This winter at Park Theatre, The New Actors Company will present Sunday Readings in the Park, intimate readings of fascinating plays in the idyllic setting of PARK90, lights, a handful of actors and a play you might never have known. Audiences will be treated to rarely performed plays on selected Sunday afternoons between 11 October – 6 December at 2pm. Tickets are now on sale.
The inaugural season, Rediscovering British Gems, is a collection of rarely performed theatrical treasures by some well-known, and perhaps not so well known, British playwrights: J.M Barrie, Susanna Centlivre, John Galsworthy, John Hopkins, J.B Priestley, James Saunders and George Bernard Shaw. Each season will give a unique insight into the hearts and minds of some of the world’s greatest playwrights.
After each one-off performance the audience will be invited to stay for a short Q+A discussion where members of the cast and the director will give their insights into the play and answer questions.
Rediscovering British Gems
Sunday 11th October, 2pm Rosalind / The Will by J.M. Barrie
Directed by Martin Milnes
Two one-act plays by one of Britain’s most unjustly neglected playwrights: J.M. Barrie. Rosalind reveals the tricks of staying young, and the pleasures of ungracefully growing old. The Will is a play that demonstrates some of Barrie’s most endearing skills as a storyteller; examining the journey that begins when an up and coming young couple decide to make their first will…
Sunday 18th October, 2pm Justice by John Galsworthy
Directed by Keith Myers
Many plays attempt to hold up the wrongs and injustices of our society, but few have ever been instrumental in changing the law. Justice is one such play, which presents the story of Falder, a young Clerk who makes a rash decision and pays a very costly price.
Sunday 1st November, 2pm Mr Kettle and Mrs Moon by J.B. Priestley
Directed by Robert Laycock
A rarely performed play by one of Britain’s most famous playwrights, J.B. Priestley, that remains worryingly prescient. Mr Kettle is a bank manager who, perplexingly, flees from the conventions of his job, his life, and his responsibilities; opting instead to stay at home and play a childhood game he always adored – but the bank has a game of its own, and they don’t intend to lose.
Sunday 8th November, 2pm A Bold Stroke For A Wife by Susanna Centlivre
Directed by Melli Bond
One of the funniest plays of the 18th Century by one of its greatest writers: Susanna Centlivre. To wed his love, Colonel Fainwell must persuade each and all of her four guardians: an old beau, a hypocritical Quaker, a snobbish antiquarian and a miserly stockbroker, that he will make an ideal husband. Expect lightening wit and scathing social commentary.
Sunday 15th November, 2pm After Liverpool / Barnstable by James Saunders
Directed by Alex Marker
After Liverpool is hilarious and masterful as Saunders examines variations of domestic confrontations in the style of a revue. In Barnstable Saunders holds up middle class smugness and brings it crashing down along with the west wing, while the family lament the moles in the garden. Anarchic and unmissable.
Sunday 29th November, 2pm Find Your Way Home by John Hopkins
Directed by Robert Laycock
Gritty realism was often the hallmark of John Hopkins’ work, and Find Your Way Home is no exception. Relationships are put to the test and ripped apart when Alan Harrison, a husband and father, resolves to finally leave his wife for his lover Julian, who is in the midst of a very dark and disturbing period in his life.
Sunday 6th December, 2pm Village Wooing / The Dark Lady Of The Sonnets by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Charlotte Donachie
The season comes to a close with two one-act plays by George Bernard Shaw. In the first, a comedy entitled Village Wooing, ‘A’ is trying to get on with his work, and by that his life, but he is continually interrupted by the chatty ‘Z’, another passenger on a cruise liner. Appropriately, the season concludes with The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, a charming comedy where William Shakespeare, accidentally encountering Queen Elizabeth 1, presents the case for a National Theatre.