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Autumn set to be a scorcher at Westacre Theatre

Issy Huckle as Miss Barwick
Issy Huckle as Miss Barwick

A live screening from Stratford, the best of contemporary cinema, a touring theatrical thriller, master-class workshops and art exhibitions are all in the autumn season repertoire at Westacre Theatre.

But the on-stage highlights of the new season now being launched at Westacre are three very diverse productions from the theatre’s own company.

The Selfish Giant
The Selfish Giant

The first is ‘Art’, opening on October 6. In addition to exploring the meaning of art, it is about the meaning of friendship. The simple play is both humorous and touching, provoking much laughter and a few tears, too.

When it premiered in London starring Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott, it ran for 1,000 performances over eight years and collected numerous awards, including the Olivier for Best New Comedy, making it a global hit.

With three middle-aged men snapping about something that goes to the very roots of their long-established friendships, it raises some of life’s eternal questions – how much truth and honesty can human beings actually stand and what is the problem that men have in communicating emotion?

The November production is the black comedy ‘Crooked Wood’, a TV play by Michael Palin now adapted for the stage.

L to R ' Clive Hadfield; Robert Dale; Andy Naylor
L to R ' Clive Hadfield; Robert Dale; Andy Naylor

Opening on November 17, it follows the vulnerable and sometimes confused Miss Barwick. Living in her decaying life-long home with its dilapidated charm and surrounded by her treasured possessions, why would she want to move anywhere else? But hers is the last remaining house on a prime site owned by a ruthless property developer.

Surprisingly, Miss Barwick squares up in a battle of wits that goes to the very core of how unethically the elderly are often treated and the sheer power that big business holds over individuals.

From mid-December through Christmas to the end of the year, is a fresh adaptation exclusive to Westacre Theatre of ‘The Selfish Giant’ by Oscar Wilde. The music and live action puppets make this re-working of the heart-warming story appealing to all the family during the festive season.

With a specially extended run, tickets are already on sale. In previous years, many performances of the Christmas show have sold out completely, so it would be wise to book early.

Film fans are catered for under the Wednesday Flicks banner, a carefully selected programme of recent releases on the full-size screen. Shown in the afternoons so you can be home before dark, you can pre-order lunch before the film to make a real outing of it.

There is ample free off-road parking right outside the door, complete with level entrance suitable for everyone.

This season’s programme mainly comprises 2017 releases and includes ‘Hidden Figures’ starring Kevin Costner; ‘Fences’ directed by and starring Denzil Washington; Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy in ‘Their Finest’; ‘Churchill’ with Brian Cox; ‘My Cousin Rachel’ featuring Simon Russell Beale; and Hugh Bonneville in ‘The Viceroy’s House’.

As a special treat, Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’ will be beamed into Westacre Theatre direct from the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon on October 11.

A one-night stand of the much-publicised tour with the new thriller ‘Anglian Mist’ is staged on November 3. Conspiracies and counter-intelligence in the Cold War are all elements in this unpredictable story.

For a full listing of all the season’s events and an easy way to book your tickets, visit www.westacretheatre.com or call 01760 755800.

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