Tuesday 2nd October – Saturday 6th October 2018
Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford – only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, but a sleepy Suffolk village. And instead of Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench, the cast are a bunch of amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers. Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by the enthusiastic am-dram thespians. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself – along with his inner Lear!
Directors: Rob Whitfield with Kat Tokley
Tuesday 30th October – Saturday 3rd November 2018
The powerful debut play from Alexi Kaye Campbell, winner of an Olivier Award, the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, and the John Whiting Award for Best New Play.
Alternating between 1958 and 2008, The Prideexamines changing attitudes to sexuality, looking at intimacy, identity and the courage it takes to be who you really are.
The 1958 Philip is in love with Oliver, but married to Sylvia. The 2008 Oliver is addicted to sex with strangers. Sylvia loves them both.
DIRECTORS: Ria Milton with Rachel Curren
From 4th December 2018 (Two weeks, inc including Saturday matinee)
Dramatized with flair and wit in a version first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, this adaptation of the ageless story captures Dickens’ ironic point of view while it creates a panoramic view of Victorian London.
DIRECTORS: Iain Holding-Sutton with Corrine Woodgate
Thursday 24th – Saturday 26th January 2019
DIRECTORS: David Johnson with Barry Taylor.
Wednesday 27th February – Saturday 9th March 2019 (Two week run)
In 1963 Brighton, out-of-work skiffle player Francis Henshall becomes separately employed by two men – Roscoe Crabbe, a gangster, and Stanley Stubbers, an upper class twit. Francis tries to keep the two from meeting, in order to avoid each of them learning that Francis is also working for someone else. Complicating events, Roscoe is really Rachel Crabbe in disguise, her twin brother Roscoe having been killed by her boyfriend, who is none other than Stanley. Complicating events still further is local mobster Charlie the Duck, who has arranged his daughter Pauline’s engagement to Roscoe despite her preference for over-the-top amateur actor Alan Dangle. Even further complications are prompted by several letters, a very heavy trunk, several unlucky audience volunteers, an extremely elderly waiter and Francis’ pursuit of his twin passions: Dolly, Charlie’s feminist bookkeeper, and food.
DIRECTOR: Tom Tull
Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 6th April 2019
Premiéred at London’s Albany Empire in 1988 and set in Deptford at the turn of the century this play traces the lives of the girls who work in the gutting sheds of the Cattle Market and how their lives are changed when the sheds are closed down. Although the girls are unwilling participants in a club founded by Lady Helena to find alternative employment the results are not without tragic consequences.
DIRECTORS: Leanne Young with Iain Holding-Sutton
Tuesday 30th April – Saturday 4th May 2019
Based on one of the timeless stories of one of the best-selling books of the nineteenth century, this stage adaptation condenses the epic tale so that it can be told by just four actors (or it can be expanded for a cast of up to twenty-six). The story follows an amateur theatre troupe as they produce the massive tale of the fictional Jewish prince and merchant Judah Ben-Hur. He falls to galley slave and rises to champion charioteer within Jerusalem during the life of Jesus Christ, while the actors struggle along through the piece as rivalries form and offstage romances interfere. Complete with chariot race, sea battle, and stage combat, Patrick Barlow weaves his compressed style popularized by The 39 Steps into one of the largest stories ever told.
DIRECTOR: Sally Ranson
Tuesday 4th – Saturday 8th June 2019
Danny and Bernie balance their mundane office jobs with sexual banter, particularly their experiences and preferences in the bedroom. Likewise, Joan and Deborah frequently discuss the shortcomings of men while at their apartment.
The main plot point is Danny and Deborah’s relationship, perpetuating much of the dialogue about men and women. Their romance is quickly established by sexual attraction, but as the play progresses and Deborah moves into Danny’s apartment, they are unable to talk with each other seriously. Danny complains in frustration. Eventually, the couple breaks up while Danny and Bernie revert to their usual talk about “broads” and what is wrong with the world.
DIRECTOR: John Mabey
Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 6th July 2019
A revealing, funny and wonderfully moving portrait of four women who sign up to join the Women’s Land Army during World War II. The play was devised and first performed by the Lions part.
Based on one hundred and fifty letters and interviews with original Land Girls, along with songs from the period, Lilies on the Landcharts the personal journeys of four women who join the Women’s Land Army – determined to work endless backbreaking hours on farms across the country in a bid to do their best for the War Effort.
But how do these women, all hailing from different walks of life, torn from their families and bereft of all basic home comforts, deal with the hardships of farming life and the pressures of war? Maybe work clothes full of mice and toilet rolls falling from the sky are just what it takes for these girls to get through…
DIRECTOR: Mark Preston