10-13 April at The Electric Theatre,Guildford
‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ by Brian Friel, directed by Eddie Woolrich
Dancing at Lughnasa is a tender yet unsparingly truthful tale of how the coming of modernity wreaks havoc on a close-knit Irish family during two warm summer days in 1936.
Author Brian Friel is one of Ireland’s most celebrated playwrights and he creates an exquisite snapshot of a family frozen for a moment in time. It tells of the five unmarried and ill-fated Mundy sisters. The Mundys would seem at first glance to be as far removed from contemporary Europe as it is possible to get. But just as their battery-powered radio brings them brief, ecstasy-making glimpses of the unknown world beyond their narrow borders, so does the return of their brother Jack from Africa and the arrival of a footloose ne’er-do-well Welshman, who thrusts them abruptly into the fast-flowing stream of 20th-century life. All at once Ballybeg is invaded by sex, war and ambition, the three horses of the modern apocalypse, and the Mundy family is soon torn asunder.
Following its opening in Dublin the production transferred to the National theatre in 1991 where it won the Olivier award for best play, and after a triumph on Broadway it went on to win the Tony Award for best play.
July 17 – 20 at Farnham Castle and August 26 – 30 at The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall
‘Tartuffe’ adapted by Roger McGough from the original by Moliere, directed by Ian Nichols
Tartuffe is the very model of self-effacing piety.
Wealthy but gullible merchant Orgon has become mesmerised by the apparently saintly Tartuffe, much to the consternation of his family. But is Tartuffe a friend or a fraud?
Moliere’s seventeenth century original was immediately banned by Louis XIV but is now probably France’s most famous comedy. Here Roger McGough, the master of sparkling Scouse wit, adapts the play with anarchic irreverence to present a bawdy, hysterical comedy; eavesdroppers hide in cupboards and under tables, whilst seduction and avarice stalk the chateau. A cunning plan must be hatched to expose the devilishly devious deception.
Slick, superb writing in partnership with puns, Franglais and physical comedy make this a delight.
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11-14 December at The Electric Theatre, Guildford
‘The Locked Room’ by Kathryn Attwood, directed by Laura Sheppard
“It was always there, behind that locked door. It always is – one’s past. I was simply choosing not to see it.”
Autumn 1951. As the Festival of Britain draws to a close and a General Election looms closer, acclaimed actress Irene Trevarrick is enjoying a triumphant return to the London stage. Behind the scenes however, Ivy Little is harbouring a shocking secret from Irene’s pre-war past. In an age when today’s level of press intrusion into the private lives of celebrities was unimaginable, Ivy knows her revelation will have a devastating effect on Irene’s carefully nurtured reputation and career. With both their futures at stake, she can only bide her time and wait patiently for her moment.