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

10th to 12th and 16th to 19th October

Cotswold Players
£12 (£8 under 18)

“It must be by her death!”

A country troubled by civil unrest and political uncertainty.  The emergence of a charismatic new leader, on a wave of popular acclaim.  Some say she should be given absolute powers.  But that would contravene proud democratic traditions.  And it would sideline the current political elite.  What is the opposition to do?  And what will be the consequences of their actions?  This contemporary production underlines the terrible timelessness of Shakespeare’s great classic. 

Set in an unspecified European country, it whisks us from the backstreets of the capital to the homes of the rich and famous, to the seat of sovereign power, and finally to the town whose war-ravaged streets provide the setting for the final showdown.  It contains scenes of violence, blood, gunfire and explosions.

This is Julius Caesar as you have never seen it before: stripped back, fast-moving, up-to-date, full of surprises, and packed with modern technology.

A revolutionary approach to a play about revolution.  It is a fitting contribution to the 2019 Stroud Festival, with its theme of “Revolution in the Arts”.

Three Men in a Boat

2nd November

Kick in the Head

After the huge success of Old Herbaceous, Kick In The Head productions are back with a rip roaring barrel of fun, Three Men in a Boat, with Giles Shenton (Old Herbaceous himself!) playing the part of Jerome K Jerome.

Join Jerome as he recounts the hilarious story of his boating holiday along the magnificent River Thames with his two companions and Montmorency the dog. Come and join in the fun as Giles Shenton expertly takes the helm and pilots you through the ridiculous tale of men behaving badly while messing about in boats!


“There are a few seriously funny books that remain great for all time. Three Men in a Boat is one of these” The Guardian

“Timeless appeal” The Independent

“Pitch-perfect comedy about, well, three men in a boat” The Telegraph

Giles Shenton "creates an instant rapport with the audience, drawing us into his world and making the characters in it so real we feel you have known them forever. " Fringe Review

Stroud Short Stories

10th November


'Mazurka and Other Stories' - An evening of short stories written and read by Gloucestershire authors

This event is part of the 2019 Stroud Book Festival

Formed in 2011, this is Stroud Short Stories 19th event and follows the sell-out event at the Cotswold Playhouse in May.

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.

This time it’s an open theme so any short story subjects and genres may be included. John has a new co-judge too - short fiction author Chloe Turner.

The last 13 events all sold out in advance, so you should book early to avoid disappointment - especially as it’s part of the 2019 Stroud Book Festival.

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


A Month of Sundays

14th to 16th November

Hexagon Theatre Company

Bob Larby

A comedy about the difficulties inherent in growing old. Cooper, who has gone into a residential home rather than be a burden to his family, flirts valiantly with the female staff, banters with the other old folks and keeps a close check on his “record of physical deteriorations”.

To the painful ritual of Sunday family visits and empty condescension, Cooper and his friend Aylott reply with humour and wit, aware that life can only be endured if treated as a comedy.

Although he has written several plays, Bob Larbey is best known for his television writing including ‘A Fine Romance’ and ‘As Time Goes By’ which both starred Judi Dench.

Romeo and Juliet

21st November

Ballet Cymru
£17.50 (£12.50 under 18)

Critics Circle Award winning company Ballet Cymru present an extraordinary adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece ‘Romeo a Juliet’ with music by Serge Prokofieff.

Intense fighting, passionate duets and universal themes echo through dramatic and lyrical choreography. Exquisite costumes and extraordinary video projections create a world of danger and excitement where two young lovers are caught in an age old feud.

‘Romeo a Juliet’ is a dynamic and unique collaboration between 3 of Wales’ outstanding arts organisations, Ballet Cymru, Coreo Cymru (The Dance Creative Producer for Wales) and the Riverfront Theatre in Newport.

‘Romeo a Juliet’ features costumes by Georg Meyer-Wiel who studied at The Royal College of Art and has created costumes for some of the world’s leading companies including Rambert Dance Company and Australian Dance Theatre.


25 to 27 November at 8 pm
at Stroud Brewery

Cotswold Players

Jim Cartwright

TWO by Jim Cartwright
This short play is set in a North country pub one winter’s evening in 1989. A bickering landlord and landlady live their lives through the superficial relationships they have with their clientele. This evening a chance meeting gives them a brief opportunity to move on in their lives. The play has humour, poignancy, fear and pleasure in equal
TWO is the latest in a series of productions that the Players are performing outside the Cotswold Playhouse.

Proceeds will be donated to the Longfield Hospice.
Longfield provides specialist services, 365 days per year, for adults in Gloucestershire affected by life-limiting illness

Note that this production is at Stroud Brewery and NOT at the Cotswold Playhouse

The Dolls of New Albion

30th November

Drama Llama Productions

Paul Shapera

Drama Llama Productions presents Paul Shapers’s critically acclaimed steampunk opera Dolls of New Albion.

The Opera follows four generations of the McAllister family in the fantastical city of New Albion. The story begins when lonely scientist, Annabelle, attempts to revive a dead love by binding his soul into a clockwork doll. Her actions set into motion an escalating series of events which will alter the world around them.

With the passing of generations over time, each key member of McAlistair family makes a crucial and flawed choice motivated by selfish love. The fate of New Albion hangs in the balance of their actions.

There's Nothing There

7th December

Apricity / Black Dog

What is there to do when you’re stuck in a cabin in the middle of the woods? Read a book? Play some Scrabble? Hide from the monsters lurking outside in the dark?

When their holiday becomes a living nightmare, six friends find themselves fighting for their lives. With night closing in and paranoia tightening its grip, even familiar people begin to feel like strangers. When fear twists everything out of recognition, what do you believe? Who can you trust?

Join critically-acclaimed Black Dog Productions and Apricity Theatre for this chilling, heart-stopping new show. Sometimes night is darkest with the lights on.

Babes in the Wood

16th to 18th and 23rd to 25th Jan at 7.30pm. Matinees 18th, 19th & 25th at 2.30 pm

Cotswold Players
£13 (£7 under 16)

Babes in The Wood is a traditional pantomime favourite amongst audiences young and old alike. Cotswold Players member, Mark Seaman, will direct his own version of this classic Panto tale at the Playhouse in January 2020.

When Cedric is killed in the Crusades, his brother, the Sheriff of Nottingham, becomes responsible for Cedric’s children, Lilly and Billy, but he is more interested in their inheritance than their welfare and plots to have them killed so he can get his hands on their money.

The children’s carer, Nanny Nora, discovers the Sheriff’s evil plot and she hatches a plan of her own to save the youngsters - but will she be in time? Or will the Sheriff have his wicked way?!
Come and cheer as Nanny Nora, Maid Marion, Robin Hood and his merry men do their best to thwart the Sheriff’s plans and boo as he and his witless servants, Dilbert and Gilbert, attempt to do away with the Babes and get their hands on the children’s fortune!

With plenty of twists and turns and lots of fun and laughter along the way our Pantomime story is guaranteed to put a smile on your face ….. Oh yes it is!

Choice Grenfell

1st February

Kick in the Head

Kick In The Head (Old Herbaceous, Three Men in a Boat & Fagin?) are proud to present a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the loss of the great, unremittingly genteel, comedienne and monologist, Joyce Grenfell.

Choice Grenfell is a wonderful tribute featuring some of the best of Joyce’s hilarious songs and monologues from Stately as a Galleon and School Nativity Play to A Terrible Worrier and First Flight. Joyce is our guide for a delightful delve into some of her most endearing characters, ably accompanied by her trusted pianist William Blezard.

We are delighted that the family of William Blezard have allowed us access to previously unpublished rehearsal recordings and personal letters from Joyce allowing a unique insight into the queen of comediennes.

As Joyce would have said “We request the pleasure of your company”.

With Suzanne Walters as Joyce Grenfell and Andrew D Brewis as William Blezard.

Additional material written by Simon Downing.


"tremendously funny and totally on the ball" The Telegraph

 “Andrew Brewis's practical musical prowess, as William Blezard, sitting at the keyboard is masterly. Suzanna Walters gives us the perfect Joyce, of fondest memory, with uncannily accurate facial expressions, movement and posture. Like Joyce herself, the diction is perfect.” Opening Night review


Sketches by Joyce Grenfell are presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH LTD, a Concord Theatricals Company.


6th February

Black Dog Productions

A thief. A good thief, but stealing from the wrong people. 


Trapped in a swanky office guarded by hired muscle with no way out, Apollo is given a proposition that will set her and her sister free from their office block prison. If Apollo does what they say, will they truly be set free? Or is this just the beginning? 


Business can be cut throat, sometimes literally. 


Set in 1980's America, join critically acclaimed Black Dog Productions for their fourth 'Bold and refreshing' newly written play. Savage will be a whirlwind of power struggles, money making and drug fuelled dirty dealings. 


Critical praise for Black Dog Productions:


***** 'A beautiful play supremely acted' - The Mission (Orphan, 2018)

***** 'A play of supreme excellence and nail biting tension' The Bath Chronicle (Howl, 2016)

***** 'A theatrical gem' Theatre Bath (Howl, 2016)

**** 'Complex and touching' Theatre Bath (Films about Ghosts, 2017) 

'Without question this is a company to look out for' Bath Echo (Orphan, 2019)

'No pins were dropped throughout the performance, I'd have heard them' Theatre Bath (Orphan, 2018)

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.


4th April

Kick in the Head

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."




25th April

Hand to Mouth Productions


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!


Much Ado About Falstaff

3rd July

Kick in the Head

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