a glimpse of what’s on in theatres across the region
Romeo & Juliet at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre
Prior to their appearance at the Brighton Festival, Worthing has the chance to see the Globe Theatre’s small troupe of travelling players take to the road with Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th April.
Performed on an Elizabethan-style stage, this stripped-down version breathes new life into one of the greatest of all love stories.
Visit www.worthingtheatres.co.uk for full details.
Rebecca comes to Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre
In April the theatre hosts Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca performed by the internationally acclaimed Kneehigh Theatre and directed and adapted by Emma Rice.
Kneehigh is one of the world’s most celebrated theatre companies and their international hits include Brief Encounter and Tristan and Yseult.
Rebecca is timeless; the book beloved by generations and the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film a classic of the genre. Now Rebecca bursts onto the stage. Emma Rice, the award winning director, has created a spellbinding new production of Daphne du Maurier’s masterpiece which conjures Cornish romance and theatrical magic.
Following the mysterious death of his first wife, Maxim de Winter returns to Manderley with his new young bride. Surrounded by memories of the glamorous Rebecca, the new Mrs De Winter is consumed by jealousy. She sets out to uncover the secrets of the house and a past fiercely guarded by the sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers. All is not what it seems in Manderley…
Visit www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk for the full programme at the theatres.
Way Upstream by Alan Ayckbourn
Chichester Festival Theatre 23rd April – 16th May
“Boats are a society in miniature. Everyone has a role, everyone has a function.”
Chichester Festival Theatre’s new season kicks off with Way Upstream by Alan Ayckbourn. There are many reasons to see this play. First, it is set in a boat and Way Upstream will see the Festival Theatre stage transformed into a river, complete with life-size boat. This proved rather difficult when premiered in London in 1982, with the water tank bursting and flooding the National Theatre. Secondly, it is written by Alan Ayckbourn and therefore will be funny yet thought provoking. Thirdly, the play gives one a chance to see TV favourite Sarah Parish performing live; it’s always nice to see our celluloid stars getting stuck into some ‘real’ acting, treading the proverbial boards. And if those reasons are not enough, there is the plot.
There are moments of comedy, but it also represents a parable of our time; the play highlights the deeper aspects of life, love and relationships with meekness, desire and power coming to a head at Armageddon Bridge. Yes, I’m sure there will be a bridge on the set.
Directed by Nadia Fall making her directorial debut at Chichester having recently directed Dara and Home at the National Theatre, and Hobson’s Choice at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Visit www.cft.org.uk to see details of the full season’s programme.
Absent Friends by Alan Ayckbourn
Touring the South Downs and High Weald in spring
Mr Ayckbourn’s plays seem to be popular in the region this spring.
Another helping of his wit comes via London Classic Theatre, who are presenting his painfully funny play which explores friendship, marriage and what it ultimately means to be happy.
Summer 1974. A well-intentioned tea party descends into chaos. Wealthy, unfulfilled housewife Diana arranges a gathering of old friends to cheer up bereaved Colin, whose fiancée drowned two months earlier. Preparations for the party spark tensions and open old wounds. As lingering resentments and deep-rooted jealousies surface, an unexpectedly cheerful Colin strolls into the mayhem.
Venues and dates in our region:
28th April – 2nd May; Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
21st – 23rd May; Theatre Royal, Winchester
26th – 27th May; Kings Theatre, Portsmouth
28th – 30th May; Connaught Theatre, Worthing
2nd – 4th July; Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells