‘A Christmas Carol’ at the South Street Arts Centre

The ghost of Christmas present from RBL’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. Photo: VIVA photography.

The Reading Between the Lines theatre group is performing Anna Wheatley’s version of A Christmas Carol at Katesgrove’s South Street Arts Centre throughout December. Charles Dickens’ classic novel about a diligent entrepreneur driven to emotional collapse by the health problems of his employee’s children now includes some blindingly good puppetry, several terrific song-and-dance numbers, and a lot more comedy.

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‘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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Ventriloquising the silence in the Great Hall

Hampus Lindwall playing the organ in Reading University’s Great Hall. Photo: Sue Beckett

Every time I hear the excited phrase on BBC Radio 3 ”and now, the world premiere of…” I suspect there’s a good reason the piece had never been previously broadcast. So, I was a little nervous at spending 70 minutes at an experimental organ recital at Reading University’s Great Hall called Redundant as eyelids in absence of light on 15 November. But Sue Beckett and I rather enjoyed it, in a baffled, we’re-only-from-Reading-what-the-hell-is-going-on sort of way.

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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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Henry II at St Mary’s Minster, with Reading Between the Lines

By Gillie Tunley and Adam Harrington.

Mark Middleton as Henry II. Photo: Pieter Lawman Photography.

The theatre company Reading Between the Lines (RBL) present the final instalment of their Conquerors trilogy, Henry II, in the thrillingly atmospheric St Mary’s Minster, Reading, until Saturday October 27. It is the story of love and power; love between a husband and wife, a King and his former drinking buddy, and a Welsh monk and a beaver.

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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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‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with the Progress Theatre at Reading abbey ruins

By Brenda Sandilands.

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at Reading Abbey ruins. Photo courtesy of Richard Brown.

The Progress Theatre‘s delightful production of ‘Much Ado’ transports us to an English country house in May 1945, with most of the action taking place on the veranda and gardens. This clever choice allows the cast to make the most of the glorious outdoor setting – the magnificent Reading abbey ruins. It also means that a simple stage and few props are sufficient (a wireless and a patio table with chairs).

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How Whitley Pump featured finalists did on the night at Reading Cultural Awards 2018

The big surprise on the night of 27 June was the special award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Arts’ which was won by the Rising Sun Arts Centre on Silver Street (pictured above). For the expected awards, the Whitley Pump had featured at least one of the finalists in each of the twelve categories of this year’s Reading Cultural Awards.

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