Northcourt Avenue Residents’ Association (NARA) chair Simone Illger told Reading Borough Council (RBC) that the Christchurch Green in Reading was being “devastated” by unsympathetic development, at the planning applications committee on 15 January. RBC nonetheless approved the change of use of the ground floor 60 Christchurch Road from a dry cleaners into a restaurant, saying that their own local plan didn’t allow them to choose otherwise.
‘Wyrd Sisters’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo courtesy of (c) Aidan Moran
We are greeted at the Progress Theatre by a smiley and welcoming Chris Moran, director of this production, Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters. Chris is a Progress veteran. The director’s notes in the programme are in tune with how she is in person: full of enthusiasm and love for theatre and up for a challenge. As we are talking I realise that I recognise her voice and my other half kindly points out that she played Joyce in Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls. Of course she did, and she was excellent in it.
Thank you to all our readers and regular and occasional contributors for making it a wonderful year on Katesgrove Hill. We hope that you continue to enjoy reading or contributing to the Whitley Pump in 2020.
‘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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
‘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.