What's on

Jesus Christ Superstar

Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

JCS graphic13-22 September 2018, performances at 7.45pm
Matinées at 2.30pm on 15 and 22 September 2018
Doors open 30 minutes earlier

Musicals return to Progress Theatre with the much sought after and loved rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar.  With a mixture of styles of music there is something for everybody, from folk to jazz and from musical ballads to driving rock.  This powerful show performed in the unique Progress Theatre is something not to be missed. Get your tickets early….this one will sell out!

Directed by Andy Camichel


"This drama of many moods — exuberance, sadness, conflict — is staged with staggering intensity, but also with all the pizazz of a polished musical. This is a five-star show in every way. See it!" - The Henley Standard

"As a community production, Progress Theatre’s take on Jesus Christ Superstar naturally loses a little of the glitz and scale of the West End show, but it hasn’t lost the heart, or the style." - ExploreReading

"This is quite simply breathtaking theatre, the musical score propelling the timeless story and entwining our emotions – don’t miss it." - The Whitley Pump

An amateur production by arrangement with The Really Useful Group, Ltd.


♫ Elftet

Buy Tickets
£16.00 (£14.00 concessions) booking fees apply

Friday 28 September 2018

7:30pm - 10:00pm



  • Ella Hohnen Ford vocals & flute
  • James Davison trumpet & flugel
  • Tom Smith alto & tenor sax & flute
  • George Millard tenor sax & bass clarinet
  • Rory Ingham trombone
  • Laura Armstrong cello
  • Oliver Mason guitar
  • Jonny Mansfield vibraphone
  • Will Harris bass
  • Boz Martin-Jones drums

Elftet is an exciting 11-piece jazz band led by 22 year old vibraphonist/drummer and composer Jonny Mansfield who, after being awarded the Colin Murray Scholarship in 2014, began studying at the Royal Academy of Music where he is taught by Jim Hart, Pete Churchill and Gareth Lockrane.

As well as the Elftet, Jonny leads other ensembles, including the collaborative trio ‘Crescent. He also performs as a sideman in other bands such as Alberto Palau Quintet, Tom Smith’s Geko, Oliver Mason Quintet, Jam Experiment, Treeclimbers, Rory Ingham’s Quartet and Dom Ingham’s Sextet. He also regularly performs with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, who recently toured Germany and are playing at the BBC Proms this summer. More recently, Jonny performed in a quintet led by Gareth Lockrane at the 606 club playing the music from the film ‘The Small World of Sammy Lee’, toured the north of England with Chris Potter as part of a Band on the Wall project and was awarded the Richard Turner Award and the Kenny Wheeler Prize from the Royal Academy of Music.

Elftet, which was formed in September 2015, offers a wide palette of textures and colours, stretching from the traditional four-horn soundscape to a cutting-edge contemporary classical approach featuring strings and vibraphone. Elftet has already toured the UK, and has since been featured on both BBC Radio 3 and WBGO (New York’s jazz station). Performances feature Jonny’s original compositions, influenced by the likes of Vince Mendoza, Marius Neset and Ravel, along with songwriters such as Norah Jones and James Taylor.

Plaudits include:

‘Real beautiful music’ – Jorge Rossy (legendary drummer)

‘As a professional musician, I appreciate the high level of craft exhibited by  Jonny Mansfield’s Elftet. But more importantly, as a human being I bask in the beautiful feeling this music gives me. I will return to it again and
again. Thank you, Jonny & Co.!’ – Joe Locke (American Composer)

‘Strikingly original music’ – Alyn Shipton (jazz historian and BBC jazz presenter)

‘Elftet is an exciting prospect’ – Helen Mayhew (Jazz FM presenter)

Elftet has recently been featured in Jazzwise as ‘who to watch 2018’ so expect a very high energy evening!


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

13th Annual WriteFest

WriteFest graphic

10-13 October 2018, performances at 7.45 pm
Doors open 7.15pm

The best of local writing

A showcase of new writing, never produced anywhere else, WriteFest is an evening of 7 short plays. Each year Progress Theatre performs a selection of creative works from both budding and experienced writers to bring you this consistently popular annual production. If you’ve never been to the theatre before, this is a chance for you to come along and discover what genre of theatre you enjoy the most. There’s comedy, drama - something for everyone, so don’t miss out!                            

The Midnight Snack

by Dan Clarke

A hard-boiled American detective is investigating the murder of a hot dog sausage in this glorious comedy.

Four Meals

by Paul Houghton

Two couples and their journey through 10 years of friendship, heartaches, and comic mishaps, told through 4 meals.

Weight of Words

by Emily Goode

A woman who talks a bit too much has a decision to make, while she considers her journey through the stages of womanhood.


by Erica Evans

An exciting ensemble piece exploring how the same words can mean many things. Our actors play and replay the same dialogue as multiple characters, including prison inmates and guards, corpses, tattoo artists, and surgeons. 

Anything I Can Do

by Bethan Perkins

In a not too distant future, a woman struggles to have a baby, in a world where babies are conceived and grown in labs.  

You’re Nicked!

by Jenny Williams

Criminal activities are concealed in a suburban house. Then the police arrive. 

Dog on a Beach

By John R. Goodman

Three dogs on a beach chase the waves and chat philosophy. 


by Sebastian Faulks
Adapted by Rachel Wagstaff

Poppies in a field

8-17 November 2018, performances at 7.45pm
Matinées at 2.30pm on 10 & 17 November 2018
Special commemorative performance at 4.30pm on 11 November

“No child or future generation will ever know what this was like, will ever understand”

Based on Sebastian Faulks’ international bestselling novel, Birdsong tells the story of a soldier haunted by his past. As a young man, Stephen Wraysford was caught up in an all-consuming love affair in Amiens, France. As the First World War unfolds, Stephen finds himself pulled closer and closer back to Amiens, back to the Valley of the Somme…

Birdsong is a tale of one man’s quest to understand how far mankind can go and still call itself human…

Special Commemorative Performance

There will be a special commemorative performance on Remembrance Sunday - 11 November - to raise funds for the British Legion at 4:30pm - to book for this special performance please email birdsong@progresstheatre.co.uk



Stephen - Charlie West
Isabelle - Steph Gunner
Jack - Craig Daniels
Jeanne - Emma Kellow
Arthur Shaw - Gareth Saunders
Evans/Levi - Harry Petrie
Turner/Orderly/Chaplain - Jordan Peedell
Lisette/Prostitute - Esther Arzola
Gregoire/Tipper - Jack Hygate
Azaire/Captain Gray - Peter Chamberlain 
Berard - Alex McCubbin
Marguerite/Nurse - Clare Bird

Directed by Steph Dewar


This amateur production of “Birdsong” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD.


The Oresteia

The murder of Agamemnon

5-8 December 2018

Performances at 7.45pm

Progress Youth Theatre bring an ambitious interpretation of this classic Greek tragedy to the stage, following the vicissitudes of the House of Atreus, from the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra, to the subsequent revenge of his son Orestes and its consequences.