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New season 2018-19

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Full details will be posted on our website very soon, together with audition notes, but in the meantime, here is a brief precis of the 2018-19 season at the Sewell Barn.

11-20 October 2018
Handbagged by Moira Buffini
Dir: Clare Williamson

22 November-01 December 2018
Not About Heroes by Stephen MacDonald
Dir: Rob Tiffen

10-19 January 2019
These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich
Dir: Jess Hutchings

21 February-02 March 2019
Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn
Dir: Angela Rowe

28 March 2019-06 April 2019
Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Dir: Chris Bealey

02-11 May 2019
The Children by Lucy Kirkwood
Dir: Peter Wood

06-15 June 2019
Yerma by Federico Garcia Lorca
Dir: Phillip Rowe

11-20 July 2019
Waiting in the Wings by Noel Coward
Dir: Cassie Tillett

In addition, we are delighted to host two special evenings 'for one night only':

25 October 2018
Broad Horizons Theatre Company presents
Rebellious Sisterhood - Votes for Women

9 March 2019
Paddle Fast presents
Music at the Barn

We hope you agree that i…

Romeo and Juliet

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As the director of this show, Carole Lovett, has said in our programme: "It has been estimated that at any moment of any day somewhere on our planet a performance of will be taking place. This popularity and the seeming familiarity that everyone has with the characters and the plot is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it evokes a very positive response from the general public, but on the other hand, how does any new interpretation keep the story fresh and new?"

Our production sets the iconic tragedy in the present day. Lord Capulet and Lady Montague are rival political candidates. The weapons are not swords but fists and knives. And (as Carole goes on to say), "The tragedy of the human existence is not dependant on historical context and we all have a lot to learn from Shakespeare's study of how precious and fragile are the younger members of our society and of how they should never be ignored or taken for granted. We should always listen and we should always care.…

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…