What's on

Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing

Yes, Shakespeare is back in the Open Air at Reading Abbey Ruins

11-21 July 2018

Enjoy an open-air production.of this great Shakespearean comedy - although with a touch of darkness.

Much Ado About Nothing follows the return of soldiers from war. Packed with intrigue, double-crossing and plenty of laughter, Much Ado About Nothing is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare. Following the turbulent romances between Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedict, this exploration of what loyalty, chivalry, and true love really mean empowers us to challenge our perceptions of relationships.

Our production moves the story from Italy to an English house at the conclusion of World War Two. It will be using the story of the lovers to explore the nature of the relationship between men and women as well as exploring themes of jealousy and class.

Leonato welcomes his friends back from war. His daughter, Hero, is in love with Claudio. His niece, Beatrice, verbally spars with Benedict. Can their friends conspire to bring them together? Will ill-intentioned Don John succeed in driving Claudio and Hero apart? Can Leonatos's sister, Antonia, come up with a plan to save the day? Can the watchmen overcome their incompetence to bring out the truth?

See Planning Your Visit for full details of the venue.


Benedict - Dan Clarke
Beatrice -  Kate Shaw
Hero - Taylor Rupp
Claudio - Matt Urwin
Peter - Matt Tully
Leonato - Paul Gallantry
Antonia - Emma Kellow
John - Ian Belcher
Conrade - Louise Banks
Borachio - Alex Hobbs
Dogberry - Mikhail Franklin
Verges - Juliet England
Seacole- Laura Barns
Oatcake - Heather Eley
Margaret - Rebecca Douglas
Ursula - Debora Rochfort
Rebecca - Francesca Alfano
Sexton - Simon White
Friar Francis - Adj Messelles
Messenger - Daniel Gladwel

Directed by Trevor Dale

Much Ado About Nothing

In partnership with 
Tony Roe Solicitors

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 late summer with the much sought after and loved rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar.  With a mixture of styles of music there is somebody for everybody, from folk to jazz and from musical ballads to driving rock.  The 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



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



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.