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The Geoffrey Whitworth Theatre
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President: Sir Michael Gambon          Postcode for Sat Nav: DA1 4NP
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The Theatre is currently Closed

18th March until to be advised 2021



Season Update

As we all know, legislation for the current lockdown is in place until the end of March...

"..not because we expect the full national lockdown to continue until then, but to allow a steady, controlled and evidence-led move down through the tiers on a regional basis."

... according to the PM's statement to the Commons when Lockdown #3 went into law. 

As part of the “move down through the tiers” our theatre and the surrounding areas are likely to remain in tier 4 - or tier 3 - for a period of time.  Of course it’s not possible to predict how long that period of time may be. For a non-professional theatre, indoor mixing restrictions for individuals from different households in tiers 3 and 4 will not allow for auditions, rehearsals, set building or costume fitting sessions; or any of the other necessary interactions required to mount a full scale production.  And that’s before we even begin to consider performances, and how an audience could be safely and legally accommodated for the foreseeable future.

Against this background of uncertainty around restrictions and how long these may continue to impact on us, we’ve reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the planned productions of Still Alice, Skellig, and Frankenstein.  All being well, these will roll over into the equivalent slots in our 2021-2022 season. We will be issuing an update about The Audience and Twelfth Night when post Lockdown #3 arrangements become clearer.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom!  Please do enjoy our forthcoming online productions of Mrs Warren’s Profession and Mixed Doubles – coming to your ears soon!  You can read more about these projects and how to access them below!

Mrs Warren’s Profession

Pauline Armour is directing a serialised audio version of George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs Warren’s Profession”, which you’ll be able to enjoy from Wednesday 27th January.

Shaw completed this play in 1894 but because of the subject matter of prostitution it was banned in England and first staged privately in London in 1902, but not publicly performed until 1925 at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Birmingham.  Shaw wrote it to draw attention to the truth that prostitution is caused, not by female depravity and male licentiousness, but simply by underpaying, undervaluing, and overworking women so shamefully that the poorest of them are forced to resort to prostitution to keep body and soul together. “Mrs Warren’s Profession” features Hannah Holland, Gerald Bishop, Sam Head, Claire Dingley, Ross Holland and Maurice Tripp. 

The production will be released in four episodes, nightly, from Wednesday 27th January. You'll be able to access the serial, free of charge, on the GWT You Tube channel.  Make sure you put Wednesday 27th in your diary but, don't worry, we will remind you (and re-share the link) via email on the day - so do look out for us in your in-box or find us on Facebook!

Mixed Doubles

Mike Higginson is directing three duologues from the Mixed Doubles” anthology, each of which takes a humorous swipe at the different stages of marriage.  The three plays, A Man’s Best Friend, Permanence, and Resting Place, will be broadcast as audio plays at the end of February 2021 on our You Tube channel and will feature Lauren Smith, Conor Litten, Helen England, Mike Martin, Lesley Robins, and Paul Campion.

More details in our February edition of ‘Whitwords’. So watch out for that!

Previous online projects

If you’re missing the thrill of “live” performance you’re not alone.  So are we!  But in common with many other arts organisations our creative writers, actors and directors have found opportunities to continue to make theatre, with a series of projects which we’ve been delighted to share with you. 

We hope you enjoyed our recent radio play Last Tango in Little Grimley – which proved very popular and received some very appreciative comments.  

Earlier in 2020 the short pieces you can see here – all involving GWT members you’ll probably recognise - were submitted to the written voice new writing event, which formed part of an Arts Festival usually presented live at the Stag Theatre. To keep the event alive during 2020 written voice wanted to make films and recordings of the pieces instead.

The Devil you Don’t

Written by Alice Higginson-Clarke this short play stars GWT actors Catherine Addy and Hannah Holland in a story of two young women ‘doing their bit’ for the refugee crisis. It is a story of friendship, dodgy driving and uncomfortable realisations. Thank you for supporting our theatre in these troubled times. This project was filmed in Covid-Safe settings whilst observing restrictions.

Click here to view this play

Sitting in Silence

Written by Mike Higginson, this short play examines the devastating after effects of the First World War on people of all walks of life. The cast features GWT actors; Maurice Tripp, Paul Harris, Lisa Harris, Katie Webster, Alice Higginson-Clarke, Dominic Higginson-Clarke, Gaynor Griffin and Sue Higginson.  This project was filmed in Covid-Safe settings whilst observing restrictions.

Click here to view this play

Tortoise

This monologue is taken from the play Tortoise written by Lisa Whitbread and performed by Gerald Bishop. Peter lives alone, he says quite happily and then his daughter decides to make his decisions for him. 

Click here to view this play

Zoom; Dogs and Dinosaurs

Sue’s embraced ALL the technology to keep in touch with her friends and family. But where does a Romanian dog rescuer fit in – and who on earth are Nips, Lethal and Dyson? This funny and touching monologue is written, and performed, by Brenda Joyce.

Click here to view this play

written voice is run by GWT members Lisa and Paul Harris; find them at https://www.facebook.com/writtenvoicetheatre/

25th January 2021