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‘The Children’ at the Progress Theatre

'The Children' at the Progress Theatre

‘The Children’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Richard Brown

This week, the Progress Theatre are staging Lucy Kirkwood’s perturbing post-apocalyptic play The Children. Insightfully directed by Ali Carroll, it raises profound questions about the poisoned legacy of the present.

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A smorgasbord of theatrical gems at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

WriteFest 2019 at the Progress Theatre. Image (c) Richard Brown

The Progress Theatre are staging their fourteenth annual WriteFest this week, featuring seven scintillating new short plays of dramatically contrasting genres, written, directed and performed by its multi-talented members.

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Planning applications in south Reading for the week ending 7 September

Thomas Homes site at the corner of Silver Street and Crown Street in February 2019

There were 12 new planning applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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The Progress Theatre launches two projects for aspiring playwrights

The Progress Theatre will be launching two projects for new writers this autumn. Reading Playwrights is a set of workshops for new playwrights and Scratch Reading is an opportunity for playwrights to see their work staged.

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A spellbinding ‘King Lear’ at Reading Abbey

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

King Lear at Reading Abbey (2019). Photo (c) Richard Brown.

The prodigiously talented Progress Theatre Company are staging Shakespeare’s King Lear in the atmospheric surrounds of Reading Abbey this month. This harrowing tale of human folly is directed with shimmering insight by Dan Clarke, assisted by Louisa Cowell and Matt Urwin and produced by the inspirational Carole Brown.

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Planning applications in south Reading for the week ending 6 July

There were eight new planning applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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‘When They Go Low’ at the Progress Theatre

The Progress Youth Theatre is performing Natalie Mitchell’s punchy feminist polemic When They Go Low this week, until Saturday 6 July.

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‘Top Girls’ at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

‘Top Girls’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Aidan Moran

Progress Theatre are staging the exuberant Top Girls by acclaimed author Caryl Churchill this week. It is directed with passionate verve by Rebecca Moir and explores the timeless theme of female empowerment.

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This year’s Whiteknights Studio Trail is on 15 and 16 June

This year’s carnival of art in Redlands, Katesgrove and around Reading University’s Whiteknights campus, the Whiteknights Studio Trail, takes place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June. Venues are open from 11am until 6pm on both days.

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‘Equivocators’ and ‘Peter’s Wife’ at the Progress Theatre

By Brenda Sandilands and Gillie Tunley.

“Peter’s Wife” at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Aidan Moran

Reading’s Progress Theatre are staging two new plays as part of their Progress Premieres this month: Dan Clarke’s fascinatingly ambiguous Equivocators and the compelling Peter’s Wife, by Christine Moran.

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‘One Million Tiny Plays About Reading’ at the Progress Theatre

By Sue Beckett and Adam Harrington.

One Million Tiny Plays About Reading. Photo (c) Aidan Moran.

All human life in Reading is observed in One Million Tiny Plays About Reading at the Progress Theatre this week, a series of vignettes that includes pet funerals on Caversham bridge, chuggers competing for custom on Broad Street, a boy regretting his choice of barber, an awkward marriage proposal on the Oracle ‘beach’ and a touchingly sad picnic at Reading old Cemetery.

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‘A Doll’s House’ at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

Nora (Tara O’Connor) and Torvald Helmer (Chris Pett)

Progress Theatre are staging Ibsen’s timeless classic, ‘A Doll’s House’, in a lovingly crafted production by Adrian Tang. It is a play about domestic revolution and a woman’s place in society and these powerful themes resonate still today.

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Planning applications in south Reading during the week ending 9 March

These planning applications may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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‘Jerusalem’ at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

‘Jerusalem’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo courtesy of the Progress Theatre.

The inspired Progress Theatre Company are staging Jerusalem, the acclaimed and award-winning play by Jez Butterworth. Tautly directed by the insightful John Goodman, it is a savagely funny and anarchic masterpiece of life in our green and pleasant land whose themes of disaffection, poverty and homelessness resonate still now.

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‘Blood and Ice’ at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

Blood and Ice at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Richard Brown

In the summer of 1816, a monster was born.

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‘Birdsong’ at the Progress Theatre

‘Birdsong’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Richard Brown

We will remember them…

The Progress Theatre are performing Sebastian Faulks’ poignant Birdsong this week. Cleverly condensed for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff, this story of love and loss alternates between the war torn horror of 1916 and the tranquil peacetime of Amiens and is directed with great emotional insight by Steph Dewar.

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Planning applications in Church, Katesgrove, Redlands and Whitley wards for the week ending 6 October

There were six new planning applications for Church, Katesgrove, Redlands and Whitley wards last week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at the Progress Theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar at the Progress Theatre. Photo (c) Richard Brown.

The Progress Theatre dazzled on 12 September with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by the inspirational Andy Camichel with wonderful musical direction by Jane Southern and fabulous Band, and choral coaching by the versatile Stuart McCubbin.

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Boobs and other scenes at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

‘Scenes cut from other plays.’ Photo courtesy of the Progress Theatre.

The Progress Theatre scintillated with their Scenes Cut from Other Plays (superbly scripted by Emily Goode and the Cast and mercurially directed by Rik Eke) depicting madcap tableaux and musical mayhem.

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‘Much Ado About Nothing’ with the Progress Theatre at Reading abbey ruins

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at Reading Abbey ruins. Photo courtesy of Richard Brown.

The Progress Theatre‘s delightful production of ‘Much Ado’ transports us to an English country house in May 1945, with most of the action taking place on the veranda and gardens. This clever choice allows the cast to make the most of the glorious outdoor setting – the magnificent Reading abbey ruins. It also means that a simple stage and few props are sufficient (a wireless and a patio table with chairs).

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