Open Air Theatre
Hosted by Nicholas Barber '71
in aid of the Ashmolean Museum
Saturday, 13 July
Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet
performed by the Festival Players
Sunday, 14 July
Lewis Carroll’s Alice
performed by Heartbreak Productions
WHERE: Burners Cottage, Rowley Lane, Wexham, Buckinghamshire, SL3 6PD
(20-30 min train ride from Paddington. On Saturday we will arrange transport from train station to Burner's Cottage if interested).
WHEN: 5.30pm: bring a picnic or just stroll the grounds, 7.30pm: performance starts.
COST: Club Member ticket: £25 each (members may bring a guest at member price).
Member Family ticket: £50 covers two adults with children attending free.
Non-member ticket: £35 each
Student ticket: £15
Single/Family ticket price includes a £20/£30 donation to the Ashmolean. Gift Aid may be claimed.
REGISTRATION: Email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration instructions.
Romeo And Juliet
Gloucester-based alfresco company The Festival Players has two shows on separate tours in this its 28th year: Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Romeo and Juliet is staged with a cast of seven. There is much doubling up therefore, with the ubiquitous Paul Jennings playing four sharply contrasting roles. His interpretation of the nurse is well judged, never quite lapsing into a pantomime dame and touchingly believable when he/she has to show sorrow. To his credit he also plays the dastardly Tybalt. Anthony Pinnick and Alicia Bennett are the star-crossed couple. Bennett excels with her reactions to the adults, suddenly feisty and truculent, a young woman who has discovered her sexuality. Pinnick's playing of Romeo will please audiences who know their Shakespeare. Henry Proffit gives the production much of its dramatic weight. He plays Mercutio and Friar Laurence with admirable distinction. He has a classic profile and a voice that should be opening doors for radio work and seeing him in more prominent classic roles.
The pacing of this Romeo and Juliet is brisk, the style is blessedly traditional and there is live music to enjoy.
Alice - an Extraordinary Adventure
To their endless credit, the team at Heartbreak Productions always go on, whatever the weather. The four-actor cast of Alice - An Extraordinary Adventure generate and maintain that essential ingredient of magic in the way the story plays out. Writer Dani Carbery places Lewis Carroll's original characters in a modern setting - Alice's eleventh birthday, which she spends playing on her new iPad, much to the irritation of her younger brother and sister. But when a new hypnosis app sucks her into a weird and wonderful sleep, Alice's adventures take on a very recognisable form, with well-known and much-loved characters making highly entertaining appearances.
The White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum and Tweedledee and a baby that turns into a pig - they're all here and all as crazy as Carroll first invented them. Indeed, one of the delights of the evening is the ability of cast members Rhian McLean, Alex Moore and Nathan Smith to conjure this huge range of characters so convincingly from a few props and odd bits of wardrobe. Lily Carrie's Alice - the only one not to play a multitude of parts - wanders wide-eyed through this assortment of bizarre creations, taking the enchanted audience willingly with her as she tries to find her way home. A thoroughly heartwarming theatrical experience.