Office politics take a dramatic turn at the Abbey Theatre Studio next week, with their production of Bull, a powerful play about workplace bullying, written by Mike Bartlett. Three colleagues, Thomas, Isobel and Tony, gather together before an important meeting with their manager, Carter. The company is downsizing, and one of the three is about to lose their job. It soon becomes apparent that Isobel and Tony have decided Thomas will be the sacrificial lamb, as they begin a barrage of insults, innuendo and uninvited physical contact, aimed at undermining and overwhelming him.
Kenneth Grahame’s enduring tale of Mole, Ratty, Badger, Mr Toad, and their many friends, comes to the Abbey Theatre this Christmas. This stage version of The Wind in the Willows, by Alan Bennett, with additional lyrics and music by Jeremy Sams, caused a popular sensation when it first appeared at The National Theatre in 1990. It has since become a classic in its own right.
I still have strong memories of watching Abigail's Party on the BBC back in 1977. I was a young teenager and alternately bemused, amused and appalled at what I saw and heard. It left a lasting impression and I have followed the work of Mike Leigh and Alison Steadman ever since. It is not the safest of choices for a local theatre, although it can be hilarious in places, the characterisation is very strong and the reputation of the original production is so strong that any new production has a lot to live up to.
The next production by the Company of Ten will take audiences back to the 1970’s, with one of the best loved comedies of the time, Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh. Like most of Leigh’s projects, Abigail’s Party was devised by the cast developing their characters and the story through improvisation.
Inequality and sexual politics in the workplace are common themes in the theatre today, but not something you would expect from a 1930’s play. However, London Wall, at the Abbey Theatre from next week, is set in a City solicitor’s office at that time. It’s a fascinating and touching play that strongly evokes the atmosphere of the time, and the concerns of working women.
Holly Road Productions (Ben Hill and St Albans local Alex Bell) are presenting 6 new short plays written in response to theme of "White Lies" which will premiere over two weekends in August. The plays will be directed by Stanley Walton (another St Albans local) and star just 4 actors. The actors Tom Crowhurst, Liam Hynes, Daisy May Parsons and Sarah Cullum will have one day to rehearse each play and will be playing all characters. The entire production will be designed by Wimbledon College of Arts graduate Lauren Woodward and will feature original music composed by Henry Mitton.
Britain’s newest Circus Company, Chaplin’s Circus is the brainchild of three entertainers with decades of experience in the world of performance. Their aim is simple – to provide their audience with a brand new, unique circus show as well as a host of other, community based offers to create a rounded, family friendly experience. In addition to their spellbinding circus show, Chaplin’s Circus also offers not-for-profit circus skills workshops for local children as well as partnerships with animal welfare charities thanks to their strict ‘No Circus Animals’ policy.
Market Days in St Peter’s Street: Wednesdays and SaturdaysST ALBANS CLOCK TOWER, High Street, OPEN Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays through until mid-September. Climb...
Yes the circus is in town! My kids may be teenagers, but I knew they would still enjoy a trip away from their PlayStations and laptops – and so it proved! We went on the first night and although the crowd was a little sparse, the performers did not let it affect their enthusiasm and energy. The days of animals at circuses are long gone, so the show had to rely on human performance, in particular clowns, acrobats and trapeze artists, and they did not disappoint.
St Albans families are in for a huge treat when one of Europe’s biggest circuses comes to town. The Netherlands National Circus will set up its Big Top at WESTMINSTER LODGE, HOLYWELL HILL for performances from TUESDAY 24th to SUNDAY 29th APRIL. The huge all-human circus will be in Hertfordshire as part of a major British Tour.