4th to 14th September  (Booking opens 1st July)

Boeing Boeing

by Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross.

Our new season opens with an award-winning adaptation of Marc Camoletti’s hilarious farce. Set in the swinging sixties Boeing Boeing tells the exploits of Parisian bachelor Bernard and his three flight attendant fiancées: Italian Gabriella, German Gretchen and American Gloria. With their frequent layovers Bernard has managed to keep one up, one down and one pending.

That is until unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris, and to his apartment, at the same time. With the misdirected help of his bewildered friend, Robert, Bernard struggles to keep them from learning the truth of his lying lothario ways. It’s Carry On Cabin Crew in this laugh-out-loud comedy romp and you won’t want to miss it.

 

16th to 26th October (Booking opens 1st August)

Present Laughter

by Noel Coward

Actor Garry Essendine is at the height of his fame. He’s handsome, witty, surrounded by adoring fans, and about to take his latest theatrical hit overseas. He’s also in the middle of a raging mid-life crisis. We find him in his once-beautiful apartment, hounded from every corner: a beautiful debutante wants to bed him, an aspiring playwright wants to worship him and his own producer’s wife wants to become better acquainted…

Under the ever-rolling eyes of his long-suffering secretary and the unshockable gaze of his estranged but determined wife Garry struggles to keep all the balls in the air.

This sparkling comedy about sex, fame and the theatre itself – and a man wrestling with his own self-image – is widely regarded as Noël Coward’s most autobiographical play.

 

6th to 9th November (Booking opens 1st September)

Vita and Virginia

 by Eileen Atkins

This two-handed season extra is based on the letters between two remarkable women of the 1920s. Novelist Virginia Woolf is 40 when she meets the aristocratic and idiosyncratic Vita Sackville-West, ten years her junior, who likes to dress in men’s clothes. Both writers and both married, the women fall in love and begin a passionate twenty-year correspondence.

While Vita reveres Virginia’s literary prowess, Virginia is at times dismissive of Vita’s literary ability and is overly sensitive of her own, tortured by regular bouts of depression. Funny, touching and tender, their letters speak of everyday life, of themselves, their friends and the literary worlds, showing the women behind some of the most beloved works of the 20th Century.

 

4th to 14th December (Booking opens 1st October)

A Christmas Carol

by James Hutchison, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens

It’s Dickens but not as you know it, in this fun, fresh and lively adaptation of the Christmas classic. Of his version, Hutchison writes the reason he loves the story so much is the “opportunity to show that people have a second chance. There’s so much depression in the world that being able to realize that there is another day and that you can write on a brand-new page tomorrow and that no matter where you’ve been you can turn things around and start over is an important message.”  With some familiar faces, a few new ones, and a good old-fashioned ghost or two this fresh take on an old tale is sure to delight our audiences and leave you feeling thoroughly festive.

 

22nd January to 1st February (Booking opens 1st November)

Audience

by Michael Frayn

The Real Inspector Hound

by Tom Stoppard

 

Two unrelated one-act plays come together to show the role the audience plays in live theatre, which we are delighted to be bringing to the Wokingham stage. Both comedies, both reflective on the notion of observing the observers, you’ll leave wondering why these two plays weren’t written as one.

Frayn’s The Audience turns everything you know about theatre on its head, questioning who is audience and who is to be scrutinised. Comedy ensues as our playwright holds a mirror up to the audience to show their own little quirks and foibles.

Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound changes the audience once more, as two theatre critics watch and commentate on a ludicrous production of a classic murder mystery. The lines between stage and audience become blurred, so we are never sure what is real and what is production.

You’ll laugh, you’ll squirm and you’ll probably never feel the same about sitting in the supposed safety of an audience seat ever again.

17th to 22nd February (Booking opens 1st December)

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

by CS Lewis, dramatised by Adrian Lewis. Music and lyrics by Shaun Daley and Adrian Lewis

 

We are delighted to be joined once more by our fantastic Youth Theatre in this exciting production of CS Lewis’ much-loved story.

Join the Pevensie children as they step through the wardrobe into the land of Narnia, where the White Witch has made it always winter and never Christmas, think of that.

Helped by the likes of Mr Tumnus the fawn, Mr Beaver, and the awe-inspiring Aslan, Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter must look fear in the face as they strive to see good triumph over evil and save Narnia.

All Tickets £8

 

18th to 28th March (Booking opens 1st January)

Anne Boleyn

by Howard Brenton

 

Specially commissioned for The Globe Theatre, Howard Brenton dramatises the life and legacy of Henry VIII’s second wife who helped change the course of the nation’s history.

In the second when courtier’s daughter Anne catches the attention of the married king during a court masque by throwing an orange at him, a chaos of religious controversy begins.

Brenton’s play starts after her death when the newly-crowned King James I is rummaging in the possessions of the late Queen Elizabeth. Among them he comes across startling evidence that Anne was a religious conspirator, as in love with some of the most dangerous ideas of her day as she was with her husband. She comes alive for the new king and for our audiences as we meet a brilliant but reckless young woman whose life and death transformed England forever.

 

22nd April to 2nd May (Booking opens 1st February)

Enchanted April

by Matthew Barber

 

Escape dreary Edwardian London to the idyllic Italian Riviera in this charming comic romance.

Sweet-natured Lotty Wilton has had enough of the bleak English winter and her oppressive husband. When she sees an advertisement to rent a castle in Italy for the month of April she jumps at the chance to escape her downtrodden existence. Sensing an instant kinship with fellow housewife Rose Arnott who has her own sorrows, Lotty persuades her along on the adventure. Seeking to reduce the costs the two ladies find Caroline Bramble, a beautiful and exhausted socialite, and Mrs. Graves, an overbearing widow, to join them. As the month passes sun-drenched San Salvatore works its magic on each sad and hardened heart, healing grief and bringing hope. And with the arrival of two chastened husbands and one attractive young artist romance blooms again. Matthew Barber’s play, based on Elizabeth Von Arnim’s beloved novel of the 1920s, is a gentle and romantic comedy of manners.

 

28th May to 6th June (Booking opens 1st March)

Apologia

by Alexi Kaye Campbell

 

Written and set in 2009 Apologia tells the story of a disastrous family reunion, offering a sharp and perceptive look into what has happened to the idealists of 1960s and the children who grew up with them.

Successful art historian Kristin Miller’s has invited her two sons and their partners to celebrate her birthday.

As a young mother in the 60s she was heavily involved in political activism, storming Parisian barricades and living in Florence. Having recently written a book about her past she has completely failed to mention either of her sons in the story of her life.

What should be a time of celebration turns into a confrontation of the cost of Kristin’s commitment to her passions on her family life.

In this modern drama life choices are examined by all characters as they fully come to terms with the impact of their decisions.

 

8th to 18th July (Booking opens 1st April)

Stepping Out

by Richard Harris

 

It’s the 1980s, Maggie is still PM and Lady Di’s coiffure is the height of fashion for ladies of the era. Against this backdrop seven women and one man gather to learn tap dancing on a Thursday night, with former-pro-turned-teacher Mavis leading them, joined by her grumpy pianist Mrs Fraser.

The story follows the group – from a mixture of ages, backgrounds and dancing abilities – as their relationships progress and their circumstances change. Dancing becomes the glue that holds them together in this funny, uplifting play that celebrates women, friendships and bravery, with the odd leg warmer thrown in for good measure.