Unless otherwise stated, all performances start at 7.30 pm and all concessions are for under 16s and over 60s
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Nell Gwynn

19th to 21st and 26th to 28th March

Cotswold Players
£12 (£8 under 18)

‘They’ve disgraced our trade. Ruined our art.....They’ve put a woman on the stage!’


Set in 1660s London, Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn is a wonderfully entertaining homage to an extraordinary woman and her remarkable life.


After more than a decade of rigid Puritanical rule, the Monarchy has been restored and the theatre doors are thrown open once again. King Charles II, an avid theatre-goer and notorious seducer, then revolutionises the theatrical world by permitting women on the stage.


From inauspicious roots in a back-street brothel, Nell’s life moves from an orange-seller to becoming one of the first women on stage; to becoming the favourite mistress of King Charles II. Nell’s irreverent and irrepressible spirit brings chaos yet huge success to the Drury Lane Theatre Company. However, can it protect her from the dangers lurking within the newly-restored Royal Court?


Full of comedy, plenty of live music, love and heartache, Nell Gwynn celebrates a life as vivid and colourful as anything fiction could invent!


 


Given the bawdy nature of this show we would advise an age guidance of 12 plus.

Fagin?

4th April

Kick in the Head
£12

Ever wondered how Fagin ended up as one of Dickens' best known characters? Find out who he really was on 4th April.


Fagin? delves deep into the untold story of a well-known criminal from Dickens' beloved novel Oliver Twist. Produced by Kick in The Head, the play offers an insight into Fagin’s own reflection on his life coupled with his true disposition discovered through his conversation with two ghosts.


"All three actors in the roles of Fagin (Keith Hill), Bill (Giles Shenton) and Nancy (Georgia Butt) deliver impeccable performances, thereby managing to develop and maintain a natural atmosphere of a mid-19th Century cockney prison throughout the play. In the centre of it all, the audience is captivated primarily by Fagin’s diverse, manipulative and complex character. His monologues, especially towards the end of each act, paint a picture of greed, selfishness, duplicity and treachery – all features of a skilful dodger, but also cowardice, underlying rage against authority, and perhaps a touch of guilt."


 


 

Stroud Short Stories

19th April


£8 - on sale 20th March

An evening of short stories on the theme of DISRUPTION written and read by Gloucestershire authors


This event is dedicated to the late Rick Vick, local creative writing tutor, poet, events organiser and Stroud Short Stories stalwart.


Formed in 2011, this is Stroud Short Stories 20th event and follows the sell-out events at the Cotswold Playhouse in May and November last year.


Proclaimed by the Cheltenham Literature Festival as “possibly the best short story event in the South West”, SSS’s considerable reputation is based on the unfailingly high quality of the stories read at its events.


Writers from across Gloucestershire submit their stories twice a year to SSS Organiser John Holland. Ten stories are selected - from the hundred or so submitted - to be read by their authors, who may be professional writers, skilled amateurs or complete beginners.


There’s a theme this time – DISRUPTION. Almost anything can be disrupted - lives, relationships, work, health, peace and quiet, traffic, events, games, concentration, law and order, sleep, short story readings, the status quo, city/town/village life, society... the list goes on. Expect Gloucestershire’s authors to come up with some unusual ideas.


John’s co-judge this time is novelist and short fiction author Ali Bacon.


The last 14 events all sold out in advance, so you should book early to avoid disappointment.


More information is on the SSS website - stroudshortstories.blogspot.com


Key Dates


Submissions are open from Friday 17 January to Sunday 8 March.
Tickets on sale here from Friday 20 March.

Illusion/Delusion

25th April

Hand to Mouth Productions
£10

ILLUSION/DELUSION BY DAVID POLLARD


Is what you see what you get? Or is it all simply a distorted reflection of the truth? And all of it meant to trick or betray? Is everything merely Illusion/Delusion?


Hereford’s touring theatre company Hand to Mouth Productions bring to the stage three new short plays by playwright David Pollard which explore the illusion behind perceptions.


Be prepared to be challenged, disturbed and amazed!


 

The Arsonists

7th to 9th May

Hexagon Theatre Company
£12

The Arsonists by Max Frisch. Translated by Alastair Beaton


Fires are becoming a problem, but Biedermann has it all under control. A respected member of the community with a loving wife and flourishing business, he believes nothing can get to him. Being the great philanthrope, he happily fulfils his civic duty, giving shelter to two new houseguests and when they start filling the attic with petrol drums, he'll help them wire the fuse.


Originally known as ‘The Fire Raisers’ Max Frisch's 1958 play has been translated for a new age by Alastair Beaton and premiered at The Royal Court in 2007. This parable about the way in which we will accommodate the very thing that will destroy us, was described by Michael Billington in The Guardian as ‘edgy and funny’ and 'a timeless political satire’.


Whether you approach it as a timeless political satire, a morality play without a moral or just a jolly good romp, it will make you laugh and give you something to talk about.

Absurd Person Singular

11th to 13th and 18th to 20th June

Cotswold Players
£12

‘What is remarkable about Ayckbourn’s comedy is that it contrives to be simultaneously hilarious and harrowing.  Literally, it is agonisingly funny.’
Daily Telegraph


It was precisely this balance between light and dark, comedy and pathos in Ayckbourn’s writing that attracted Claire Howard to direct Absurd Person Singular.


It is Ayckbourn’s most commercially successful play, having been presented three times in the West End and twice on Broadway, and it has proved its timeless appeal by the fact that these productions spanned four decades, between 1973 and 2007.


The plot is almost impossible to summarise but is very intricate and clever, a hallmark of this playwright’s work - but ‘three’ is the number!  Set in three Acts, across three successive Christmases, with three couples and set in three kitchens; each couple hosting one of these seasonal gatherings in their own kitchen. The final Act is positively Pinter-esque as the comedy darkens.


If you’ve seen it before, you’ll want to come again. If you haven’t, then the Cotswold Players will be delighted to introduce you to this great play

Much Ado About Falstaff

3rd July

Kick in the Head
£12

Kick In The Head follow up recent successes with a new play about Sir John Falstaff…a rogue, a philanderer and a glutton, but also one of Shakespeare’s greatest and enduring comic creations. 


In this new play by Simon Downing we find Falstaff, played by Giles Shenton (Old Herbaceous, Three Men in a Boat) in his bedroom in the Boars Head being nursed by Mistress Quickly played by Suzanna Walters (Choice Grenfell).


The creditors arrive demanding payment. Will Falstaff resort to marrying Mistress Quickly in order to pay off his debts? Will he turn teetotal? Will he mellow in his old age? Find out the answers to all these important questions that Shakespeare never bothered to answer and join Falstaff for an evening of jollity, frivolity, a definite lack of coequality and more Shakespearean insults than ever previously heard on a theatrical stage!

Unless otherwise stated, all performances start at 7.30 pm and any concessions are for under 16s and over 60s