‘The Oresteia’ at the Progress Theatre

The accomplished Progress Youth Theatre are presenting their bold interpretation of the ancient Greek canon The Oresteia (ingeniously adapted and delicately directed by Rhys Lawton). Its themes of justice and gender equality still resonate today.

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Reading in the Margins at the Central Library

Liz Real and Martina Hildebrandt, eminent local artists, have combined their creative forces to present a fun and feisty exhibition of work at the Central Library’s HolyBrook gallery portraying eminent women of the area and also examining the compelling history of our prison.

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‘Birdsong’ at the Progress Theatre

‘Birdsong’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Richard Brown

We will remember them…

The Progress Theatre are performing Sebastian Faulks’ poignant Birdsong this week. Cleverly condensed for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff, this story of love and loss alternates between the war torn horror of 1916 and the tranquil peacetime of Amiens and is directed with great emotional insight by Steph Dewar.

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‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at the Progress Theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Richard Brown.

The Progress Theatre dazzled on 12 September with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by the inspirational Andy Camichel with wonderful musical direction by Jane Southern and fabulous Band, and choral coaching by the versatile Stuart McCubbin.

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Whiteknights Studio Trail 2018 – what the Whitley Pump saw

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands

Our cultural journey began at the elegant Barn in Upper Redlands Road and we admired Joy Frey’s gloriously vibrant handmade original prints and Ursula Waechter’s gorgeous brush-decorated earthenware, so reminiscent of the classic and well-loved Aldermaston pottery. We also enjoyed watching the resident hens scuttling joyously over the velvet green lawn!

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‘Little Gem’ at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

Alison Hill as ‘Kay’ in ‘Little Gem’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Richard Brown.

The Progress Theatre are performing Elaine Murphy’s tenderly crafted Little Gem next week. Steph Dewar’s warmly funny and moving production, intimately staged, employs seamlessly interwoven monologues that are delivered by three generations of working-class Irish women.

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Maskerade at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

Nanny Ogg (Liz Carroll) and Granny Weatherwax (Melanie Sherwood) in ‘Maskerade’. Photo (c) Aidan Moran

The Progress Theatre are staging the late-lamented Terry Pratchett‘s Maskerade this week, a Discworld play full of mystery, murder and musical mayhem. Chris Moran’s production fizzes with delicious lunacy – opera has never been such fun!

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The Picture of Dorian Gray, at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

The Picture of Dorian Gray. Photo (c) Richard Brown

The Progress Youth Theatre staged a winning and witty production of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Progress Theatre, Reading this week. It was skilfully adapted and slickly directed by Ali and Liz Carroll and engagingly performed by a mercurial cast of six, who slipped effortlessly between characters with the help of imaginative headwear and accessories, draped around the atmospheric set.

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