“Where Will You Stand When The Flood Comes?” Parade, the heart-wrenching true story of injustice racism and love is at the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre from 16th – 21st November.
Exactly 100 years ago, the story behind PARADE was headline news around the world. Was it the century’s most notorious crime, or the century’s greatest injustice?
Leo Frank, a Jewish factory owner living in Atlanta, Georgia was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of his 13 year old employee.
’Parade’ deals with the South’s propensity in the early 20th Century for handing out rough justice to its black population. From the haunting opening number, a rich, tuneful score underpins a poignant narrative that exposes the bigotry, fear and hypocrisy in the Southern states of the USA.
From the Award Winning Sharnbrook Mill Theatre Trust comes this multi-award winning musical that perfectly couples soaring music with the harsh reality of its drama.
Today the controversy behind the story continues….Who will you side with? Or in the words of one one of the lead characters “Where Will You Stand When The Flood Comes?”
‘Parade’ is at the Sharnbrook Mill Theatre, Mill Road, Sharnbrook, Beds, MK44 1NP from Monday 16th to Saturday 21st November.
Online Box Office:Sharnbrook Mill Theatre (or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The hit of Broadway & The West End is coming to Watersmeet this November 19th – 22nd when, to celebrate their 70th year, Rickmansworth Players are staging Mel Brooks’ hilarious comedy musical “The Producers”
For more details and tickets, please see home page.
The award winning St Albans Operatic Society presents Grease at The Alban Arena on from 4th – 8th November
It’s 1959 and members of the Burger Palace Boys, led by Danny Zuko, and the Pink Ladies, led by Betty Rizzo, meet wholesome Sandy Dumbrowski at the start of their senior year at Rydell High. Too cool for Sandy and her wholesome ways, Danny rejects Sandy, despite having just spent a romantic summer together at the beach. Rizzo joins in mocking Sandy’s virtuous image and Sandy struggles to find a place where she belongs. Throughout the show students at Rydell High deal with love, friendship, pregnancy and gang violence – will these issues pull them apart or draw them together? Featuring all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie and stage show including ‘You’re The One That I Want’, ‘Summer Nights’, ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’, ‘Greased Lightnin’ and many more.
St Albans Operatic Society have a reputation for putting on great shows like Jesus Christ Superstar and the Sound Of Music, and the Grease is no exception, from large casts, glorious sets and sumptuous costumes they’re always worth watching.
Grease is at The Alban Arena from 4th – 8th November (with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 8th)
Alban Arena Box Office: 01727 844488 or online: www.alban-arena.co.uk
Extra night added as tickets are selling so fast! for Griffin Players’ Panto! It’s been a very long time since the Griffin Players have had to add an extra performance as a result of early ticket sales, but they are delighted to be in that position right now. Tickets for Sleeping Beauty have started selling so well that they have added an extra evening performance of this wonderful family pantomime already. This brings the total number of performances to 7, which they hope will be enough to fulfil demand. The final performance is sold out already and they are hoping that other performances will be soon as well. Chair of the group, Katy Elliott said “It’s so exciting that our panto adventure is being so well received. We can’t wait to bring some panto magic to Venue 360”. “We could only dream about tickets selling so well” said Dee Lovelock, director of the show (and no stranger to cheesy puns, clearly). “We were slightly concerned our audiences might not follow us to the new location, at the Riverside Suite of Venue 360, but of course they are as excited as we are about the fantastic facilities this venue has to offer.”
With ample parking, bar and restaurant facilities on site, and easy access to all, how could the audiences fail to be impressed?
Sleeping Beauty is at Venue 360 from 10th-17th January.
Box Office: 07906 075455 or online: www.griffinplayers.co.uk or from the Hat Factory: 01582 878100.
Colin Smith Youth Theatre present “Summer of ’78”
GUYS and DOLLS at Boxmoor Playhouse from 13th to 17th May
Almost time for ‘Crazy for You’ to hit the stage at the Harpenden Public Halls with Harpenden Light Operatic Society’s usual enthusiastic cast who are having great fun pretending to be Showgirls and Cowboys.
‘Crazy For You’ tells the story of Bobby Child a New Yorker Banker who dreams of dancing on stage. Sent by the Bank to the town of Deadrock in Nevada, Bobby falls in love with the only girl in town Polly Baker who just so happens to own and love the very theatre Bobby is sent to foreclose on. In a desperate attempt to win the girl of his dreams Bobby dresses up as the famous Director Bela Zangler and along with his Showgirl friends from Zangler’s company and the local Cowboys who might have two left feet but can sing, Bobby attempts to put on a show so successful that it will save the theatre and make Polly fall in love with him all over again. Rehearsal shot
All of which would be simple if he didn’t also have to deal with his fiancé Irene Roth, his Mother, Lank Hawkins the town bully/local entrepreneur and a couple of ladies from England in town to write a travel book.
This Gershwin musical has many songs you will know such as ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’, ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ and many more. This show is brought to you by Harpenden Light Operatic Society’s new Production Team of Director – Sam Gaines, Musical Director – Beth Thomas and Choreographer – Fleur Baikie. Crazy for You is at the Harpenden Public Halls from 24th – 29th March Box Office: Email: email@example.com Tel: 07817 331150 or online: www.hlos.ticketsource.co.uk
‘Out of Order’ by Ray Cooney at The Little Theatre, Dunstable from 14 to 22 March
Conservative Junior Minister, Richard Willey, and his secretary, Jane, attempt a clandestine tryst in a posh London hotel.
Winner of the 1991 Olivier Award for Comedy of the Year, Cooney’s farce is over the top, fast-paced, hilarious fun and is not to be missed!
“Out of Order” is presented by Dunstable Rep at the Little Theatre, High Street South, Dunstable from 14 – 22nd March.
Box Office: 07940 105864 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Cartwright’s brilliant play “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice” is at The Little Theatre in Dunstable this month!
‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ was written in 1992 and was the Winner of The Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy of the Year and The Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy.
This Olivier award-winning comedy, directed by Alan Goss, provides a sparkling night of music, divas and romance!
‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ is at The Little Theatre, Dunstable from 22nd – 30 November.
Box Office: 07940 20105864 or online: www.littletheatre.org.uk
Oxford Operatic Society brings Stephen Sondheim’s critically acclaimed musical SWEENEY TODD to Oxford Playhouse
Oxford Operatic Society returns to the Oxford Playhouse from 11th – 16th November with Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, one of Stephen Sondheim’s most critically acclaimed scores. This black comedy follows the infamous Sweeney Todd, the unjustly exiled barber who returns to London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who coveted his wife and falsely imprisoned him. Sweeney’s thirst for blood spills over to his unfortunate customers. With the aid of his razor he exacts a terrible revenge, cheerfully helped by Mrs. Lovett, who is delighted to give new life to her flavourless meat pies. Macabre and visceral, Sweeney Todd mixes intense drama with dark humour: audiences will be laughing one moment and recoiling in shock the next. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Oxford Playhouse from 11th – 16th November. Box Office: 01865 305305 or online: www.oxfordplayhouse.com
No No No Yes! The Vicar of Dibley is in Luton! The Griffin Players present a tale of the eccentric villagers of Dibley coming to terms with their new female vicar. Prepare to laugh and delight in a touching and smart comedy full of wit and wonderful characters. Relive the arrival of the new female vicar, Geraldine Granger, who describes herself as “a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom.” Meet the many insane inhabitants of the quiet Oxfordshire village of Dibley, including the pompous David and his son Hugo, the dippy verger Alice Tinker, Owen, Letticia, Frank, and of course, “No no no no yes” Jim. The Vicar of Dibley at the Library Theatre, Luton from 12th – 14th September Box office: 01582 547474 / 878100 or online: http://htl.li/oiZTV
Cassio Operatic Society are presenting Footloose as their Autumn production at The Watford Palace Theatre.
A boy who loves to dance moves to a town where dancing is banned. There’s much conflict, romance and lots of exuberant singing & dancing making up this light-hearted night in the theatre.
This feel-good show, based on the 1984 film is full of 80’s hits including “Holding Out For A Hero”, “Letts Hear It For The Boy” and the title song “Footloose”.
Footloose is on at the Watford Palace Theatre from 11th – 16th November.
Box Office: 01923 225671 or online: www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk
Our Big Gig at The Core in Corby on Friday 12 July, is part of a national celebration of local music taking place from 11 – 14 July. The event will showcase new and existing talent and offer a range of workshops including DJ, VJ, Vocals and Dance, as well as Open Mic and Jam Sessions. The music live show begins at 7pm, with a line up featuring a range of young local bands, including The New Sound Band, Corby Rock School, Oakley Rangers, and headliners Heroes & Cons. This is a free event, but as capacity is limited people are advised to book in advance. The Core’s Ticket Office: 01536 470 470. (People can sign up for the Open Mic, Jam Sessions and Workshops on the night, and these begin at 5pm.) The Corby event is organised by Young Promoters, a group of inventive local young adults aged 16-30 who meet weekly at The Core, working closely with staff from all departments to produce events for other young people and Corby’s communities. James Kendall of Young Promoters said, “It’s great that Young Promoters are producing another event to support young local bands and musicians from Corby. People can expect a warm welcome from the team, enjoy good music in a relaxed atmosphere and be able to take part in some amazing workshops.” Speaking at the launch of Our Big Gig, Communities Minister Don Foster said: “These events will provide free music, entertainment and the chance for people right across the country to meet and get to know other residents of their city, town or village. Last year 200,000 people attended free concerts over the closing weekend of the Paralympics, and just like the games themselves they brought people from all walks of life together. The government is keeping the Olympics spirit alive and making the games and their legacy benefit current and future generations and these concerts are an important part of this.” People can find out more about Our Big Gig events happening near them at www.ourbiggig.co.uk. To find out more about the Corby event, please view the Corby Promoters Facebook page at facebook.com/corbypromoters, follow us on twitter @corbypromoters or call The Core Ticket Office on 01536 470470.
The Dunstable Amateur Operatic Society (DAOS) present an OLD TIME MUSIC HALL at Eaton Bray Village Hall, Saturday 22 June (2.30, & 7.30), Sunday 23 June (6.30).
Dick Barton – Special Agent at the Boxmoor Playhouse, St John’s Road, Hemel Hempstead.
Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company are presenting this critically acclaimed modern version of the 1940’s radio series. A few actors playing over 30 characters – and a laugh a minute!
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza at the Pump House Theatre, Watford on 10th – 15th June
“Sticks and stones can break my bones…” but when Benjamin hits Henry at a nearby park, it starts two sets of parents on a comically explosive downhill slide destined for debauchery. In this universally acclaimed, and award winning comedy, by the author of Art, two sets of adults come together for a civilized afternoon of coffee, cake, and conversation about their kids.
But frayed nerves soon surface and the grown-ups begin to outdo their pugnacious children in bad behaviour and moral corruption, disproving the notion that “words can never hurt me.” God of Carnage is a hilariously harrowing look at the minefield of modern marriage. A comedy of manners…without manners.
God of Carnage at the Pump House Theatre, Watford on 10th – 15th June
Box Office: 07786 844541 or online: www.pumphousetheatrecompany.com
Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods is at St. Andrew’s Church, Luton from 22nd to 25th May.
Stephen Sondheim’s wonderfully haunting score for Into the Woods entwines the stories of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests.
The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel”, and “Cinderella”. There is a blood-thirsty Little Red Riding Hood, an ambivalent Cinderella, a Prince Charming with a roving eye, a cursed Baker and his wife, and a Witch… who raps!
This truly original musical is funny, dark, seductive, clever, challenging, romantic and full of possibilities from the very beginning.
It is musically very challenging indeed and the 20 strong cast, are working very hard with Director Alistair Brown, Musical Director Beth Thomas and Choreographer Lynette Driver, to present this very exciting show in the very atmospheric setting of St Andrew’s. Thanks to the generous co-operation of the Vicar and people of St Andrew’s we will be performing the show in the Church itself and Alistair Brown is taking full advantage of this in creating this very special production. This 1987 Tony Award winning show was most recently revived in 2010 in a much acclaimed Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production when it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival of the year.
Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods is at St. Andrew’s Church, Luton from 22nd to 25th May.
Box Office: 07778 241457 or see their website: www.standrewsplayersluton.com
The Radlett Players are presenting Run For Your Wife by Ray Cooney London cabbie John Smith has his own taxi, a wife in Streatham, a wife in Wimbledon – and a knife-edge schedule. Following his intervention in a mugging incident, his bigamous life becomes even more complex as he struggles to cover his tracks. The Radlett Centre from Wednesday 24th to Saturday 27th April, 8pm Box Office: 01923 859291 or online: www.radlettcentre.co.uk *** KNIVES and forks at the ready, as the Swan Theatre Company invite you to Dinner, a comedy chiller by Moira Buffini. Paige (Jo Phillimore) invites some friends over for dinner: an artist (Julie Blunt), a scientist (Matt Baker) and a sexpot (Tara McGrath), to celebrate the publication of the latest book by her writer husband, Lars (Chris Loft). The arrival of Mike (Matt Monk), marooned in the foggy lane after crashing his van, provides an unexpected addition to the evening’s entertainment. Over the course of time, the meal and surroundings become more ludicrous, comic and surreal. A silent waiter, sourced from an obscure website, completes the picture. Let the dinner from hell begin! This is, however, a dark play directed by Paul Frecknall, based around adult conversations over the dinner table and raises questions about difficult and challenging issues, with relationships at the centre of things. Whilst it is a very funny play, Paul warns that the language is VERY strong and therefore aimed at an adult audience. has gathered together a strong and talented cast for this stylish production. Dinner at The Place Theatre, Bedford from 1st – 4th May. Box Office: 01234 269519 or online: www.theplacebedford.org.uk/tickets
Guys & Dolls at the Alban Arena After bringing a bit of the West End to St Albans with the toe tapping Kiss me Kate, the NODA awarding winning St Albans Operatic Society are proud to present their new production, Guys and Dolls at The Alban Arena on Tuesday 30 April to Saturday 4 May at 7.45pm (Sat Matinee 2pm). St Albans Operatic Society has a reputation for putting on high quality productions such as their recent Jesus Christ Superstar and The Sound of Music. Guys and Dolls promises to be another success with its glorious sets and sumptuous costumes. Based on Damon Runyon’s short story The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown, ‘Guys & Dolls’ revolves around Nathan Detroit, the organiser of the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York, who bets fellow gambler Sky Masterton that he can’t make the next girl he sees fall in love with him. The next girl he sees happens to be Miss Sarah Brown, a pure-at-heart Salvation Army type reformer. Guys & Dolls at the Alban Arena 30th April to 4th May
Box Office 01727 844488 or online: www.alban-arena.co.uk
*** “Buiding Bridges” at Westoning Village hall Westoning Players are performing Building Bridges by Colin Calvert at the Westoning Village Hall, 18th – 20th April. Colin is a local author and this play has been performed in many countries but this is its local debut. Building Bridges is about a group of environmental volunteers who are building a boardwalk over some boggy ground at a local beauty spot. A variety of characters are involved including a girl who is attending because of her ASBO, a geek of a young man and two eccentric retired ladies. The boardwalk is actually built during the action of the play. But can the group’s leader keep this gang of allsorts under control? Building Bridges at the Westoning Village Hall on 18th – 20th April Box Office: 01525 860092 or online: www.westoning-players.co.uk *** There’s An Ideal Husband in Harpenden! The High Street Players are performing Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband” on 10th – 12th April at the Methodist Church Hall in Harpenden. This drawing room comedy is set in the Victorian era and revolves around a blackmail scheme that forces a married couple to re-examine their moral standards. Along the way it provides a wry commentary on the rarity of politicians who can claim to be ethically pure. A supporting cast of young lovers, society matrons, an overbearing father and a formidable femme fatale continually exchange sparkling repartee, keeping the play moving at a lively pace. This play is wise, well-constructed and deeply satisfying. It contains many witty and quotable lines which are still remarkably relevant to contemporary audiences, e.g. ‘Really, now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.’ An Ideal Husband at the Methodist Church Hall, Harpenden on 10th – 12th April Box Office: 01582 767619 or online: www.hsplayers.org.uk *** Calendar Girls bare all at The Abbey Theatre! Calendar Girls, the funny, feel-good, true story of how that famous WI calendar came to be published comes to the home of the Company of Ten, the Abbey Theatre in St Albans The story of a group of women from Rylstone and District Women’s Institute in the Yorkshire Dales is well known for the courage, tragedy and above all friendship at its heart – the very things that inspired Director Andy Mills He says “We’ve all known testing times and had to battle to get through, but what makes this story so life affirming is how out of tragedy, and with an off-the-wall idea, the Calendar Girls were able to make such a huge, positive and lasting difference to the lives of others.” Calendar Girls at The Abbey Theatre, 28 Feb – 9 March. (with a Sunday matinée on 3 March) Box Office: 01727 857861 or online: www.abbeytheatre.org.uk. *** Patrick Sandford’s adaptation of Mary Shelly’s original story, Frankenstein. Queen Mother Theatre from Monday 25th February. Jon Brown has directed this adaptation of the story of Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant and ambitious young student, discovers the secret of creating life from the remains of the dead. But elation at his triumph is replaced by horror when he sees his monstrous creation. Abandoned by the one who made him, Frankenstein’s Creature is left to a world that fears and rejects him, and soon his innocence turns to misery – and a murderous desire for revenge… One of the greatest horror stories of all time, and one that still grips readers today. Visually stunning and not to be missed! Frankenstein at Queen Mother Theatre 25th Feb – 2nd March Box Office: 01462 455166 or online www.queenmothertheatre.org.uk ***
Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” – Harpenden Public Hall 18-23 March 2013
The story follows Stephen, a young aspiring songwriter, as he composes what he hopes will become a hit musical. His imagination takes him back to 1947 as he creates a story surrounding an ambitious young singer Lola de Mar who arrives in New York City from Tulsa hoping to become a star. Meanwhile, Tony Forte, a 1947 incranation of Stephen, is attempting to make it as a songwriter while tending bar at the famous Copacabana Nightclub….
But is all what it seems? A story of songwriters, singers, showgirls and gangsters with many a twist and some of Manilow’s finest songs. Harpenden Light Operatic Society present Barry Manilow’s Copacabana at Harpenden Public Hall, 18th – 23rd March. Box Office: 07817 331150 or online: email@example.com
Spring Awakening at the Court Theatre, Pendley, Nr Tring
After last years’ sell out run of ‘Romeo & Juliet, Tring School is staging Frank Wedekind’s seminal play, ‘Spring Awakening’.
‘Spring Awakening’ will challenge audiences, it is an uncompromising play which is concerned with the issues of growing up and becoming an adult. Challenging authority, education and religion, a group of young students struggle to come to terms with the world around them with tragic consequences. Melchior, a gifted student, his friend Moritz and Wendla, a sheltered fourteen year old girl are the central protagonists in this ground-breaking and exciting play.
NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Spring Awakening at the Court Theatre Pendley on 22nd – 25th January.
Box Office: Email enquiries to:- firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 01442 822303
BREAKAWAY THEATRE COMPANY AUDITIONS
Innovative St Albans based theatre group Breakaway Theatre Company are looking for dynamic performers aged 18+ to take part in their production of the psychological thriller Roberto Zucco which will be staged in St Albans in spring 2013. Open Auditions will be held on Sunday 2nd December at Park Street Village Hall from 2.30pm-5.30pm and Tuesday 4th December at The Maltings Arts Theatre from 8pm-10pm. It is not necessary to attend both auditions and there is no need to prepare anything in advance.
Bernard-Marie Koltes’ powerful play is based on a true story and follows the sinister adventure of a serial killer; a lost soul driven to commit terrible crimes without motive. Inspiration for the play came from seeing a wanted poster in the Paris metro in which four completely different pictures of Zucco were shown and the production also takes inspiration from this. There are a number of roles in the play for both male and female performers and the audition is open to all.
A synopsis of the play or copy of the script is available on request to those interested in auditioning. Alternative audition slots may be arranged if you are unable to make these dates.
If you would like to audition, or would like further details please contact Rob Lewis at
or on 07595 092482.
Aladdin at The Library Theatre, Luton. Opens 30th November.
click here for interview with director Debbie Cavanagh and a clip from the show:[audio:http://erniealmond.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Griffin-Panto.mp3|titles=Griffin Panto]
I called into a rehearsal of the Griffin Players’ Christmas offering for this year – Aladdin which opens at the Library Theatre in St George’s Square in Luton. Griffin have provided a good quality traditional pantomime for the town for so many years, first in the Vauxhall Works canteen and for some years now in the Library theatre. So its good to think that they still use talent of all ages from around the town to entertain with a truly local show. It’s not fair to judge them on a rehearsal so let me just say that its looking as though there’ll be lots of fun and all the usual ingredients will be there, songs, participation, gags and slapstick! Box Office: 07906 075455 ….and I hear they are also gearing up for their annual adult panto – this year its called “Friends of Dorothy” WESTONING The Owl and The Pussycat went to See…. Based on Edward Lear’s famous nonsense poem this story follows the adventures of Owl and Pussycat when they set sail to the land where the Bong Trees grow. Ideal family show, but aimed fairly and squarely at the young ones. Westoning Players will be portraying characters like the Dong with the luminous nose, the Plum Pudding Flea and the Runcible Spoon at Westoning Village Hall from 29th November to the 2nd December (matinees on the Saturday and Sunday) Box Office: 01525 752858 * * Moonlight and Magnolias Based on the true story of events during the making of the screen epic “Gone With The Wind”. The producer decides the script is not working, so he halts the production (costing him a mere $50,000 a day!), replaces the director and hires a wonderful new writer and locks them in a room to get the job sorted! Only to discover that the new screenplay writer has never read the book! Click here for adio clip:[audio:http://erniealmond.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Ampthill-Moonlight-Magnolias.mp3|titles=Ampthill Moonlight & Magnolias]
The Ampthill and Flitwick Dramatic Society presents “Moonlight & Magnolias” at Parkside Hall in Ampthill from 22nd – 24th November. Box Office: 01525 720446 or from “Country Properties” in Ampthill. Friday includes a Fish & Chip Supper!