What's on

Wyrd Sisters

by Terry Pratchett
adapted by Stephen Briggs

Three witches

16-25 January 2020

Performances at 7.45pm, doors open 7.15pm

Saturday matinées at 2.30pm, doors open 2pm

The ever-popular (Sir) Terry Pratchett OBE makes a welcome return to the stage at Progress Theatre, in another wonderful adaptation by Stephen Briggs. If you like your comic fantasy turned up to the maximum you will be delighted with this show. The many people who loved our production of Maskerade will be delighted to see the return of those memorable characters, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, in this tale of witches and royalty, loosely based on Macbeth. Very loosely. 

The ambitious wife of Duke Felmet persuades him to murder his cousin, King Verence I of Lancre. An escaping servant gives the King's crown and child to three witches. They hand the child to a troupe of travelling actors and hide the crown in the props-box. So destiny can take its course and the child can one take his rightful place as king, right? Well things are never simple with these witches.

People have travelled from far afield to see our previous productions of Pratchett's Discworld works, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Cast

Magrat Garlick - Yvonne Newton
Granny Weatherwax - Melanie Sherwood
Nanny Ogg - Liz Carroll
Soldier - Yann Guillet
Bentzen the Bowman - Iesa Khan
2nd Soldier - Guy Nicholls
Duke Felmet  - Jack Goodman
Lady Felmet - Ali Carroll
Chamberlain - Joe Morbey
Sergeant - Jordan Emmett
Actor - Yann Guillet
Olwyn Vitoller - Adam Lines
Mrs Vitoller - Lara Collins
Fool - Dean Stephenson
Jason Ogg - Adam Lines
Nev Ogg  - Jordan Emmett
Demon - George Prové
King Verence  - Trevor Dale
Peasants - Lara Collins, Yann Guillet, Flora Paulo, Rowena Sterry, Maddie Udale-Clarke
Guard 1 (Champett Poldy) - Iesa Khan
Guard 2 - Guy Nicholls
Guard 3 - Adam Lines
Guard 4 (Hron) - Jordan Emmett
Tomjon - George Prové
Hwel  - Joe Morbey
Robber 1 - Maddie Udale-Clarke
Robber 2 - Iesa Khan
Robber 3 - Flora Paulo
Players - Lara Collins, Jordan Emmett, Yann Guillet, Guy Nicholls, Flora Paulo, Rowena Sterry, Maddie Udale-Clarke
Actor (off) - Adam Lines
Witch 1 - Maddie Udale-Clarke
Witch 2 - Flora Paulo
Witch 3 - Rowena Sterry
Wimsloe - Jordan Emmett
Bedlin  - Guy Nicholls 
Gumridge  - Lara Collins
Guard - Maddie Udale-Clarke

Directed by Chris Moran
 

Reviews

"Wyrd Sisters under Chris Moran’s creative direction is vibrant and polished — and very, very funny. This production makes for a thoroughly entertaining night out — it’s a triumph!" – Susan Creed, The Henley Standard

"Progress Theatre brings Pratchett’s creations to life with vivid hilarity in a production that does justice to its venerated source material without losing accessibility for viewers unfamiliar with Discworld."  – The Spark Newspaper

Wyrd Sisters Sneak Peek

♫ The Xhosa Cole Quartet

Friday 31 January 2020 at 7.30pm

Xhosa Cole

Tenor saxophonist Xhosa Cole, BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018, brings together an all-star quartet featuring some of finest talent based in the UK. Alongside fellow finalist and bass player James Owston, powerhouse drummer Jim Bashford and Canadian, now UK resident, trumpet virtuoso Jay Phelps, this band embodies the spirit of the bebop and hard bop greats.

Jazz legend Iain Bellamy, one of the judges at the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition, wrote of Xhosa’s performance, ‘So heartfelt, sincere and communicative that it’s easy to see he has a deep and genuine love of the tradition that gave us such a convincing performance'.

Inspired by the great music of Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown and Gigi Gryce this band lights up the stage with all the charisma, passion, edge, chemistry and spontaneity reminiscent of this great era. They feature contemporary takes on standards as well as original works from members of the band.

Jay Phelps hit the scene in the UK as a founder of Empirical when still a student at Trinity with his fellow band members. Leaving after a few years to follow his own creative urges, Jay is proving to be one of the UK's innovative and exciting jazz trumpeters and composers. Not one to have toured regularly, this is a great opportunity to enjoy Jay's artistry.

James Owston from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, has played bass guitar since school and recently graduated at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. In January 2018, James began playing with the new Clark Tracey Quintet, alongside a number of former BBC Young Jazz Musician finalists, releasing a debut recording ‘No Doubt’.

Jim Bashford was initially self taught and had fourteen years experience playing drums in many different genres before studying on the Birmingham Conservatoire Bmusic (Hons.) jazz course. He is now a member of over twenty different ensembles and tours widely over the UK and rest of the EU.
Again an opportunity for jazz enthusiasts in Reading to experience new voices expressing themselves, playing the music they love.

Jazz at Progress is presented in association with Jazz in Reading.

The Haunting of Hill House

by F Andrew Leslie,
from the novel by Shirley JacksonHaunting graphic

Monday 24 – Saturday 29 February 2020

In this classic American gothic horror story, Dr. Montague hopes to find scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. He rents Hill House for a summer and invites people whom he has chosen because of their experiences with paranormal events. Of these, only Eleanor and Theodora accept. They will live in isolation with Montague and his assistant (and heir to Hill House) Luke. Meanwhile, a housekeeper tries to warn them of the horrors within, and Dr. Montague’s wife and her assistant turn up with their more traditional approach to spiritualism.

Cast

Paul Gallantry - Dr Montague
Josephine Metcalf - Mrs Montague
Anushka Samarasinghe - Eleanor Vance
Rebecca Douglas - Theadora
Ollie Mullins - Luke Sanderson
Pete Cook - Arthur Parker
Carole Hewitt - Mrs Dudley

Directed by Matt Tully

 

Brewster’s Millions 

by Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley

Thursday 26 March – Saturday 4 April 

Poster

Monty Brewster has a problem: she’s just inherited £700 million. There is, of course, a catch - she needs to spend all the £100 million she had already inherited before she can get the £700 million! And she only has a year to do it. Easy? Not for Monty. She can’t have a penny left at the end of the year and she can’t own a thing from it.

The challenge: Spend £100 million with nothing to show from it but the shirt on your back, and tell no one what you are doing. Oh, and you can’t just give it away!

This fast-paced, frantic comedy classic is brought into the 21st century, retaining all the charm of the original, as Monty tries to spend it all in secret, whilst her friends all try to save her from herself.

Cast

The Angels of Debt: 
Montana ‘Monty’ Brewster - Megan Turnell
Annabel Vanderpool - Emma Kellow
Norah Harrison - Helen Brodie
Francesca ‘Frankie’ Bragdon - Evie Stannard 
Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Joseph - Katie Moreton
Subway Smith - Craig Daniels

Mrs. De Mille - Chris Moran
Polly Gray - Floss Fearon
Bobby Gardner - Chris Roostan
Sir Andrew Gardner - Mark Taylor
Janice Armstrong - Georgia McCall

Rawles - Jim McGuigan
Ms. Grant - Jo Cowan
Trixie Clayton - Caroline White
Bargee - Adam Lines
The Captain - Mark Taylor
Miss Boynton - Lauren Boys
Stewards - Jim McGuigan/Lauren Boys

Directed and adapted by Dan Clarke

The Silence of the Sea

by Paul Vercors, adapted by Peter Cheeseman

Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 May
(inc Saturday matinee, matinee performance only on Sunday)

Occupied France in the Second World War. A German soldier is billeted with a French family, a middle-aged man and his young niece. The German soldier is a great lover of France and French culture and believes in the cause. The French family show their opposition to him by refusing to speak to him. They are the “silence” of the title. The soldier then goes to Paris, where he sees the reality of the Nazi occupation. He returns to them, disillusioned and distraught.

 

Cast

  • Uncle – Gareth Saunders
  • Niece – Esther Arzola
  • Officer – Ruaridh Aldington

Directed by Dorothy Gibert

Babe, the Sheep-Pig

by Dick King-Smith, adapted by David Wood

Saturday 23 – Monday 25 May
(matinees and evening performances on each day)

Joint Adult/Youth production. Dick King-Smith’s classic children’s tale, adapted for the stage. Babe arrives at Hoggett’s Farm and rapidly becomes a favourite and a pet, as he prevents sheep stealing on the farm. He then learns how to herd sheep and becomes famous for doing so.

Auditions for this production will take place between 18 and 27 November. Full details here.

Pontypool 

by Tony Burgess

Monday 22 – Saturday 27 June 

Set in Ontario, Canada a local talk radio DJ reports on local disturbances, violence and spreading riots in the area. With most of his information coming only from listeners calling into the show he tries to piece together the events that are happening on the streets outside. It slowly becomes clear to him and his producer that the violence seems to be spreading like a contagious virus – a zombie outbreak. But rather than an infection of the blood, this virus seems to be transmitted by words and it might be that by encouraging his listeners to stay tuned to the radio he is, in fact, hastening the spread of the virus. And by taking calls from the outside, he may have already allowed the infection in.

Richard III

Tickets on sale from May 2020

by William Shakespeare

Open Air production at Reading Abbey

Wednesday 15 – Saturday 25 July

After a long civil war between the royal family of York and the royal family of Lancaster, England enjoys a period of peace under King Edward IV and the victorious Yorks. But Edward’s younger brother, Richard, resents Edward’s power and the happiness of those around him. Malicious, power- hungry, and bitter, Richard begins to aspire secretly to the throne—and decides to kill anyone he has to in order to become king.

Past events

 

Past shows at Progress Theatre - Past Seasons

2019

2018

2017

2016

  • Wolves - December
  • 11th Annual WriteFest - November
  • Dracula - October  
  • The Long and the  Short and the Tall - September
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - July - Caversham Court Gardens
  • Daisy Pulls it Off - July - Progress Youth Theatre
  • Humble Boy - June
  • Suddenly Last Summer - May
  • Stones In His Pockets -  April
  • Marat/Sade - March
  • Steel Magnolias - February
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - January

    2015

    • The Hidden Truth - December - Progress Youth Theatre
    • Brontë - November
    • The 10th Annual Writefest - October
    • Two-Way Mirror - September
    • The Merry Wives of Windsor - July - at Caversham Court Gardens 
    • Gormenghast - July - Progress Youth Theatre
    • The Weir - June
    • Talking Heads - April
    • Animal Farm - March
    • Gaslight - February
    • The Three Musketeers - January

    2014

    • Mojo - December - Progress Youth Theatre
    • Noises Off - November
    • The 9th Annual WriteFest - October
    • Darwin and Fitzroy - September
    • Love's Labour's Lost… And Won - July - at Caversham Court Gardens 
    • The Roses of Eyam - July - Progress Youth Theatre
    • God of Carnage - June
    • Not About Heroes - May
    • Lady Windermere's Fan - April
    • Trainspotting - March
    • Bold Girls - February
    • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - January

     

    Past Seasons...