. It was simply a privilege to take part”.
Angels by Pauline McLynn – presented The Arnewood School, New Milton, Hampshire
A group of young strangers gathers in an old graveyard for a community project, watched over by three angels. Over the course of a day and night they talk, sing and bicker as they learn more about themselves and the lives they are living.
Heritage by Dafydd James – presented by BAC Stage from Bridport Arts Centre
It's Mayday, and a group of misfit children are specially chosen to close the day's festivities; but as they gather together in uniform to rehearse the village anthem, all is not well. Tubbsy's hiding a cat in his bag; Deirdre-May's grieving her Nanna and Mark's turned up as Stegosaurus. As the rehearsal breaks down, they soon begin to suspect that they've been chosen for a far darker purpose... Heritage is a blistering black comedy with music that explores the darker side of nationalism.
Dafydd James says “Connections is such a gift and challenge for a writer: I've been able to write for a larger cast than usual, but also had to consider how a local concern about Welsh language culture could potentially resonate with groups throughout the UK. I love writing for/with young people: they challenge my world-view and encourage me to consider things from alternative perspectives. They surprise, invigorate, delight and humble me; and to have so many productions of Heritage happening simultaneously is mind-blowing”.
Ten companies chosen from around the country will go on to perform at the National Theatre from 2 – 7 July 2014.
The NT Connections Festival runs at Salisbury Playhouse from Wednesday 7 to Saturday 10 May with two different performances each night. Tickets cost £9 and are available from the Box Office on 01722 320333 or from the Salisbury Playhouse website.
Tuesday 11 March 2014
Learn technical theatre skills with Salisbury Playhouse and Wiltshire College
Following the success of their Performing Arts course, Salisbury Playhouse and Wiltshire College are delighted to announce they will be offering a new course, training students in technical theatre from September 2014.
Having combined strengths to deliver the BTEC Performing Arts (Acting), Salisbury Playhouse and Wiltshire College Salisbury are now offering students the opportunity to study for a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Production Arts. The course is a high quality training programme for those who are interested in a career in theatre and event production.
Based at Salisbury Playhouse, students will be taught by a team of technical and directing professionals, giving them the best possible advantage when applying to higher level training, either at Drama School, University or Apprenticeships.
Learning alongside Salisbury Playhouse's productions, students will gain hands on experience in all areas of technical theatre, including stage management, lighting and sound, all of which will be underpinned by theory and context.
As part of the course, students will have the chance to gain their Gold Arts Award, a level 3 qualification worth 35 UCAS points, which develops personal and creative leadership skills.
In order to offer the best opportunities to the learners, a maximum of three students will be accepted onto this course which starts in September 2014.
Mark Powell, Associate Director at Salisbury Playhouse, says: “This is a unique opportunity for just two or three students to enjoy a concentrated and exciting course, alongside an acting company of their peers and professional artists. No other theatre in the UK is offering such a high standard of active engagement and we’re pleased that South West students can enjoy it first."
Chris Brindley, is the Deputy Director at Wiltshire College Salisbury, with specific responsibility for Business, Arts and Technology. He said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Salisbury Playhouse and this course demonstrates another exciting opportunity within the curriculum. We wouldn’t think of a better place to deliver the course than in a live working theatre.”
To express your interest or to find out more about the course please contact Louise Dancy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01722 345164.
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 practition