Curtain Call

Hum Drum – Havant Arts and Heritage Centre

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

4:34pm Monday 30th June 2014

GRACIOUS! I’ve never quite seen a Mikado like this before.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: Macbeth, Titchfield Festival Theatre, The Great Barn, Titchfield

11:22am Friday 27th June 2014

‘A world turned upside down’ could well describe TFT’s second production in its Shakespeare season, with an (almost) all-female company presenting this famously bloody tale of greed, ambition and revenge.

REVIEW: Cabaret, Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, The Rose Theatre

Daily Echo: A scene from Cabaret. Picture by Andy Brooks.

9:50am Thursday 26th June 2014

CHRISTOPHER Isherwood’s stories of the excitement and decadence of Berlin in the dog days of the Weimar Republic were given a bold and incisive treatment by Barton Peveril students.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: Pirates of Penzance, Southampton Operatic Society, the Nuffield Theatre

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

9:21am Thursday 26th June 2014

Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic-operetta is an enduring favourite and Director Victoria Luke delivered an extremely colourful show, starting with some light-hearted activity during the overture from Nigel Finch’s fine orchestra.

REVIEW: The Who's Tommy, CCADS, Kings Theatre Southsea

Daily Echo: A scene from Tommy

10:45am Monday 23rd June 2014

WHEREVER this rock musical is performed this beautifully-restored theatre alone can claim to be its’ spiritual home.

Curtain Call previews this week

Daily Echo: The male ensemble from Barton Peveril's Cabaret. Picture by Andy Brooks.

11:16am Friday 20th June 2014

PETER Hill is looking forward to playing the Sergeant of Police for the sixth time in his career in Southampton Operatic Society’s upcoming production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. And as always he’s planning to make quite an entrance!

REVIEW: The Great Gatsby, Southampton University Players, Nuffield

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

11:56am Thursday 26th June 2014

With some strong performances, and some good ideas (particularly in the staging and lighting), Malcolm Chewter’s debut production for SUP took us back to the louche decadence of 1920s America, and focused on the relationship between idle millionaire Jay Gatsby and his neighbour Nick Carraway, cousin to Daisy Buchanan, with whom Gatsby is in love.

REVIEW: Volpone, Titchfield Festival Theatre, St Margaret's Arts

1:06pm Monday 16th June 2014

This production of BEN JONSON'S comedy features vivid and colourful costumes (wardrobe by GEORGIE GULLIFORD, CHRIS LAWRENCE and FRANK VERESI) and a deceptively simple set, conceived by Director KEVIN FRASER, with painted decorations by DEL and HOLLY SEYMOUR which reflect the play's setting - Venice.

REVIEW: Fawlty Towers, Fareham Musical Society, Ferneham Hall, Fareham

1:04pm Monday 16th June 2014

Whilst some of the material might have dated slightly in the decades since it was written, Fawlty Towers still lives up to its reputation as an original, cleverly constructed, comic classic.

REVIEW: I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Lightning Bug Theatre, Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Totton

1:00pm Monday 16th June 2014

A new company embarking on its’ first production, one I was unfamiliar with, on Friday the Thirteenth! Would the fates conspire to make this an unloved, imperfect show? Not a chance! Director Daniel Farrell has been around the local scene long enough to know talent when he sees it, and the seven he cast to join him are of the highest quality. Farrell apart, the familiar faces (to me) of Elle Wolf, Peewee Ward and Ian Watts were matched by the lesser-known, but equally talented, Stephanie Amies, Michaela Bennison, Sarah Ellard and Andrew Towns. The unfortunately sparse, but highly appreciative, audience were treated to a witty and pithy look at relationships that had the cast playing a wide age-range of characters. The musical accompaniment from Matt Lemon, David Bartlett and Hannah Preston was impressive and with few props and simple back-projection, it was all about the singers and the songs.

REVIEW: Oh, Clarence! Cheriton Players, Cheriton Village Hall,

12:41pm Monday 16th June 2014

IN A comedy playing deference to PG Wodehouse’s classic character, Lord Clarence Emsworth, his sister, Constance, attempts matchmaking for himself, his son, Freddie, and their niece, Geraldine.

REVIEW: Sweeney Todd, LopSoc, The Annex Theatre, Southampton

12:39pm Monday 16th June 2014

STEPHEN Sondheim’s musical chronicles the evilshenanigans above and below a pie shop, in old Fleet Street.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: Oliver! Footlights Youth Theatre, Nuffield, Southampton

11:01am Thursday 12th June 2014

Coming full circle, the creative team of Footlights have chosen to return to their very first show for their farewell production.

Auditions ahead for Chesil's October thriller Sleuth

10:59am Thursday 12th June 2014

SUMMER may be with us, but the Chesil Theatre is already thinking ahead to its October production of Sleuth, an award-winning comedy thriller by Anthony Shaffer.

REVIEW: Stars in Your Eyes - 2014 Summer Variety Show, Otterbourne Village Hall Committee, Otterbourne Village Hall

10:59am Monday 9th June 2014

What a wealth of talent Otterbourne possesses for such a small place!

Curtain Call previews this week

Daily Echo: The stars of Oliver by Footlights Youth Theatre

11:26am Friday 6th June 2014

Oh Clarence! The Cheriton Players

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: The Thrill of Love, RAODS Green Room Studio Production, Plaza Theatre, Romsey

10:12am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

The story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in England, may be familiar to many, but AMANDA WHITTINGTON'S play tells the story with a rare amount of detail, endeavouring to depict the community of post war women - fearless but vulnerable to the prevailing austerity - and to endow Ruth (JESS LIND) with spirit and mystery.

REVIEW: Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, Poulner Players, Poulner Church Hall, Ringwood

10:11am Monday 2nd June 2014

LORD Arthur Savile (Jason Green) is due to marry his beautiful fiancée (Steph Dearden) when his future motherin- law engages a cheiromantist to check his suitability.

REVIEW: Anything Goes, Stage One, Ferneham Hall, Fareham

10:07am Monday 2nd June 2014

A SHOW with a complicated genesis, Anything Goes, here presented in the 1987 Broadway Beaumont version, nevertheless luxuriated in the sublime music of Cole Porter.

Exploring the life of poet Edward Thomas

9:53am Monday 2nd June 2014

HE was perhaps Hampshire’s finest poet.

Curtain Call preview - The Thrill of Love

3:49pm Friday 30th May 2014

A GRIPPING drama about the last woman to be hanged in Britain, The Thrill of Love dramatises the true story of Ruth Ellis and takes a fresh look at the woman behind the headlines.

Oh What a Lovely War to mark centenary

12:31pm Tuesday 27th May 2014

PERFORMERS from Winchester Musicals and Opera Society are gearing up for their next production, Oh What a Lovely War – the classic musical entertainment from Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: As You Like, Titchfield Festival Theatre, The Great Barn, Titchfield

4:24pm Friday 23rd May 2014

The Great Barn is looking better than ever this year, the nearest performance space this region has to an Elizabethan theatre, and TFT’s opening show of their annual Shakespeare Festival was a good-looking affair , though more Jacobean in period. However, popular as this rom-com is, directors must have the courage to prune it fiercely in order to maintain the audience’s attention, and herein lay the main problem with Kevin Fraser’s overlong and at times unnecessarily wordy production.

Curtain Call previews

3:24pm Friday 23rd May 2014

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: Proof, The Maskers Theatre Company, Maskers Studio, Shirley

10:14am Tuesday 20th May 2014

DAVID AUBURN'S play opens with an affectionate dialogue between Robert (NEIL GWYNNE), a brilliant mathematics professor, and his daughter Catherine (MICHELLE HEFFER'S Maskers début), in the back yard of his run down house in the North Lake area of Chicago.

It's Curtains for this Encore spectacular

Daily Echo: The Encore Youth Theatre company

10:13am Tuesday 20th May 2014

PUTTING on a show can be murder and this year the award-winning Encore Youth Theatre will be taking that a step further.

REVIEW: Beside the Seaside, Redlynch Players, Redlynch Village Hall

12:55pm Monday 19th May 2014

BESIDE The Seaside was a collection of playlets linked by their fly-on-the-wall observations of conversations about life, love and relationships.

REVIEW: TOADS at the Front, The Old Alresford Dramatic Society, Christy Hall, Old Alresford

12:49pm Monday 19th May 2014

VILLAGE hall entertainment is quintessentially English and a sizeable chunk of the packed audience had evidently walked from home to support relatives, friends and neighbours on stage.

REVIEW: The Titfield Thunderbolt, Studio Theatre, Salisbury

11:21am Monday 19th May 2014

In the early 1950s the steam train seems finished, to be replaced by modern omnibuses! However, devious bus driver Crump (David Taylor) underestimates the efforts of local railway enthusiasts, led by Lady Chesterfield (dynamic Lesley Bates) and supported by Reverend Weech (enthusiastically engaging Alistair Faulkner), to save their beloved locomotive.

REVIEW: How The Other Half Loves, Bursledon Players, Bursledon Village Hall

11:20am Monday 19th May 2014

This comedy involves two homes (combined in a single set), three couples and action that occurs simultaneously on two successive evenings. Debut director Gemma Mabeley managed to make sense of the convoluted situation for the audience although at three hours some judicial pruning might have been done.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: The Taming of the Shrew, Foot in the Door Theatre, Victoria Park, Portsmouth

11:05am Monday 19th May 2014

FITD are clearly up for a challenge in presenting this cautionary tale in a public park, with a soundtrack of trains, chiming clocks, peacocks, police sirens and a children’s playground to contend with.

REVIEW: Brief Encounter, Bishopstoke Players, Bishopstoke Memorial Hall

10:59am Monday 19th May 2014

Director PETER YATES has adapted Kneehigh Theatre director EMMA RICE'S expansion of NOEL COWARD'S playlet 'and film, cutting the songs Rice incorporated and including just two - Matt Monroe's 'Walk Away' which, beautifully sung by JAMES GOULD and KATE ROBBINS, makes an effective opening to this production, and, somewhat anachronistically, 'The first time I saw your face'.

Curtain Call previews this week

Daily Echo: Proof by Maskers

10:10am Friday 16th May 2014

BESIDE THE SEASIDE

Alternative Cinema

Daily Echo: NT Live Screenin of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Thursday 22 May at 7pm

10:00am Friday 16th May 2014

THERE’s another chance to see the National Theatre Live broadcast of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at several Hampshire cinemas next week.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: High Society, Winchester Musicals and Opera Society, Theatre Royal Winchester

9:35am Thursday 15th May 2014

Any musical that showcases Cole Porter’s witty lyrics and memorable tunes has a head-start on many others, such is the enduring quality of the man’s talent. Set in affluent 1930s Long Island, socialite Tracy Lord’s wedding preparations are derailed, initially by the distracting presence of ex-husband Dexter and then by tabloid hack Mike.

LAT NIGHT'S REVIEW: 'Allo 'Allo, Warsash Theatre Club, Victory Hall, Warsash

9:27am Thursday 15th May 2014

In a tricolour-bedecked hall, the first night audience, many in fancy dress, were soon introduced to all the characters we know and love from the long-running TV show, set in Rene’s café in occupied France in World War II.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: The Addams Family, Music Theatre South, The Hub, Southampton

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

9:14am Thursday 15th May 2014

Bringing macabre to the stage, the musical closely follows the characters created in the cartoons of the same name, with a typically ghoulish storyline.

My Baby of the Boards

Daily Echo: Sarah Mulcare with daughters Mabel and Nellie. Picture by James Newell.

9:09am Thursday 15th May 2014

Three-week-old Mabel joins Mum as she rehearses for new Addams Family show

Fawlty Towers looking for pawfect star

Daily Echo: Fareham Musical Society are searching for a pooch for Fawlty Towers

9:01am Thursday 15th May 2014

FAREHAM Musical Society is searching for the perfect pooch to bring their next show to life.

Tommy stars sought

Daily Echo: CCADS Sean Ridley with the Tommy pinball machine

11:44am Tuesday 13th May 2014

THE Who’s iconic rock opera Tommy is being brought to the Hampshire stage by local amateur dramatic group CCADS.

REVIEW: Woyzeck, Titchfield Festival Theatre, St Margaret's Arts, Titchfield

2:09pm Monday 12th May 2014

EVERY production of Georg Büchner’s unfinished and fragmentary, but always compelling drama, has to be different, and Hannah Wood and Ben O’Shaughnessy have, in their version, incorporated a Brechtian style and songs (written by the band the Tiger Lillies) brilliantly performed by “The Büchner Five”and sung by Josh Coates and Jenni Norfolk, making for a richly entertaining evening, despite the grim story.

REVIEW: The Price, Chesil Theatre, Winchester

2:07pm Monday 12th May 2014

ARTHUR Miller’s 1968 play has a deceptively simple story.

REVIEW: Ruddigore, Eastleigh Operatic and Musical Society, The Point, Eastleigh

2:04pm Monday 12th May 2014

RUDDIGORE is not a well-known G&S but it should be. It has the silliness one expects from a G&S operetta, larger than life characters (literally) and a superb madrigal, if done well (it was!).

REVIEW: A Tomb With a View, Swanmore Amateur Dramatic Society, Swanmore Village Hall

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

11:53am Tuesday 6th May 2014

The sinister, dysfunctional Tomb family awaits the reading of their late patriarch’s will (involving millions of pounds), each eccentric family member having their own twisted reasons for wanting the money. Very rarely venturing into the outside world, they live in the cocoon of their home, Monument House: one wanders round in a toga convinced he is Julius Caesar, another has werewolf tendencies, while a third delights in killing people off with her poisonous brews. It isn’t long before the body count rises...

REVIEW: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Titchfield Youth Theatre, Titchfield Festival Theatre

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

11:01am Tuesday 6th May 2014

A WIZARD, dwarves, a quest and a jewel signficant in the fight between good and evil, Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen had much that was familiar from other science fantasy stories, while embedding the tale in the Cheshire environment he knew so well.

REVIEW: The Witches of Eastwick, Andover Musical Theatre Company, The Lights, Andover

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

10:59am Tuesday 6th May 2014

JOHN Updike’s tale of sexual chemistry couldn’t fail to be a success on screen, with its Hollywood A-list cast.

REVIEW: 'Allo 'Allo, Lymington Players, Lymington Community Centre

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

10:06am Tuesday 6th May 2014

HAPLESS café owner René tries to please everyone: his wife, his mistresses, the occupying Germans and the French resistance, while running his little café and attempting to stop the portrait of the Fallen Madonna falling into enemy hands.

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: The Crucible, Broken Arrow Productions, The Hub, City College

9:43am Thursday 1st May 2014

Taking full advantage of the Hub's stage and resources, this production of ARTHUR MILLER'S dramatisation of the Salem witch trials marks an excellent beginning for Broken Arrow Productions, an ambitious group of recent graduates, and establishes a tense, enthralling atmosphere from the start - the group of Puritan girls caught dancing to wild music in the dark forest by the Reverend Parris (JEREMY MCCABE, convincingly aghast).

LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: Merrily We Roll Along, Showstoppers, The Annex, Southampton

9:38am Thursday 1st May 2014

After a slow start, not helped by a small audience, the company thawed. The main trio of sworn friends, Franklin (Alex Clements), Charley (Sevan Keoshergerrian) and Mary (Daniella Flynn) interacted well and their voices were melodious and well matched. Unfortunately the egos and ambitions of the individual characters meant that the harmony was not to last. Gussie (Aimee Batchelor) gave an inspired performance with calculated modesty and deception, and was perhaps the only survivor in the end.

REVIEW: Agnes of God, RAODS, Greenroom Studio, Plaza Theatre, Romsey

Daily Echo: Southern Daily Echo

11:18am Wednesday 30th April 2014

JOHN Piemeier’s 1979 play is a gripping drama, in which psychiatrist Dr Martha Livingstone (Emma Portlock) comes to a convent to investigate how a young nun, Agnes (Jennifer Hampton) gave birth and how the baby died. She also has to come to terms with Mother Miriam Ruth (Merial Shepherd), who has her own version of the truth.



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