We’re delighted to announce our new season of plays for 2017/2018! It includes theatre favourites from Pratchett and Shakespeare to challenging and modern pieces like Mad Forest and The Wish List, plus look out for our Equality and Diversity Week in July 2018.
George Orwell’s Animal Farm by Nelson Bond (Dramatised Reading)
5th – 7th October 2017 (3 nights)
Director: Rob Whitfield
Synopsis: Animal Farm is a fable with a sting. Much has been written about the threat of Communism, but it remained to the late George Orwell, farsighted author of the brilliant and frightening 1984, to expose the Russian experiment for what it really is; an idealist’s dream, converted by realists into a nightmare. In a staged dramatic reading version of this timely allegory you will meet beasts whose prototypes have dominated news headlines for many fearful years. Opening on a note of joyous triumph for the creatures who have emancipated themselves from the cruel mastery of a human owner, the reading mounts inexorably to a climax of disillusionment in which the other animals discover themselves now subject to the rule of even more ruthless autocrats: the greedy, cunning pigs. Intermingling humour and drama, Animal Farm wrings the emotions of its listeners, leaving audiences shaken with the tale of a tragedy that happened in a mythical barnyard far away but could happen in our own back yard.
The House Of Dracula by Martin Downing
31st October – 5th November 2017
Directed by Iain Holding-Sutton
This Comedy Horror finds the Baron, Baroness and their repulsive retainers, Igor and Frau Lurker, going to stay at a macabre Transylvania fortress. Excitement turns to terror when they are greeted by more than a few of their mortal (and immortal) enemies. They are to take part in an unholy survival test involving ghouls, ghosts and the fiendish Dr. Jekyll. The Frankensteins flee from cellar to attic, desperate to escape a fate worse than death!
“A Monster Hit.” – Yorkshire Evening Post.
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
5th to 9th December & 12th to 16th December 2017
Directed by Peter Jeary
This is what happens when The Bard comes face-to-face with classic 1960’s pop and the famous British “Whitehall” farces. Shakespeare’s funniest comedy gets a jukebox musical makeover. Falstaff fancies himself as a ladies’ man. But the Merry Wives of Windsor are already plotting their revenge on the greasy knight. Set to foot-tapping sounds of classic pop and soul, this is Will Shakespeare as you’ve never heard him before. It’s the most fun you and your family will have this Christmas.
I’ll Be Back Before Midnight by Peter Colley
9th – 13th January 2018
Directed by Jake Burtenshaw
Jan is recovering from a nervous disorder. She and her husband rent a remote cabin from an odd farmer who delights in telling gruesome ghost stories. Then the husband’s sister arrives, and all manner of frightening events occur. What happens to fragile Jan as bodies appear and disappear give this classic thriller its tremendously frightening impact. Now performed in 13 countries and a major motion picture!
Mad Forest by Caryl Churchill
13th to 17th February 2018
Directed by Tom Tull
In 1990 the playwright Caryl Churchill and ten students from the Central School of Speech and Drama travelled to Bucharest to research and develop a new play. Whilst studying in Romania, they spoke to local drama students and their families about the revolution that was unfolding before them. Mad Forest involves real life statements from people that were living through the revolution. The play creates a web of interwoven perspectives on the impact of the revolution, giving the audience insights into the revolution including the use of Verbatim theatre. The play lays bare how political and social upheaval can split families and their loyalties.
Bothered and Bewildered by Gail Young
20th – 24th March 2018
Directed by Sally Ransom
” Look at those little lifelines etched into the palms of your hands, everyone has a great story in them. Wring it out of your heart and squeeze it through your fingertips onto the paper.”
Bothered and Bewildered by Gail Young is a comic drama following Irene and her daughters coming to terms with her Alzheimer’s. As they lose their Mum in spirit but not in body, Irene’s past passion for romantic fiction blurs with reality and with the help of her unseen and witty companion the late Barbara Cartland, she writes her memory book, sharing the secrets she never revealed to her daughters.
Terry Pratchett’s ‘The Fifth Elephant’ by Stephen Briggs
24th – 28th April & 2nd – 5th May 2018
Directed by Mark Preston
Sam Vimes, the no-nonsense Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, is sent on a diplomatic mission to the Discworld equivalent of Transylvania, to negotiate with werewolves, dwarves and vampires and prevent an inter-species war. Accompanied by his wife, a troll and a dwarf from the Watch, a mysterious diplomat, and an undead servant, Vimes faces a battle for his life in the snowy mountain forests of Überwald …
April 2018 will see groups from all over the UK perform plays to mark Terry Pratchett’s 70th birthday, and Chelmsford Theatre Workshop will be proud to contribute to this anniversary event.
Ladies’ Day by Amanda Whittington
June 5th – 9th June 2018
Directed by Christine Davidson
Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot! It conjures images the world over of glamour, culture and sporting excitement, but now four fish packers from Hull have decided they want in on the action. Unfortunately, they haven’t got any tickets, but they won’t let a little thing like that stand in their way. Join Pearl, Jan, Linda and Shelley in this hilarious comedy from Amanda Whittington in their quest to find love, happiness and Tony Christie.
Wish List by Katherine Soper
10th – 14th July 2018
Directed by Ria Milton
‘From the Gods who sit in grandeur
grace comes somehow violent.’ Aeschylus
Tamsin packs boxes in a warehouse, on the clock, to a target, with a zero-hour contract. Her brother Dean is housebound, working to obsessive compulsive rituals of his own.
When Dean is declared fit for work, their benefits are cut. There are phone calls to make, appeals to lodge and endless forms to fill in. Tamsin must pack faster, work harder and fight to get the support she and her brother so desperately need.
Katherine Soper, with delicate and sensitively powerful writing, asks what our labour is worth and how can life be lived when the system is stacked against you?
Equality and Diversity Week
31st July – 4th August 2018
Details to follow but we will be putting on a variety of events to explore, celebrate and engage with the many facets of our local and wider community