Groping for Words
4-8 April 2017
A warm compassionate comedy by Sue Townsend, directed by Rowena Sterry
Set in a class for illiterate adults, this play might seem irrelevant in the 21st century but not so; the latest statistics show that 16% of Britons are ‘functionally illiterate’
Joyce is a well-meaning woman who just wants to teach adults to read, but little prepares her for the complications of her pupils’ lives.Stuck with a nursery room complete with Wendy house and diddy plastic chairs, she gets enmeshed in the problem lives of her pupils and the caretaker. Sue Townsend, creator of 'Adrian Mole', the best-selling series of the 80's by far, had been poor and a single parent herself, and this experience shines through in her writing.
Performances at 7.45pm. Tickets £10, concessions £8, balcony £5.
13th to 17th June 2017
A dark comedy by John Godber, directed by Philippe Duquenoy
Premiered by the Hull Truck Company, this thought-provoking comedy enjoyed a run at the Hampstead Theatre and has been regularly reprised ever since Jean and Morris Sod are the lucky sods of the title – against a context of family loss they’ve just won the lottery. Morris bought the ticket and picked the numbers, but Jean changed one at the last minute.
They sat, they watched, and they won. Nothing on Friday and two million on Saturday! But is it a dream come true? How does it change relations with their relations? Will it solve their problems, or maybe … add to them?
The Memory of Water
26th to 30th September 2017
A comedy of reminiscence by Shelagh Stephenson, directed by Frank Kaye
This was Stephenson's first play which opened at the Hampstead Theatre, London and was awarded the prestigious Olivier Award for Best Comedy. Filmed as Before You Go with Julie Walters.
What do you leave behind after death? In Vi's case, there's a wardrobe full of dresses, and three daughters – each with their own version of past events. She doesn't just live on in their memories; she appears as a ghostly vision! Whilst visible only to one of the sisters, her influence and demand to be understood - rather than buried and forgotten - drives the other sisters as well. A provocative and hilarious evening is promised.
The Chalk Garden
21st to 25th November 2017
The celebrated play by Enid Bagnold , directed by Steve Atkins
Considering it belongs to the watershed era of Look Back in Anger, the critic Kenneth Tynan wrote of this piece, 'On Wednesday night the West End theatre justified its existence.The play was a triumph!'
Set in a faded manor house in Sussex, built on chalk soil. The grande dame Mrs St Maugham has the care of her granddaughter, Laurel, now 16 who (due to a childhood incident) sets fire to things, screams - and lies.But the mysterious governess Miss Madrigal, who came from nowhere and never talks of her past - seems to have an instinctive understanding of Laurel, and of how to make the garden grow. Filmed with Deborah Kerr, heard on Radio 4 and due to re-open soon on Broadway with Angela Lansbury.
About Woodley Theatre
Woodley Theatre is based at the Oakwood Centre, Woodley, near Reading, Berkshire. Find us.
We are an amateur theatre company that aspires to set high standards for our productions, whilst still having fun. See how we build sets in just 5 minutes.
We were formed in 1945 as the St. John’s Players, and after a few years went secular as The Woodley Players, changing later to Woodley Theatre.
See details of some of our
We typically mount 4 or 5 productions each year.
We have an associated Youth Theatre that also mounts 1 or 2 productions each year.