Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Clearly keen to build on the success of stand up visitors Jeremy Hardy and Ross Noble (and friends) in selling out the 300-seat venue, our local theatre has recently announced national names Rory Bremner, Shappi Khorsandi and Tony Hawks to appear in November and December.
Younger children and their families will be catered for with a whole week of "Hansel and Gretel" performances in December.
Following my harsh words about the huge gaps in the "theatre" strand for adults between April and the end of September, it is good to see that Forest Forge will be coming back in October with a performance celebrating the New Forest "The World Outside".
Unfortunately there is then another dearth of drama for three months, before they hit us with three productions in February. "Stalin's Favourite" and "Defying Hitler", elements of Theatre Unlimited's "Living History" project, are described in the company's own words: "Both the subject matter and the source material makes the plays of interest to a much wider public, attracting a genuinely mixed audience of school groups, university students, as well as interested and informed members of the general public, generating a foment of ideas and reactions."
Eastleigh's The Point Youth Theatre are then in residence for six performances of "Romeo and Juliet" before the Berry's own youth theatre feature in "Strawberries and Steam" in March.
The current programming ends with an adaptation of "Great Expectations" at the end of March. Perhaps a hint of great things to come as the theatre starts its second year?
There are a number of productions there that look interesting enough for the Hedge End Blogger wallet to be opened, and I hope that other Hedge Enders will feel the same way. "Use it or Lose it" seems to be the way with so many facilities we used to take for granted. I still think it is amazing that we have a professional theatre right on our doorsteps and with imaginative programming, efficient management and the support of the local community I'd like to think it can grow into a genuine cultural asset.
Full details of the new season (including some stuff I have not mentioned in this post) are on The Berry's web site.