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Upcoming Productions

 Our next shows and booking information

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by Ariel Dorfman 6-9 March 2019
If we were playing charades, this would be a play, a film and an opera. The Roman Polanski movie starred Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and Stuart Wilson; the opera premiered in 2009 and Dorfman’s play won best new drama at the 1992 Oliviers... An unnamed South American country has thrown off dictatorship and is experimenting with new-found democracy. To heal the wounds of the past, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is set up - but will the process reconcile bitter enemies? Dorfman focuses in on these questions on a personal level in the shape of former political prisoner, Paulina, raped by her captors, led by a sadistic doctor whose face she never saw, and who played Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" during her torture. Years later, after the regime has fallen, Paulina lives in an isolated house with her husband, Gerardo Escobar. On his way back from a meeting at which he is asked to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Escobar gets a flat tyre. A stranger stops to help him and drives him back home. Later the same night the stranger returns to question Escobar about the Commission and Paulina is convinced she recognizes his voice as that of her torturer. She takes the law into her own hands in her own search for Truth and Reconciliation. TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE!
BEN HUR (on a budget) by Patrick Barlow 5-8 June 2019 William Wyler’s 1959 3-hour cinematic version of this
biblical epic featured 365 speaking parts and 50,000
extras. Ben-Hur had the largest budget as well as the 
largest sets of any film produced at the time. 
Costume designer Elizabeth Haffenden oversaw a staff of 100 wardrobe fabricators to make the costumes, 
and a workshop employing 200 artists and workmen 
provided the hundreds of friezes and statues needed. Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of ‘Ben Hur’ re-enacts all of 
William Wyler’s ambitious film, all within the confines 
of a stage. He also manages to do it with just a few 
actors playing 35 characters between them (we will 
probably use seven actors). OPEN AUDITIONS:
Thursday 28th February, at 7.30pm
It will be fast, frenetic and VERY FUNNY. Our ‘Ben Hur’ will be on a budget very much reduced from Mr Wyler’s but rest assured that it will contain all the scenes for which the film became famous – the birth of Christ, Ben Hur’s rivalry with Messala, the sea battle with pirates, the unforgettable and incredibly exciting and dangerous chariot race, exotic dancers – all of these and much more as the story takes us though Rome, Syria, Jerusalem, the Mediterranean, Egypt and then back to Rome for the thrilling finale. This is a play within a play wherein the much-vaunted and immensely talented (in his own mind, at least) Daniel Veil will, with other members of the Daniel Veil Collective, bring to life this incredible story; with a script written by Mr Veil himself and a budget even smaller than ours. Patrick Barlow was also responsible for writing the famous adaptation of ’The 39 Steps’ which enjoyed a long run in the West End and which was performed at the Barn only a couple of years ago. ‘Ben Hur’ is in a similar vein! Ron Common, Director



More details of the Rehearsed Play Readings


by Moira Buffini - 11-14 September 2019 I am very pleased and excited to be directing this play in September 2019, since it has long been one of my favourites and I think Moira Buffini is one of our best modern playwrights. This production is to be The Southwick Players’ entry into the Brighton and Hove Arts Council’s Full Length Drama Festival. Dinner is a black comedy about the dinner party from hell, in which the situation becomes more toxic by the minute. Paige is throwing a dinner party in honour of her husband Lars who is celebrating the fact that his pop psychology book ‘Beyond Belief ‘is now a best seller. Paige anxiously checks with the waiter, whom she has employed for the occasion, that everything is prepared for the imminent arrival of her guests. It is only when she hands over his payment of £25,000 in cash that one suspects the meal may contain some rather nasty surprises. The guests are: - Wynne - a post-feminist dippy-hippy artist who specialises in so-called erotica. Hal - a microbiologist who knows a great deal about deadly microbes. Sian (Hal’s girlfriend) - a journalist and news reader who resents the way Hal keeps referring to her as a ‘news babe”. Mike - an uninvited guest who, having crashed his van in the fog, calls at the house to use the telephone and ends up staying for dinner. The Waiter - silent, ubiquitous and deadly. Harry Atkinson, Director THE MATCHMAKER by Thornton Wilder - 
11-14 December 2019 The Matchmaker is a wonderful American farce in which tin cans explode, people hide in wardrobes and behind screens, identities are mistaken, and there are no fewer than our four romances. Written by Thornton Wilder, it has a plot borrowed from a Viennese comedy of 1842, and was first staged in Edinburgh in 1954. By the time it got to Broadway in 1955 it was already an international success and was turned into the musical Hello Dolly in 1964. It tells the story of wealthy Yonkers merchant, Horace Vandergelder, who employs the services of a matchmaker, Dolly Levi, to find him a wife. Dolly, a feisty and resourceful widow, has designs on Horace herself. Irascible and tight fisted, despite his fortune, Vandergelder has two overworked clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker. He also has a niece, Ermengarde, who wants to marry Ambrose Kemper, a penniless artist, of whom he strongly disapproves. Vandergelder is planning a trip to New York to court a widowed milliner, Mrs Irene Malloy. Cornelius and Barnaby, encouraged by Dolly, take advantage of the fact that their employer will be absent from the store to go on their own adventure – which takes them to exactly the same place. She has also advised Ermengarde to go to New York to elope with Ambrose, thus setting the scene for some classic farce in Mrs Malloy’s hat shop and the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant. The final act introduces the wonderfully bonkers Miss Van Huysen when all the characters meet in her apartment: all the complications are resolved and Horace reveals he has a heart after all. The play has a large cast of 16+, ranging from walk-on waiters to the towering roles of Dolly and Horace. It will be great fun to rehearse and provide a wonderful pre-Christmas treat for our audiences. Kate Armes, Director

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