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Dinner

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Dinner parties can delight and entertain; they can also cruelly humiliate and end in tears. Moira Buffini’s deliciously bad-taste comedy Dinner does both, mixing familiar and unfamiliar ingredients to create startlingly original drama - exploring the frustrated lives of the rich and apparently successful, whilst creating recipes that are “definitely not the kind of thing you find in Delia Smith”. On a night of thick fog, the fabulously elegant Paige is throwing a celebratory dinner in honour of her husband, Lars, and his best-selling pop psychology book ‘Beyond Belief’. She has been preparing the menu for months: ‘Primordial Soup’, ‘Apocalypse of Lobster’ and for dessert ‘Frozen Waste’. She’s even employed a professional waiter especially for the occasion…

The reviews of this cracking black comedy started to arrive as soon as the bows had been taken after the first performance. This show contains strong language and adult themes, and is not for the faint-hearted; but if you like your …

The Killing of Sister George

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Frank Marcus' iconic 1964 play is a wonderful combination of broad comedy, deep pathos, vicious relationship manipulation and pastiche.

Four highly skilled performers create the world in the flat of June Buckridge, who plays the beloved Sister George in the radio soap Applehurst (a thinly-disguised reflection of The Archers). Ironically, at the time of writing (25th February) the latter show has just dramatically killed off a much-loved character - a case of art imitating art?!

We have been delighted with audience reactions to the first three performances; do come and see what it's all about as it continues between 28 February and 3 March.

"[We] would just like to say how much we enjoyed the production last night. The performances were exemplary in a play that was beautifully paced and subtly nuanced and I, for one, was left wondering why there hasn't been a professional revival in recent times. It would be difficult to single out one actor for especial praise but I t…

Blood and Ice

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It's 200 years ago this month (January 2018) that Mary Shelley's iconic novel was published, and we're delighted to be celebrating this milestone with Liz Lochhead's dark, powerful play about Mary and her world.

We were especially pleased to be given a double-page spread of advance publicity in the Eastern Daily Press about the show, and you can read the online version here.

The show has been greeted with great enthusiasm, and here are some of the reviews...

"Went to see Blood & Ice at Sewell Barn last night (17th Jan) and it was fantastic. Such a strong show, actors were excellent, particularly the young lady who played Mary Shelley. She had so many lines and delivered them incredibly well. I thought it a very credible performance. Well done." Dawn T

"... tension is brilliantly maintained throughout, with the whole space of the theatre used for action above, below and around us..." Charlotte Valori (click here to read the whole review)

"I …

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

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Dario Fo's manic political farce has long been considered a classic of twentieth-century theatre, and for good reason. As Director Karl Harland says: “Are you worried that the world has descended into corruption, incompetence, and bad language? If so then the Sewell Barn’s next show, Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, will reassure you that you’re not wrong and it’s nothing new.

It’s 1969 or thereabouts and after gaining access to a Milan police station, the scene of the death of a suspect in a previous terrorist incident, our hero the Maniac sets to work digging up the truth that was buried by a nest of corrupt coppers. Add journalist Maria Feletti to the mix and it can only end one way. Or can it?"


The positive reviews started arriving as soon as the first night was over, and we're very proud of the magnificent cast and crew who have brought their energy and skills to this show.

"Very impressed with the actors and performance. Icing on the cake was a set …

Lark Rise to Candleford

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Flora Thompson's well-loved trilogy (Lark Rise, Over to Candleford and Candleford Green) were written during the years of WW2, reflecting largely autobiographically on Thompson's own life in late 19th century rural Oxfordshire. In the 1970s, Keith Dewhurst adapted the three books into two plays: charming, humorous, observant, poignant, and using traditional music to link wonderful vignettes of village life. They were originally staged in the National Theatre's Cottesloe space, using a promenade style. Finally, the books were adapted again for television in 2008.

It's a rare treat to have the chance to see both Lark Rise and Candleford performed together (each is a full-length play, standing on its own), not least because of the large cast required for each show (two dozen actors across the two plays), as well as four first-rate musicians. Robert Little and his cast have done a wonderful job, using our unique and intimate space with simple staging, a marvellous band and…

A Chorus of Disapproval

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Alan Ayckbourn's wonderful comedy rang true for anyone who's been a member of a club, society or group. As one of our reviewers said, "The performances are all honest and real" - every one of the fourteen actors presents a very recognisable personality...

Here's what audiences said.

"Haven't laughed so much in ages, what a fantastic show, beautiful singing too, well done to everyone involved." Ruth H

"Had a great evening watching A Chorus of Disapproval at the Sewell Barn last night - lots of laughs, high production values and beautiful characterisation. Well done and thank you." Clare H

"Enjoyed it immensely. The cast seemed effortlessly (or should that be seamlessly?) meshed into a well tuned ensemble - the mark of good direction and casting coming together." Jack S

"There is an excellent production of Ayckbourn's A Chorus of Disapproval showing at the Sewell Barn at the moment. We saw it at last night's packed per…

Talking Heads

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Alan Bennett is well known for his observant, hilarious, often painful creations. His Talking Heads monologues - two series, each of six characters, one male and five female - are widely acknowledged as being some of the finest solo works in the theatre.

While we were sad at the Sewell Barn to have had to cancel our planned June production due to casting difficulties and illness, we couldn't be more pleased with its replacement. Two of the Passion Play cast join director Judi Daykin to portray three very different women telling their stories.


In A Lady of Letters, lonely spinster Irene watches the world from behind net curtains, writing to complain about anything she sees. But when a couple across the road seem to be abusing their child, should she intervene?

Recently widowed Muriel faces a series of challenges and revelations after the sudden death of husband Ralph, not least from her two children. As the truth about the family is uncovered, will she manage to keep Soldiering On?