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The Long and the Short and the Tall

by Willis Hall

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

The Long and the Short and the Tall

Monday 12 September – Saturday 17 September 2016, performances at 7.45pm
Also Saturday 17 September 2016 performance at 2.30pm.
Doors open 30 minutes earlier.

In British Malaya during the Japanese advance on Singapore, a patrol of British Army soldiers are holed up in an abandoned store hut in the jungle. Tension rises after their radio malfunctions and a Japanese soldier stumbles upon them. A gripping character-driven drama, laced with pathos, The Long and The Short and The Tall portrays how war can affect man’s attitude to others, as they show kindness and cruelty in equal measure.

This amateur production of The Long and the Short and the Tall is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd

Jazz at Progress: Nigel Price Organ Quartet

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Adults: £15, Concessions: £13
Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50:
call 0333 666 3366

Nigel Price: guitar | Brandon Allen: tenor sax | Ross Stanley: Hammond organ | Matt Home: drums

Friday 2 September 2016 at 7.30pm. Doors open 7.00pm.

The renowned Nigel Price Organ Trio, amongst its other successes, picked up a “best jazz ensemble” Parliamentary Jazz Award. There’s no reason to believe that the extension to a quartet has done anything other than to raise the game even further as we welcome them at the start of an Arts Council funded nationwide tour.

Nigel Price

Nigel is one of the most highly regarded and in demand guitarists on 
the UK jazz scene today. In addition to a heavy touring schedule Nigel is also a regular performer at Ronnie Scott’s, where he has played over 400 times. Formal recognition includes achieving third place in the ‘best guitarist’ category in the 2014 British Jazz Awards.
Nigel’s influences are many, coming not only from masters such as Wes Montgomery and George Benson but also from a background playing and touring with bands in a variety of genres including funk, ska and reggae.

Brandon Allen

Brandon, originally from Perth, Western Australia, is now based in London, where he regularly hosts the Late Late Show at Ronnie Scott’s with his quartet.
Described by Tony Hall of Jazzwise as “arguably the most exciting tenor player in Britain today”, Brandon has worked and toured with many varied artists and groups/ensembles, including Eric Clapton, Jools Holland, Stan Tracey, and Darius Brubeck.

As well as being the founder and director of the Highgate Jazz with Soul Festival, he works as a session musician, composer and arranger for commercial music and films; his playing is featured in Alfie (2004) and The Look of Love (2013).

Ross Stanley

Ross is one of the UK’s top exponents of jazz piano and organ – constantly in demand for his flowing creative and lyrical playing. His musical education includes spells at Trinity College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and a scholarship to Berklee College of Music.

He has performed with Liane Carroll, Bobby Wellins, Clark Tracey and Jacqui Dankworth – as well as with many others. His soloing has been described as being “steeped in complex harmonic tension and release” and is universally revered by both fellow musicians and the wider listening public.

Matt Home

Matt is a much in demand jazz drummer who, as well as making regular appearances at Ronnie Scott’s, has played and toured with, for example, Alan Barnes, Dave O’Higgins, Tina May and Scott Hamilton.

He has also made regular appearances on TV and film, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Paul O’Grady, Alan Titchmarsh, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman and Colin Firth.

Matt’s plaudits include playing on Gareth Lockrane’s septet album No Messin’ which was recognised as best jazz album in the 2010 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Jazz at Progress is presented in association with Jazz in Reading.

Six Centuries of Spectacular Song

Hilary James with Simon Mayor, Elias Sibley and Florence Petit

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Adults: £13, Concessions: £11
Telephone sales cost an additional £1.50:call 0333 666 3366

Friday 23rd September 2016 at 7.30pm

Hilary James and friends Simon Mayor, Elias Sibley and Florence Petit explore six centuries of song, with more than a few show-stopping instrumentals on mandolin, fiddle, 'cello, guitar and ukulele - and of course Hilary's own unforgettable bass mandolin.

Hilary James, the 'silver voiced' songstress with the mighty mandobass, is joined by '‘hot-fingered mandolin’ virtuoso Simon Mayor and two outstanding, young musicians Elias Sibley and Florence Petit for a sparkling evening of folk, swing, ragtime and classical showstoppers. Elias and Florence wowed the Newbury audience when they joined Simon and Hilary’s Mandolinquents at the Arlington Theatre last year. After a couple of spectacular tangos and rags they finished the evening with the Mandolinquents in Mozart.

Elias Sibley is one of the finest finger-style ukulele players of his generation as well as a superb classical guitarist. He combines the ukulele’s traditional characteristics with the guitar’s qualities as a solo instrument. From Bach to the great American songbook Elias takes the ukulele to a new and exciting dimension. He also brings some fine guitar fingerwork to accompaniments to the cello, mandolin and voice....and not forgetting Elias's love for the classical banjo - taking ragtime to a new dimension!

Franco-British cellist Florence Petit is an innovative and exciting young musician with a warm, engaging stage manner. Currently touring with the South Bank Sinfonia she managed to squeeze in an evening to play for us at Progress. She studied cello with Philippe Müller in Paris before moving to London to complete BA and MA degrees at the Royal College of Music, graduating with first class honours.

The recipient of a diverse host of awards and in demand as a soloist, Florence has a regular programme of recitals throughout the UK with the acclaimed Franco-Taiwanese pianist Lysianne Chen. She is a founding member of the Leben Quartet and a fine exponent of Baroque music, playing across Europe and the UK with her quartet Ignis.

As an orchestral musician, Florence has performed extensively with chamber and symphony orchestras across Europe, most recently with the Montpellier National Symphony Orchestra and with the English National Opera as part of their Evolve scheme.

Florence is passionate about discovering neglected chamber repertoire and exploring interesting instrumental pairings. With this in mind, Florence formed Duo Dekacord with guitarist Elias Sibley and the duo has developed an eclectic repertoire for their unusual pairing of instruments, from arrangements and transcriptions of popular classics to original works by 20th century composers.

Jazz at Progress: Christian Brewer Quintet

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Price: £16, Concessions: £14
Max 5% booking fee.
Telephone sales an additional £1.50:
call 0333 666 3366

Fri 30 Sep 2016 7.30pm

  • Christian Brewer sax
  • Damon Brown trumpet/flugelhorn
  • Jonathan Gee piano
  • Adam King bass
  • Chris Draper drums

Christian Brewer, Damon Brown

This band brings together two fine musicians, currently playing at the top of their game. The quintet delivers a joyful brand of British neo-bop that swings with power, fluency and confidence.

Christian Brewer who is a well known jazz alto saxophonist / composer and educator leads this brilliant quintet and is one of the most lyrical and soulful alto players to have emerged from the UK in recent years. Loved for his melodic playing and pure tone, he has risen to prominence on the British jazz scene. He is now a regular at London’s prestigious Ronnie Scotts. Christian studied at Leeds School of Music and The Guildhall School of Music. However, the defining musical inspiration came from playing alongside Julian Joseph and the Mondesir brothers at Ian Carr’s jazz London fusion orchestra. He has gone on to play with some of the finest players internationally.

One of the most exciting alto players I’ve heard in a long time” ~Tony Hall

Damon Brown who also studied at Leeds School of Music and at The Guildhall School of Music in London is one of the UK’s leading jazz trumpet players and composers playing at all the UK’s leading clubs and festivals He also performs in Europe and the Far East with his own groups. In 2007 Damon’s group “Killer Shrimp” which he co-leads with Ed Jones , won the “2007 Best Live Jazz Group ” at the “All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards ” and their first CD “Sincerely Whatever” was nominated for “Best Jazz CD of the Year ”.

"Fluent, impassioned and technically superb” ~ Jack Massarick, The Evening Standard

Jonathan Gee is “One of European jazz’s most celebrated musicians… His music is precise, lucid and original, and at times breathtakingly lyrical.

Adam King has become one of the most in demand bassists on the UK scene. His success in the 2015 annual Worshipful Company of Musicians Young Jazz Musician Award revealed him as one of the most promising jazz artists of his generation.

Chris Draper “is an outstanding musician. His lively imagination and skill as a percussionist make a great impact wherever he goes” ~ Alison Cox MBE, Head of Composition at The Purcell School.

Jazz at Progress is presented in association with Jazz in Reading

Dracula

adapted by Dan Clarke from the novel by Bram Stoker

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

The Long and the Short and the Tall

Thursday 20 October – Saturday 29 October 2016, performances at 7.45pm
Also Saturday 22 September and Saturday 29 September 2016 performances at 2.30pm.
Doors open 30 minutes earlier.

Faithful to the novel, this new adaptation revives the unnerving sexuality and raw fear felt by Bram Stoker's original audience. Seen through the eyes of a captive Jonathan Harker as he is slowly drained, the wanton women that hold him tantalisingly feed on his worst fears as they play out in front of him. As the Count preys on those Harker loves amidst the shadows of Victorian London, what is living and what is undead remains shrouded in darkness and coated in blood.

11th Annual WriteFest

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50
WriteFest 11

Wednesday 16  –  Saturday 19 November 2016, performances at 7.45pm
Doors open 30 minutes earlier.

A showcase of local writing - never produced anywhere else - WriteFest is an evening of seven new short plays, chosen by competition. Each year Progress performs a selection of original works from both budding and experienced writers to bring to you this consistently popular annual production.

This year's winning plays, selected from 90 entries, are:

  • How Do I Love Thee - Liz Carroll
  • Knock Knock - Marie French
  • Hamlet's Essence - Eva Marchetti
  • Mixed Reception - Emma Wyverne
  • The Cutting Man - Matthew Wilkie
  • Water Torture - Michael Sharp
  • Home (A Loan Too) - Jonathan Skinner

There’s something for everyone, so don’t miss out!

 

Wolves

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All: £8
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

by Steve Yockey

Wolves, by Steven Yockey

Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 December 2016, performances at 7.45pm
Doors open 7.15pm

When his roommate brings home a big bad wolf for a one-night stand, Ben freaks out. Trying to rescue Jack, he kicks off a chain of events that will change their lives forever. A darkly comic deconstruction of Little Red Riding Hood, Wolves is a modern fairy tale with a dangerous, threatening twist.

Presented by Progress Youth Theatre.

This amateur production of Wolves is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd

No Naughty Bits

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

by Steve Thompson 

No Naughty Bits

16 – 21 January 2017, performances at 7.45pm
Also Saturday 21January performance at 2.30pm.
Doors open 30 minutes earlier.

Telling the true story of when Monty Python sued American television station ABC for unauthorised cuts to their final series - removing all of the naughty bits - Steve Thompson’s No Naughty Bits sees Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam pit their wits against a pair of humourless TV executives with hilarious results. A delight for any fan of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

This amateur production of No Naughty Bits is presented by special arrangement with Nick Hern Books Ltd

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

by Dario Fo

Accidental Death of an Anarchist, by Dario Fo

Monday 20 – Saturday 25 February, performances at 7.45pm
Doors open 7.15pm

Inspired by the real-life events surrounding the death of Italian railwayman and anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli, who fell – or was thrown – from the fourth floor window of a Milan police station in 1969, Dario Fo’s classic farce sees The Maniac outsmarting the dim-witted Inspector Bertozzo before impersonating a judge in order to evade capture - and command the reenactment of the death of the titular anarchist.

This amateur production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist is by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd

His Dark Materials

by Philip Pullman, adapted by Nicholas Wright

Northern lights

23 March - 1 April 2017, with weekend matinées

Six hours of epic drama, split over two plays.

His Dark Materials is set in Philip Pullman's celebrated fantasy world - one in which people have physical souls in animal form, called daemons. Lyra and Will travel through parallel worlds populated with witches, armoured bears, harpies, ghosts and cliff ghasts, to find Lyra's friend and Will's father. They meet challenges along the way, have to use their wits and their strength, and ultimately make sacrifices for the greater good.

Presented in two parts, in separate performances - an epic spectacle not to be missed!

Part 1: Thu 23 March 7.30, Fri 24 7.30, Sat 25 2.30, Wed 29 7.30, Sat 1 April 2.30

Part 2: Sat 25 March 7.30, Sun 26 2.30, Thu 30 7.30, Fri 31 7.30, Sat 1 April 2.30

Evening performances at 7.30pm, Matinées at 2.30pm.
Doors open half an hour earlier.

If booking parts 1 and 2 in the same transaction, a discount of £2 per ticket is applied at the checkout.

Tickets for this production are not yet on sale.

 

This amateur production of His Dark Materials is presented by special arrangement with Nick Hern Books Ltd

Progress Premieres

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

Typewriter close-upMonday 24th April – Saturday 29th April 2017, performances at 7.45pm
Doors open at 7.15pm.

Following on from the success of ten years of WriteFest, and as part of its commitment to supporting local writers and directors, Progress Theatre is proud to present an evening of two one-act plays - The Writer Bird by Reading’s Emily Goode and The Swastika Party by Paul Levy, with local directors - both WriteFest alumni - taking the helm for each.

Murder, Margaret & Me

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

by Philip Meeks

TypewriterMonday 22 May – Saturday 27 May 2017, performances at 7.45pm
Doors open at 7.15pm.

Agatha Christie didn’t want Margaret Rutherford to bring her fabled spinster to life - and Margaret was mortified at the prospects of sullying her reputation with something as sordid as murder... Murder, Margaret & Me is the story of the real reason why the acting legend and “the funniest woman alive” didn’t want to take on the role that made her celebrated around the world.

This amateur production of Murder, Margaret & Me is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd

Betrayal

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Adults: £12, Concessions: £10
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

by Harold Pinter

Three figures silhouetted in a windowMonday 12 – Saturday 17 June 2017, performances at 7.45pm
Doors open at 7.15pm.

Shown in reverse chronological order, Betrayal explores and explodes the classic love triangle in Harold Pinter’s unconventional fashion, opening with the end of the seven-year-long affair between Emma and Jerry - lifelong friend of her husband Robert - and heading back to its roots. Inspired by Pinter’s real-life affair with Joan Bakewell, each character experiences their own version of betrayal.

This amateur production of Betrayal is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd

The Tempest

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All: £8
or call 0333 666 3366 Telephone sales will cost an additional £1.50

by William Shakespeare

The Tempest by WaterhouseTuesday 11 – Saturday 15 July 2017, performances at 7.45pm
Doors open at 7.15pm.

Summoning a storm, the magician Prospero - rightful Duke of Milan - shipwrecks his usurping brother Antonio and King Alonso of Naples on his island exile. Surrounded by his menagerie of spirits and monsters, the vengeful Prospero takes control, punishing his spiteful, scheming brother and matching lovers Miranda and Ferdinand.

Presented by Progress Youth Theatre.

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame, adapted by Mike Kenny

Wind in the Willows19 - 29 July 2017 at Caversham Court Gardens

Mole, Toad, Ratty and Badger are brought to life as they tell the tale of the events at Toad Hall in this playful adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book, perfectly suited to the beautiful and enchanting setting of Caversham Court Gardens.

why not bring a picnic and some fizz to one of the area's favourite annual events, presented by Reading's longest-running open-air theatre production? With a laid back atmosphere in one of the area's prettiest locations by Grahame's beloved Thames, The Wind in the Willows will be enjoyed by the whole family.

Tickets will be on sale in  2017 - they tend to sell quickly, so watch this space for news.

This amateur production of The Wind in the Willows is presented by special arrangement with Nick Hern Books Ltd