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.
Things I Know to be True, by the critically acclaimed playwright Andrew Bovell in conjunction with Frantic Assembly theatre company, is the touching, funny and visceral next production by the Company of Ten. It is a complex and intense portrait of the mechanics of a family, and a marriage, through the eyes of four siblings struggling to define themselves beyond their parents’ love and expectations.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Bugsy Malone Live is based on the 1976 hit musical gangster comedy film Bugsy Malone. The film centres around the grit and glamour of 1920’s New York, Chicago and the exploits of real-life gangsters and molls – but the cast were all child actors. QYT are holding Open Auditions for budding young performers aged between 7 and 25 years on Sunday 8th July at the Hertford Theatre, The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PS. Doors will open for registration at 10.30am for what will be a fun-packed, exciting day running from 11am to 3.30pm.
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.
Another strong production by The Company of Ten. Well acted and staged. High quality theatre. This is a play that The Company of Ten should be highly suited to and indeed they are! All the main characters are credible and well-acted by the cast. The costumes and scenery are spot on in achieving a look and feel of a pre-war English country house. A very enjoyable and entertaining evening. Highly recommended, running till October 20th.
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