COLUMN: ANOTHER FABULOUS LINE UP OF ON STAGE ACTION SET TO ARRIVE ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

As we move from the height of summer, Island theatres are in preparation for a range of autumn and winter entertainments for you.

This September the Apollo Theatre is delighted to be starting their 49th season of plays with Ladies in Lavender, an emotionally-charged play set in Cornwall in the mid-1930s.

We meet elderly sisters Ursula and Janet who live a quiet, uneventful life together close to the Cornish coast. Their world is changed and challenged by the arrival of Andrea, a young Polish man who they discover on the beach. He has been washed ashore after a shipwreck and as they nurse him back to health they learn that he was on his way to a new life in America, and that he is a gifted violinist.

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By this time Ursula has formed a deep attachment to Andrea, but how does the young man feel about this? Is he attracted to Olga, more his age? And what about the feelings of Dr Mead, called in to attend Andrea? The stage play, exploring the deep emotions underpinning ordinary lives, was adapted from Charles Dance’s screenplay of the film of the same name starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

Ladies in Lavender will be staged at the Apollo Theatre from 17th – 25th September (not Sunday or Monday) at 19:30. Tickets may be booked at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/apollotheatre/ladies-in-lavender/e-gvodge or from the box office on 01983 210010.

The Savoyards are also in rehearsals for their autumn show, the smash-hit musical, Little Shop Of Horrors.  Nerdy Seymour works in a run-down flower shop, and attempts to avoid its closure by bringing in a plant he has named Audrey II, in honour of his colleague Audrey, for whom he secretly harbours feelings. Audrey II however begins to wilt, and Seymour discovers it needs to be fed human blood…..

This musical black comedy was made into a famous film starring Rick Moranis, and the Savoyards are bringing it to the Shanklin stage with a live orchestra, unique set design and a strong cast to mark their first full show in 2 years.  Little Shop of Horrors will run from 21st – 23rd October at Shanklin Theatre – you can book tickets from the website at https://www.shanklintheatre.com or by calling the theatre box office on 01983 868000.

Also from 21st -24th October at Trinity Theatre, Theatretrain IOW/Theatre Educational presents Matilda The Musical. The performing arts school offers professional training in singing, dancing and acting for 6-18 year olds, who are currently working hard in rehearsal for the very famous story of Matilda, based on the book by Ronald Dahl with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.

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Theatretrain also run a ‘Minis’ class is specifically designed for 4 & 5 year olds who have a love for performing.  Classes include singing, dancing and acting – teaching the children the art of performance and vital skills and techniques they can transfer to every day life. If you have a budding young performer in the family, contact Theatretrain at [email protected] or on 07768863146. And to buy tickets for Matilda the Musical, go to the CAODS/Trinity Theatre website at https://www.caods.org.uk/index.php

Bembridge Little Theatre Club, fresh from the success of A Bard in the Hand (if I do say so myself!) are now in rehearsals for their next venture, the musical comedy Nunsense, to be staged at Bembridge Village Hall on November 11th , 12t, 13th and 14th (Sunday matinee). Not just Nunsense in fact – this is Mega-Nunsense. If the concept of a musical based in a convent full of singing nuns sounds a bit like Sister Act – that’s because Sister Act was based on Nunsense, so you will be watching the original and best! More information next month, but tickets are now available from the box office on 07841950261 or by calling in at Splash, Union Street, Ryde or the Co-op Welcome Store in Lane End, Bembridge.

Following their smash hit production of Fame!, Curtain Call Creative is proud to present All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre at Medina Theatre for ONE NIGHT ONLY on 14th November (performances at 15:0 and 19:00). More details on this in my next column, but you can book your ticket now by calling the box office on 01983 823884 or online at http://www.medinatheatre.co.uk/article/curtain-call-creative-proud-present-all-together-now

As if all that were not enough, later in November and December we have pantomimes to look forward to – oh yes we do! Dick Whittington at Trinity Theatre, Spotlight Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast and First Act performing Cinderella are just a few festive treats on offer – more on these next month.

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Happy theatre-going!


Maureen Sullivan is a regular contributor to Island Echo’s coverage of the Arts on the Isle of Wight. Maureen has been actively involved in the Island’s amateur dramatics scene for several years, appearing in many different roles and guises with several theatre companies. In her free time, Maureen also writes and reviews at iwtheatre.org.

Catch Maureen’s column each month for the latest theatre and art happenings...

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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