‘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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‘Carmen the Gypsy’ at the Reading Rep Theatre

This week, the Reading Rep Theatre present Carmen the Gipsy, based on the original Prosper Mérimée legend, in collaboration with the Romany Theatre Company. It is a powerful and punchy production (directed by Abigail Graham) and is infused with Romany values, featuring magnificent original music (by the inspired Dan Allum).

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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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Betrayal at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

The Progress Theatre’s latest production is Harold Pinter’s 1978 classic, Betrayal, which is famously based on Pinter’s real-life affair with BBC television presenter Joan Bakewell. In this play, he uses clever reverse chronology to explore the complex theme of betrayal.

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