The Cotswold Playhouse
Just Like That
30th March 2017
£12 (£10 concessions)
Tommy Cooper was a true comic genius. His impeccable timing, misfiring magic, trademark fez and quick-fire gags made him an international star and a true icon of the 20th Century. Now, 30 years since his untimely passing, the appetite for his surreal slapstick, classic routines and snappy one-liners, continues to be re-discovered by old and new fans alike.
"Just Like That!" embarks on a new nationwide tour after sell-out successes at the West End's Museum of Comedy. This all-encapsulating show features John Hewer (Tony Hancock, Hancock's Half Hour - The 'Lost' Episodes) giving "a perfect illusion of time travel" (The Lost Review) and delivering "nuances both obvious and subtle" (TimeOut) as the man in the fez.
The show, first produced in 2014 to mark 30 years since the comedian’s untimely passing, has enjoyed enormous success nationwide and features classic favourites such as “spoon-jar”, “bottle-glass” and the hilarious “Hats” routine, combined with hidden gems and bumbling magic from Cooper’s extensive back catalogue.
John Hewer “captures the Cooper style, from the mumbled speech and loud laughter to the awkward giant-body language” (The Stage) as he brings Cooper back to life in this family-friendly show that’s a must for all generations of knockabout comedy.
For die-hard Cooper fans, it’s the chance to relive those memories and join in the groan-worthy gags and famous routines (plus plenty of lesser-known surprises and belly laughs!) For others, it’s a perfect evening of music-hall inspired entertainment that’ll have you rolling in the aisles – jus’-like-that!
Complete with live musical accompaniment, this highly acclaimed tribute show is “a loving ode to a comic oddball” (Beyond The Joke) and is the perfect celebration of Britain's favourite comedian.
“If you fancy a trip down memory lane, then it’s ticket, money, money, ticket – just like that!” - Chortle
31 March to 2 April and 6 to 9 April (5pm on the Sundays)
Glitter & Twisted
Following a sell-out run of The Pirates of Penzance in February 2016, Glitter & Twisted Theatre Company return to the Playhouse with another Gilbert & Sullivan musical, H.M.S. Pinafore.
Josephine, a middle-class captain’s daughter, is in love with a horny-handed sailor on her father’s own ship, but Daddy wants her to marry his own boss, the First Lord of the Admiralty. Of course love will find a way – these stories always end happily – but not before some tears, more than a few belly-laughs, and a string of glorious musical numbers.
Glitter & Twisted’s superb cast wake up a Victorian classic and make it relevant to today’s audience. Hold on to your sailor hats – this is glittering G&S – but with a twist!
£12 (Concessions £10 Students £8)
A dark comedy…
One man’s odyssey, to save his son and his own sanity, from the sinister forces he’s exposed them both to.
Bernie wants his pub to be “child friendly”, a party atmosphere, a sort of… Santa’s Grotto, with himself as Father Christmas. But he’s so busy making his dream come true, that his own ten year-old son, Teddy, doesn’t get a look in. Blind to his son’s need for love, his wife’s need for moderation and his best friend’s need for honesty, Bernie sails his prized ship, The Toby, directly and decisively, onto the rocks. Funny, full of laughter, moving, disturbing, poignant, and emotionally satisfying. One man’s odyssey, to save his son and his own sanity, from the sinister forces he’s exposed them both to.
5/5 “A perfect piece of fringe theatre. Writer/actor Jonathan Brown takes you on a complex, funny and harrowing journey. Bernie…. is portrayed brilliantly by Brown, who plays with equal plausibility and pathos his neglected son, brash wife, lust interest and various drunken regulars. Brown has a terrific eye for social observation and his one man show is a profoundly moving piece of theatre. If you’re only going to see one play this festival, you’d be hard pressed to beat this.”
Rachel Pegg, Latest 7 Magazine, Brighton Fringe
Contains strong language. Suitable for 12+ yr olds.
27th to 29th April
Hexagon Theatre Company
After Electra is a moving black comedy about the meaning of life and what constitutes a good death and a meaningful legacy. Virgie, a better artist than a mother, invites her closest friends and family to her 81st birthday party and announces that it will be her last – in fact her last day on earth. Her guests, her friends, her sister and the children she neglected long ago, are horrified, but she is determined to assert her control. The dialogue is sharp and funny and the action is at times absurd, as an innocent taxi driver becomes engulfed in the escalating family vitriol. At the centre, is Virgie a modern Clytemnestra brought down by her children, or a mother who sacrificed her family to her artistic genius?
The Greeks weren't frightened to give family a bad name
This production is by an amateur company
Contains some strong language
Comedy Triple Bill
Baroque Theatre Company
Three fast-paced, one act plays giving fun-seeking audiences a full and entertaining evening
Directed by Adam Morley - Produced by Claire Bibby
A Jolly Sinister Jape (by Elliot Strange)
A pastiche 1920's thriller with a plot that defies description. This is Famous Five fun for adults as Stubby, Ophelia, Biffy and Fatty find themselves trapped in a mysterious house during a thunderstorm. Is this someone's idea of a jape? Or is something far more sinister going on? All is revealed in this madcap comedy set in the Roaring Twenties. It's fast and furious with a liberal sprinkling of hilarious period slang, along with mystery and thrills.
(Running time approx 30 minutes)
Last Tango in Little Grimley (by David Tristram)
Membership of the local amateur dramatic society has dwindled to four and the audiences aren't much bigger. If they don't come up with some rent money soon, they're going to be thrown out. Time for dramatic action. "There's only one thing that sells tickets these days" argues Gordon the Chairman. "Sex!" But how will the locals react to the promise of a sizzling sex comedy? All is revealed in this hilarious play and thus begins the chaotic build-up to an evening of extraordinary home-grown drama - an evening the locals would never forget!
(Running time approx 30 minutes)
Last Panto in Little Grimley (by David Tristram)
Sequel to Last Tango in Little Grimley, Last Panto in Little Grimley features the same incompetent characters. Gordon, Margaret, Joyce and Bernard tackle the Christmas Pantomime with predictable riotous results. It's Dick Whittington...but not as you know it! (Running time approx 45 minutes)
Beyond the Horizon
“Why I can smile, and murder while I smile.”
Beyond The Horizon’s critically-acclaimed Richard III returns to the stage in their spectacular, post-apocalyptic adaptation.
England lies battered and scarred by years of conflict. The families of York and Lancaster have made their peace and are attempting to rebuild what remains of their country. But from the ashes of the recently-ended war, Richard of Gloucester rises to wreak more chaos...
Shakespeare's Richard III depicts the rapid rise and fall of one of England's most notorious rulers, through murder, betrayal, and insanity.
“It fizzes with imaginative energy from the get-go ... Stunning” ***** – Theatre Bath
“Theatrical excellence” – the Bath Chronicle
The King and I
15th to 17th and 21st to 24th June. 2.30 matinees on the Saturdays
£13 (£8 under 16)
One of the most iconic and popular musicals from the Golden Age, The King and I offers romance, wit, beautiful and exotic costumes and settings, but above all glorious music. Rodgers and Hammerstein once again weave their magic in classic songs such as ‘Getting to Know You’, ‘Hello, Young Lovers’, ‘Shall We Dance’, and ‘I Whistle a Happy Tune’. Popular with audiences worldwide since its first production on Broadway in 1951, as a vehicle for Gertrude Lawrence in the lead role of Anna, it really made its mark with the 1956 Hollywood film starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. Brynner was to have a very long and distinguished relationship with the role of Mongkut, King of Siam, appearing in the original stage production, the Oscar-winning film and again in a 1977 Broadway revival. Any actor now taking on this role has to step out of Brynner’s slippers and into his own!
Based on the 1944 novel “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon, it tells the true story of Anna Leonowens, who became governess to the children of the King of Siam in the early 1860’s. The complex and entertaining relationship between Anna and the King is at the heart of this musical masterpiece, with each being as obstinate as the other. But there is so much more to it than that.
A richly-layered night of music, romance and thought-provoking social situations is guaranteed.
Under Milk Wood
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
“It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobbledstreets silent and the hunched courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea...”
“Dylan Thomas’s beautiful, bawdy, affectionate, reckless and deeply original play was justly crowned at its first performance by a storm of cheers.” So wrote The Times on Under Milk Wood’s stage debut.
Set in the fictitious fishing village of Llareggub, this twenty four hour peek into the lives and loves of the likes of Captain Cat, Polly Garter and Willy Nilly has continued to enthral its audiences ever since. With its canvas of nonsense gossip, feuds, affairs, fights, frauds and practical jokes, the play pulses with the vitality and relish of real life characters re-living their dreams and desires.
Come closer now, and enter the world of Under Milk Wood.
“We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood.”
9th July at 6.30 pm
Opera Up Close
£12 (£5 under 15)
Olivier-Award winning OperaUpClose present their fun, feisty, family-friendly Ulla’s Odyssey
‘A children’s opera approached with grown-up values’ The Stage
Fourteen-year-old Ulla is attempting to become the youngest person to sail the world single-handedly in her trusty sailing boat ‘The Homer’, with only her cat Binnacle to keep her company as she navigates the high seas.
All is not plain sailing, as our heroine encounters mythical creatures and obstacles on her journey, including Cyops, a one-eyed, over-keen robotic customs official, and Sylla, a dangerous sea creature whose body and mind have been horribly twisted by radioactive rubbish dumped into the ocean.
This new opera is an enchanting nautical fantasy by New Zealand composer Anthony Young and Canadian librettist Leanna Brodie, directed by OperaUpClose’s Associate Director, Valentina Ceschi (The Elixir of Love and Dido & Aeneas) and designed by Faye Bradley (Linbury Prize Finalist 2013). The production originally opened at Kings Place in London, 2015.
Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey and real life teenagers Lara Dekker and Jessica Watson; this show includes live music and puppetry, an inspirational heroine, playful references to classical literature and pop culture, and a strong environmental message.
Suitable for children aged 7+, families and any adult with a sense of fun and wonder.
Workshop run by the cast for children at 2.15 on Sunday July 9th at The Museum in the Park £2.
Free if ticket bought for the show.