It’s official; I am wild about Wilde and fortunately our audience agreed.

We had a lovely response to our production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Approaching 1,300 patrons were treated to some of the most sparkling verbal wit ever written. Several felt compelled to write and applaud the show. Whether luxuriating in paradox or simply in the ridiculousness created by the plot that Wilde has set in motion, the play is at its best when it is portraying supposedly serious things in an extremely trivial manner.

Our thanks go to David Fletcher’s talented cast and crew for staging this brilliant, inventive and gloriously funny play.

Next up we have William Wilkinson in the director’s chair with Pinter’s Old Times. I last saw this play by Pinter, the supreme artist of the unspoken, in 2013. This mesmerising piece which slowly draws you in and explores the mercurial nature of memory, has a dreamlike quality and I was so very tempted to direct it a few years ago. The professional production I saw took the decision out of my hands when the rights were not available, so I directed Betrayal instead. I am so delighted that Bill is now to stage the ‘one that got away’.

Following hot on the heels of the Pinter we shall be welcoming back Spa Juniors with their production of High School Musical. Those of you who saw their terrific production of Into The Woods last year, will know not to miss this young, vibrant company.

Rachel Adams and her cast are underway with rehearsals for The Physicists and we are delighted to welcome her to the director’s team. More about this in my next blog.

In the meantime, I am delighted to announce that our new season will start in September with William Wilkinson’s production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. This will be followed in late October by the debut of another new director to us, Mike Rolfe, who will direct Noel Coward’s The Vortex. I cannot quite believe that we have never staged this Coward, so am particularly thrilled that Mike, who has spent a career as a director of drama in television and film, will be working with us. I am also delighted to announce that Tim Willis will be back in the director’s chair for our December production of Gypsy. The revival of this musical with Imelda Staunton in the lead captivated the country and I am sure this will be a real draw for our audience.

I also want to announce a new approach to introducing plays to our potential casts and crew. We shall be holding readings of plays prior to the play’s audition. This will give those who may be interested in auditioning the chance to hear the play in its entirety and to hear from the director their initial thoughts on staging. It is also an opportunity for anyone who may be interested in being part of the production as designers or crew to come and get to know the play. Finally, it also gives those who may not have the time because of their day job, or who no longer feel they can commit to a production, the chance to practice their art and come and enjoy a script coming off the page. This is a read through for all comers, so do all come!

Details are on the website of all the readings and auditions over the next two months – and there are many!

Sue Moore