Unless otherwise stated, all performances start at 7.30 pm and all concessions are for under 16s and over 60s
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SWISH... again

11th to 13th October

Cotswold Players

Strong Women In SHakespeare

SWISH was originally the Players’ highly successful contribution to the first Stroud Shakespeare Festival held in Stratford Park in May 2018. A team of actors and directors performed an open-air series of short scenes from the History plays (including Henry V, Henry VI & Richard III) celebrating famous speeches from strong women.

For the October production, the Players will add a second half consisting of linked scenes from Much Ado About Nothing, with the evergreen sparring of Beatrice and Benedick, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, with the gulling of the lecherous Falstaff by the redoubtable Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.

SWISH ….. again promises an entertaining evening of the best of Shakespeare, telling the powerful stories of these remarkable women in some of the wonderful verse and prose that the English language has to offer.

The National Joke

18th to 20th October

Hexagon Theatre Company

Torben Betts

This dark comedy, written only 2 years ago, is extremely up-to-date, and you will recognise some very contemporary references to the current political scene. It is an incisive depiction of the remarkably bumpy family life of a fictional MP.  When three generations of the family come together to witness a solar eclipse, home truths quickly emerge and hackles rise.

Torben Betts is a rising star of British comedy theatre.  He has been likened to Alan Ayckbourn in his use of gentle comedy to expose the undercurrents of contemporary British society.

Anne Boleyn

20th to 24th November

Cotswold Players

“Why is it that all we do in the name of God is always exactly the same as what we need to do in our own self-interest?”

A celebration of a great English heroine, Anne Boleyn dramatises the life and legacy of Henry VIII’s notorious second wife, who helped change the course of the nation’s history.
Traditionally seen as either the pawn of an ambitious family manoeuvred into the King’s bed or as a predator manipulating her way to power, Anne – and her ghost – are seen in a very different light in Howard Brenton’s epic play.

Rummaging through the dead Queen Elizabeth’s possessions upon coming to the throne in 1603, King James I finds alarming evidence that Anne was a religious conspirator, in love with Henry VIII but also with the most dangerous ideas of her day. She comes alive for him, a brilliant but reckless young woman confident in her sexuality, whose marriage and death transformed England for ever.

Film: The Ballet of the Nations

29th November

Impermanence Dance Theatre
£12 (Concessions £10)

The Ballet of the Nations has been created to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day for cinemas, arts centres and community settings. Impermanence Dance Theatre have created their first film inspired by The Ballet of the Nations (1915), a pacifist allegory written by Vernon Lee and illustrated by Maxwell Armfield.

The project was born out of conversations with Dr Grace Brockington of the University of Bristol, and with the support of the Paul Mellon Centre. Dr Brockington specialises on this period of art history, and has studied the original text in great depth, while the Paul Mellon Centre is a leading archivist and publisher in the world of British Art.

Lee’s publication was rooted in a culture of experimental performance that developed in Britain during the war, against the grain of mainstream theatre, and often in sympathy with the wartime peace movement. IDT’s production reanimates that world of movement, using the evidence of archives, art works, footage, photographs and illustrated books to develop a richly textured evocation of the wartime artistic response.

Impermanence Dance Theatre have over the past few years built up a reputation for innovative live shows, utilising their training in dance to create performance pieces that defy and challenge contemporary theatre norms. They have a strong practice in interrogating and realising text, image and other literary and artistic sources into performances that

“Ingenious Choreography” – The Guardian

“This is what dance should be” – Three Weeks

“If David Lynch made multi-layered dance performance..” – To Do List

“An exploration through dance, a celebration through physicality and an abberation through the senses” – Edinburgh Guide

Edith in the Dark

1st December

Baroque Theatre Company

Philip Meeks

Baroque Theatre Company presents this journey into the disturbing, dark and supernatural imaginings of celebrated children's author Edith Nesbit. (The Railway Children, Five Children and It).
One night in her attic writing room with her housekeeper and a mysterious guest she reads them a story, not one of her cherished children’s tales, but one of her terrifying early horror stories.
As the tales unfold it becomes clear all is not what it seems…
Someone in the attic is hiding a deadly secret.

Edith in the Dark is a haunting Christmas drama; a glimpse into the nightmarish inner world of an author whose reputation for cosy childhood innocence is only half the story.

Highly original” THE GUARDIAN
A superbly written new play… a devilishly good idea” THE STAGE
A delicate balance of tongue-in-cheek and heart-in-mouth” THE PUBLIC REVIEWS

A Child’s Christmas, Poems and Tiger Eggs

4th December

Ballet Cymru
£17 (£12.50 under 18)

Dylan Thomas

A brand new ballet by award-winning Welsh Dance Company Ballet Cymru, narrated by Cerys Matthews.

Ballet Cymru presents a timeless interpretation of the Dylan Thomas classic A Child’s Christmas In Wales with music by Mason Neely and Wales’ own icon, Cerys Matthews. Step into the imagination of a genius and follow us on a journey through snow, cats and melancholy. Featuring choreography by Creative Wales Award winner Darius James and Amy Doughty, and evocative, eloquent costumes, Ballet Cymru bring to life this timeless story using the company’s unique blend of classical technique and storytelling.

Poems by Dylan Thomas © The Trustees for the Copyrights of the Dylan Thomas Estate
Music and arrangements by Cerys Matthews and Mason Neely from the album Dylan Thomas - A Child’s Christmas, Poems and Tiger Eggs. www.cerysmatthews.co.uk © Cerys Matthews

‘These young dancers created a taut, committed atmosphere on stage, and the audience, comprised of every age group from 5 to 95, were gripped from start to finish.
Ballet Cymru, I salute you!’
Amanda Jennings, Dance Europe
‘Not too short, and not too long, the evening was a complete delight from start to finish’
Jonathan Gray, Dancing Times

A Child’s Christmas, Poems and Tiger Eggs by Dylan Thomas is a co-production between Ballet Cymru and The Riverfront Theatre.

It's a Wonderful Life

5, 6, 8th December
at St Laurence Church

Cotswold Players

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.
Adapted by Joe Landry
Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (www.playscripts.com)

"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."
In December the Players will take up residence at St Laurence Church for three nights only in a joint production of the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
Turning a film into a show is not easy but this goes one step further. This is a live radio play! It features a group of radio actors putting on a play in the 1940’s.
The story is the classic that everyone knows.  The setting is a radio studio but surrounded with Christmas Trees in the Church and performed during the annual Christmas Tree Festival.

This production is at St Laurence Church NOT at the Cotswold Playhouse

She Loves Me

18th, 19th and 24th to 26th Jan at 7.30 pm
20th and 27th at 5 pm

Cotswold Players & Glitter & Twisted

With wonderful songs by Bock & Harnick, the team that created “Fiddler on the Roof”, and a brilliantly written book by Joe Masteroff who wrote “Cabaret”, our January show is the charming musical “She Loves Me”.  Amalia and George hate each other, which is a little awkward as they work in the same parfumerie. What they don’t know is that they have been secretly writing letters to each other and are falling in love by post. As Christmas approaches matters come to a head.

Based on a 1937 Hungarian play, the plot has surfaced on film many times: “The Shop Around the Corner” with James Stewart; “In the Good Old Summertime” with Judy Garland; and “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1963 and has been revived a number of times, including hit productions in London and New York in 2016.

“She Loves Me” is rarely produced by amateur groups in the UK, yet is considered by many fans of musical theatre to be one of the best shows ever written. Charming and romantic, without ever being slushy, it is hilariously funny and is a real “feel good” show for all the family.

We are excited to be co-producing this show with Glitter & Twisted Theatre Company, who have brought some fun Gilbert & Sullivan shows to the Playhouse over the past few years. Directors Simon Moss & Suzie Barnes are thrilled to have this chance to share their favourite musical with Stroud, and hope you will soon have the same warm glow that “She Loves Me” brings to them.

Same Time Next War

6th to 9th February at 7.30 pm
Matinees at 2.30 on 7th and 9th

Brandywine Theatre Company

The Importance of Being Earnest

12th to 16th March

Cotswold Players

Rebellious Sisterhood

23rd March

Broad Horizons
£12 (Concessions £11)

Karen Forbes

Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst is not a well woman. Recently released from prison, her hunger strike has left her weak and debilitated. 1913 has not been an easy year. Family arguments threaten scandal. Financially embarrassed and living out of a suitcase, she is terrified at the prospect of being returned to prison. The only sanctuary is with her friend, the composer, Ethel Smyth. But Ethel's love for Emmeline is about to be challenged by the arrival of young firebrand, Grace Roe, fresh from turning East Anglia into a hotbed of Suffragette protest.

This exciting play takes a rare glimpse behind the scenes at the private lives and the personal cost paid by the leaders of the Suffragettes.


29th March

Beyond the Horizon

‘As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.’

The critically-acclaimed Beyond The Horizon present their haunting, twisted reimagining of Franz Kafka’s absurd tale.

One morning, Gregor wakes up and doesn’t feel quite right. He soon realises that – seemingly for no reason whatsoever – he has been cursed with an affliction unlike any other. Before long the metamorphosis takes hold of his mind and his loved ones, transforming their love for him into disgust and his love for them into torment.

Beyond The Horizon take advantage of state-of-the-art makeup and prosthetic effects to present Gregor’s transformation in exquisite, ultra-realistic detail, in a journey that will both transfix and chill audiences to their core.


26th April

Black Dog/Beyond the Horizon

'I never had a chance. They'd made up their mind about me from the moment they opened that door and found me bawling on the step.'

Black Dog Productions in association with Beyond The Horizon present Orphan, a new play from “the bold, refreshing voice” of Russell Eccleston.

A small town in Georgia: a nameless Orphan returns to the place where he was raised hoping that he can cauterise the wound that has been festering in him since he was a child. His friend Patience is brought along, on the grounds that she might find some sense of closure. When they bump into their old Caretaker who has information about their dark past, Orphan’s true motives start to become clear and Patience begins to lose control. Are sins ever forgiven? Or do sins simply beget more sins?

Originally produced by Black Dog Productions in 2018 to huge audience and critical acclaim, Orphan will leave you questioning the true meaning of ‘family’.

Death and the Maiden

4th May

Baroque Theatre Company

Ariel Dorfman

The award winning London smash hit play and subsequent feature film DEATH AND THE MAIDEN is revived in this exclusive tour by Baroque Theatre Company. Gripping high drama, with great intensity, this is a unique and first-rate thriller.

Set in an unnamed country that is emerging from a totalitarian dictatorship, the play explores the after effects of repression on hearts and souls in vivid and compelling style. Paulina Escobar's husband Gerardo is to head an investigation into past human rights abuses. Pauline is convinced that the powerful and charismatic Dr. Miranda supervised her abuse as a political prisoner.

Conflict ensues as their lives cross paths and Pauline, gun in hand, captures the Doctor and puts him on trial, Escobar doesn't know whether to believe his distraught wife or his persuasive new friend. This is an enthralling, intellectual and emotional tug of war with the human psyche laid bare.

Unless otherwise stated, all performances start at 7.30 pm and any concessions are for under 16s and over 60s