Third Stroud Theatre Festival

Beowulf

Beowulf - Credit: Archant

From the 11th to the 13th September, Stroud will play host to its third theatre festival with 30 different theatre companies performing everything from children’s theatre, classics, comedy shows, spoken word and award winning dramas in 6 different venues.

The diverse programme is a cross section of theatre with a mix of established performances and premieres of new shows and everything from stand up comedy to lively funny family shows, powerful award winning dramas to classics retold in new and exciting ways.

Third Knock Theatre from Lithuania are premiering Broken Air, a performance about the life of the artist Peter Lanyon whilst Devon based company Multistory return with their new award winning performance The Me Show. Stroud based actor Trevor Smith presents his remarkable one man show The Return of Savonarola.

Comedies include We Are Bronte from Publick Transport from Bristol, What Kind Of Fool Am I? a new show from Stroud based performer Helen Wood, Glorilla from Gloucestershire based company Spitz & Co, Well, That Was Different from PD Productions and All By Myself from new Gloucestershire company Nonumbum Theatre.

Bill Jones returns as Miserable Malcolm in Graveside Manner and fresh from great success in Edinburgh come Angie Belcher with her show Mythical Creature and Jonny Fluffypunk with Man Up Jonny Fluffypunk!

There are a number of shows for families such as Norse Tales, a lively funny and slightly anarchic retelling of the Viking myths from Stroud company Spaniel in the Works and a comical retelling of the classic Beowulf from Autojeu Theatre. Chloe from Midnight Storytellers will take on her character of Agent Green to offer a Masterclass in Care and Training Your Dragon.

Chloe will also be presenting an adult storytelling session Scheherazade’s Shed. Other solo shows include Devon based performer Matt Cann who is premiering his new show Mind Over Matt whilst White Hippos, also from Devon, bring their very funny highly acclaimed show Tall, a true tale of friendship and the potentially superpowered.

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Dave Nelder will be presenting the French classic and being optimistic in Candide: The Optimist, whilst Tic Tac Theatre from Exeter present Dario Fo’s farcical exploration of relationships The Open Couple.

Local writer and performer Swithin Fry will be presenting an updated moving performance focusing on his relationship with Death Row inmate Timothy Coleman in Dear Tim: Appeal Denied and. 0.0 from Eley and Kim Baker explores two stories based around parental crises.

Foulisfair Theatre from Cheltenham look at what is it means to lose yourself in How To Reappear, whilst young Gloucester company Brick Door offer a different style of theatre in their political piece Monsanto Who? PIDGE from Devon return with a new show Still or Sparkling? which explores the world of water and what it means to us.

Samuel Beckett features in two works at the Festival Beckett’s Last Act from London company Isoceles and Rough For Theatre II from Stroud based performers Brabbins and Rohwer.

There is also a chance to see Shakespeare from a different perspective as Brighton company Monkeydog present Something Rotten a one man version of Hamlet told from the point of view of the “villain” Claudius.

There is also a chance to experience theatre in a new way with 3 Minute Wonders, a series of short performances under 3 minutes long written by Stroud scriptwriters and performed in shops around the town on the Saturday.

This year for the first time there workshops for adults to explore what happens in the rehearsal room as Stroud Theatre Company host an open rehearsal for their new work Elderly People Crossing or develop new skills as Sam Gibbs from Autojeu hosts a lively comic character workshop and Jess Dawson runs a clowning workshop for people who don’t like clowns!

The festival takes place at the Subscription Rooms, Lansdown Hall and Gallery, The British School at Star Anise, and The Imperial Hotel.

Tickets are £ 6.00, £ 4.00 or you can buy a Stroudie Special which allows 6 shows for the price of 5. These are available from the Subscription Rooms Box Office or by phoning 01453 760900 or online at the theatre festival website. To find out more about specific times and shows pick up a brochure or visit www.stroudtheatrefestival.co.uk

Come along and enjoy a great weekend of theatre performances.

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