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.
The Abbey Theatre's Christmas production, A Christmas Carol, opened on Saturday to capacity audiences. Many performances are already sold out, with availability largely limited to the end of the run. Charles Dickens’ tale was first told in 1843 has been adapted many times for the stage and screen. This colourful version is designed for all the family, featuring music, comedy and a young cast that shows great versatility, with many of them playing several roles.
St Albans performing arts school, Theatrix, is staging their annual showcase at the Abbey Theatre from 21 – 23 March 2019 and it promises to be a cocktail of excitement. This year’s showcase is called ‘The Plays the Thing’ and it explores “play” and “the play” through the eyes of children and young people. Come and be delighted and entertained by over 100 students, from ages 5 – 19, performing a medley of scripted scenes, adaptations, original writing, dance, movement, singing, sketches and improvisations.
Touring theatre company Peppermint Muse has made a bold choice with its next production, Death and Dancing, which is coming to St Albans in the first week of February. Written by Claire Dowie, who based the play on some of her original stand-up comedy material, Death and Dancing is set against the backdrop of eighties sexual politics. It is a fast and furious comedy that attacks conventional notions of gender and labelling.
It's springtime again in our beautiful city and there are plenty of events going on in the theatres and other venues for you to get out and enjoy! Here are a few for you to choose from:
The stage is set, the countdown has started, stand by everyone because Roald Dahl’s splendiferous swizzfiggling story George’s Marvellous Medicine is arriving any minute on the Abbey Theatre stage. The Company of Ten’s gloriumptious Christmas show is a feast of eye-popping feats, outrageously funny situations and hilarious characters as only the master storyteller himself could come up with.
Family relations don’t come much more painful than those depicted in Sophocles’ standout story of revenge Electra. And the two-and-a-half thousand year-old play about honour, justice and vengence will be the Company of Ten’s next production. This highly accessible version by Kenneth McLeish uses clear modern language and themes to ensure a rich theatrical experience for today’s audiences, who will recognise the idea of expedient, vengeful killing from current news stories.
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.
The Birthday of the Infanta is a special performance which takes place at the Trestle Arts Theatre, St Albans on 2 - 5th March. "Adults and young people alike are invited by the Infanta, the Spanish princess
I must admit that this is not a play that I was familiar with, but some research showed that the lead role was performed by Mark Rylance originally, for which he won many awards and the play many plaudits. The play has a reputation for being, shall we say 'edgy', due to the adult content, including frequent strong language. An interesting and laudable choice for a local theatre group. The play revolves around the character of Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron, played by Marlon Gill. A loner, living in a caravan close to a new Housing estate, the residents of which would like to see the back of him. A larger-than-life character, living on the edge of the law.
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