Forthcoming shows

The 39 Steps - 3 August to 15 August

Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan from the movie of Alfred Hitchcock - an original concept by Simon Corble & Nobby Dimon

Directed by Sarah O'Conner

(A TOADS season production)

 

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This 2-time Tony® and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance!

Love From A Stranger - 7 September to 12 September

By Frank Vosper based on a story by Agatha Christie

Directed by Helen Gould

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

Cecily Harrington's fiance is travelling in the Sudan, when she wins a big prize in a sweepstake and decides to postpone the wedding to spend a portion of the money on a European trip. During her travels, she meets Bruce Lovell, who sweeps the romance-craving Cecily off her feet, marries her, and takes her to his out-of-the-way cottage in the country. However, Lovell is not the charming gentleman he appears to be. Instead, he is a homicidal maniac of the most eerie, repulsive type, and is resolved to murder his new wife, just as he has murdered several other women before her. When a series of circumstances leads Cecily to realize the ghastly fact, she finds herself caught like a rat in a trap, unsure of how she will escape...

The International Agatha Christie Festival 2015

13 to 19 September

(To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here)

13 September - Talking Books: A gala event marking 80 years of service

7.30pm to 9pm (Tickets £15)

 

“It is glorious to be able to sit back and be read to, without even so much as asking the person if they mind doing it”

 

Agatha Christie’s innovative novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, was among the first set of Talking Books ever released and Christie remains one of the most requested authors by visually impaired users of the service. Today, the uniquely aural heritage of previously archived recordings are attracting a new audience eager to hear voices from the past. This evening focuses on the imaginative power of the spoken word and will also feature rare clips of Agatha Christie’s voice recorded on dictating machines.  Thanks to the RNIB for supporting this and the accessibility of our other festival events.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

14 September - Murder, Margaret and Me

2.30pm matinee (Tickets £12/£10)

There will be an audience Q&A session after this matinee performance.

 

Margaret Rutherford's performance as MIss Marple made her a movie icon. But it almost didn't happen. Revealing why, this intriguing play brings together Agatha Christie and Margaret Rutherford in a unique theatrical experience. This is the story of the real reason why the acting legend and "the funniest woman alive" didn't want to take on the role that made her celebrated across the world. Margaret and Agatha form an unlikely friendship filled with high tea, brandy snaps and gossip. Meanwhile Agatha turns detective herself and she's on a mission. She's determined to unearth Rutherford's tragic and shocking secret. Starring award winning (Edinburgh Festival and International New York Festival) actor Janet Price.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

 

14 September - MP Wright: Marple Through Music

5pm to 6pm (Tickets £10)

 

Contemporary crime novelist MP Wright worked in the music industry, as a private investigator, and in the probation services before publishing Heartman, his highly acclaimed debut novel featuring JT Ellington, a Bajan ex-cop washed up on the streets of 1960s Bristol. Heartman was snapped up by the BBC and Wright is now a screenwriter as well as a novelist. In this session, he will look at how Miss Marple has been represented through music in film and television adaptations by composers such as Ron Goodwin and Ken Howard.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

14 September - Murder, Margaret and Me

7.30pm evening (Tickets £12/£10)

 

Margaret Rutherford's performance as MIss Marple made her a movie icon. But it almost didn't happen. Revealing why, this intriguing play brings together Agatha Christie and Margaret Rutherford in a unique theatrical experience. This is the story of the real reason why the acting legend and "the funniest woman alive" didn't want to take on the role that made her celebrated across the world. Margaret and Agatha form an unlikely friendship filled with high tea, brandy snaps and gossip. Meanwhile Agatha turns detective herself and she's on a mission. She's determined to unearth Rutherford's tragic and shocking secret. Starring award winning (Edinburgh Festival and International New York Festival) actor Janet Price.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

16 September - Nigel Wollen: Wills and Codicils

7.30pm to 9pm (Tickets £10)

 

“To my dear brother, in recognition of the love and affection he showed me throughout my lifetime, the sum of one penny”.

 In 1900 solicitor Cecil Wollen met Frederick Miller, Agatha Christie’s father, at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. Since then successive generations of both families have exchanged advice on plots and plans and points of law. Join Cecil’s grandson Nigel Wollen of Wollen Michelmore for a fascinating and funny evening of anecdotal evidence exploring the quirky individuality of wills in fact and detective fiction. Includes extracts from Agatha Christie’s works read by actors.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

17 September - Tommy and Tuppence for the Silent Screen

5pm to 7pm (Tickets £12)

 

Adventurers Inc – also known as Die Abenteuer GmbH (Dir: Fred Sauer, Germany, 1929, 75 mins) - was the very first screen adaptation of an Agatha Christie story: The Secret Adversary in which the crime-fighting duo of Tommy and Tuppence made their debut. It stars an international cast, some fearless stunts and locations that include Berlin and Southampton. In keeping with tradition, the film will be accompanied live by one of the world’s best silent movie pianists, Neil Brand.

 

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

17 September - Drama Workshop: Consonants! Speak Your Christie Crisply Crispin

7.30pm to 9pm (Tickets £5 - TOADS full/life members FREE)

 

A fun interactive drama workshop for budding thespians of any age who would like to enunciate their vowels and crisp up their consonants while practicing the speech patterns of a bygone era. Scripts and text extracts will be provided. Led by one of our professionally trained acting team. No previous experience required.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

18 September - Julius Green: Curtain Up

2.30pm to 3.30pm (Tickets £10)

 

Curtain Up;  Agatha Christie – A Life in the Theatre is the first book to examine the work of the most successful female playwright of all time, and draws on unique access to the Agatha Christie Archive, as well as the archives of her agents and theatrical producers in the UK and America and Julius’s own practical experience.  Julius founded The Agatha Christie Theatre Company a decade ago and in 2001 he produced the Agatha Christie Theatre Festival performing all of the complete stage works of Agatha Christie, as then known, over twelve weeks. Join him to hear the inside story behind Witness for the Prosecution and The Mousetrap, and be introduced to hitherto unknown and unpublished plays.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

19 September - Bludgeoned with a gun, poisoned with a pen

2pm to 3.30pm (Tickets £8)

 

Whether treading the boards, behind the scenes or front of house millions of people have been involved in performing Agatha Christie’s works in theatres large and small. However, things do go wrong and even the most conscientious and enthusiastic of players has had to improvise and get the plot back on track when the doors got stuck or the pistol failed to fire. Come and share your green room stories as we celebrate the hilarity, ingenuity and creativity of those who have tried not to ‘corpse’ on stage.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

19 September - Margaret Rutherford plays Miss Marple in…

7:30pm to 9pm (Tickets £10)

 

A film featuring Margaret Rutherford’s controversial interpretation of Miss Marple, the role many claim to have disliked her in but that nonetheless made this fabulous comedy character actress an internationally recognised star. Film title to be confirmed.

To view the full 2015 International Agatha Christie Festival programme, please click here

Comedy Night - 26 September

National comedians Tim Clark and Jarred Christmas

Compered by Jon Manley

(Tickets £12/£10 for TOADS members and TOADS Theatre Club members)

 

A night of miirth and merriment with two popular comedians from the national circuit (please be advised - this show will contain content of an adult nature - recommended age 16+).

On Golden Pond - 12 October to 17 October

By Ernest Thompson

Directed by Alec Stokes

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory, but still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together. They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the "grandchild" the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness—and slang—in return. In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll, and in the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together by the incidence of a mild heart attack. Time, they know, is now against them, but the years have been good and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond still awaits.

The Canterbury Tales - 11 November to 14 November

Retelling some of Chaucer's legendary tales

Directed by Di ffitch

(A Tadpoles Youth Theatre production)

(Tickets £8/£6/Free for TOADS Theatre Club members)

 

Geoffrey Chaucer is dead! In a dramatic attempt to bring him back to life, four medieval alchemists invite a group of Chaucer's best known pilgrims - the Knight, the Wife of Bath, the Pardoner, the Nun's Priest and the Miller - to tell their Canterbury tales.

Music Hall and Memories - 22 November

Presented by The Old Bull & Bush Company of Artistes

(Tickets £11/£10)

 

The popular South West Company with a new programme of musical favourites and very old jokes to delight you all.

(In aid of Little Theatre funds with a bucket collection for Rowcroft Hospice)

Comedy Night - 5 December

National comedians Steve Hall and Bob Mills

Compered by Jon Manley

(Tickets £12/£10 for TOADS members and TOADS Theatre Club members)

 

A night of miirth and merriment with two popular comedians from the national circuit (please be advised - this show will contain content of an adult nature - recommended age 16+).

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - 14 December to 19 December

By Glyn Robbins, adapted from the book by C S Lewis

Directed by Maggie Campbell

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy embark on a magical mystery tour to the Land of Narnia through the wardrobe. There they encounter the wicked White Witch, representing the forces of evil, and the King of the Beasts, Aslan the lion, representing all that is good and right. The White Witch is destroyed, allowing good to triumph over evil in the time-honoured way.

Night Must Fall - 18 January to 23 January

By Emlyn Williams

Directed by Jill Pettigrew

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

Dan, a bell hop who arrives at the Bramson bungalow, has already murdered one woman and there is little doubt that he will soon murder another: the aged Mrs Bramson herself. He skillfully insinuates himself into her affections while attempting to seduce her suspicious niece Olivia from exposing his diabolical intentions. And though she professes loathing, Olivia is attracted and fascinated by Dan. Fatally.

What The Butler Saw - 15 February to 20 February

By Joe Orton

Directed by Alan Tanner

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

Dr Prentice, a psychiatric doctor in an exclusive, private clinic, is attempting to interview (and seduce) an attractive would-be secretary, Geraldine. Unwittingly surprised by his wife, he hides the girl. The affairs multiply as Mrs Prentice, being seduced and blackmailed by young bellhop Nicholas Beckett, has promised him the secretarial post. When a government inspector arrives, chaos, underpants and cross-dressing lead the charge.

Entertaining Angels - 14 March to 19 March

By Robert Everett

Directed by Di ffitch

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

As a clergy wife, Grace has spent a lifetime on her best behaviour. Now, following the death of her husband Bardolph, she is enjoying the new-found freedom to do and say exactly as she pleases, usually to the new - female - vicar, Sarah. The return of Grace's eccentric missionary sister Ruth prompts some disturbing revelations, which force her to confront Bardolph's ghost and the truth of their marriage. At the same time Sarah reveals some un-clergy-like credentials of her own to Grace's therapist daughter Jo. Entertaining Angels asks whether God can be trusted to do anything right at all, "Or is the whole thing a divine exercise in trial and error?"

Comedy Night - 26 March

National comedians Yianni and Mark Dolan

Compered by Jon Manley

(Tickets £12/£10 for TOADS members and TOADS Theatre Club members)

 

A night of miirth and merriment with two popular comedians from the national circuit (please be advised - this show will contain content of an adult nature - recommended age 16+).

Charley's Aunt - 11 April to 16 April

By Brandon Thomas

Directed by Lydia Dockray

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

Jack Chesney loves Kitty Verdun and Charley loves Miss Amy Spettigue. They invite the ladies to meet Charley's wealthy aunt from Brazil, "where the nuts come from". Cancelling her visit at the last minute, the millionaire aunt sends the boys into cataclysmic confusion. What do they do now? The problem is solved by drafting their feckless Oxford undergrad pal into a black satin skirt, bloomers and wig. As "Charley's Aunt", this charming frump is introduced to the ladies, to Jack's father and to Stephen Spettigue, Amy's guardian. When the real aunt turns up, classic comic confusion ensues as Fancourt Babberley, posing as "Charley's Aunt", tricks Spettigue into agreeing to the marriage of his ward, the real aunt marries Jack's father, Jack gets Miss Verdun, and Fanny Babs regains the fortune he lost at gambling as well as the girl he loves.

Role Play - 9 May to 14 May

By Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by Glynis Tame

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

Justin and Julie-Ann, hopelessly mismatched in love, are about to introduce their respective parents to each other over dinner - Justin's upper-crust alcoholic mother from Surrey and Julie-Ann's bigoted Yorkshire father and prim mother. Into this doomed scenario drops, literally, via the balcony upstairs and the river, Paige Petite, a former lap-dancer with suicidal tendencies and her thick, gun-toting minder who is employed by her violent boyfriend ...

Separate Tables - 6 June to 11 June

By Terence Rattigan

Directed by Anna Reynolds

(A TOADS season production)

 

(NEW for this season - 2.30pm matinee and 7.30pm evening performances on the Saturday)

 

In Table by the Window, a down-at-the-heels journalist is confronted by his ex-wife, a former model who provoked him to the violent act that sent him to prison, destroying his future. Still in love, they nevertheless go through another terrible scene and it is the hotel manager, Miss Cooper, who helps repair their broken lives. In Table Number Seven, a 'self-made' army colonel without any true background and education to which he lays claim, finds solace with a spinster over the objections of her ruthless, domineering mother. When a sordid scandal threatens to drive them apart, Miss Cooper again comes to the rescue.

Peter Gill Swinging Summer Jazz Evening - 17 June

(Tickets £14)

 

A swinging summer evening with Peter Gill and his band. Sensational boogie woogie, ratpack classics and summer favourites.

Anita & Jess Conrad - 18 June

(Tickets £15)

 

With careers spanning over 50 years, this promises to be a wonderful cocktail of anecdotes, song, glitz, chat and humour. Anita's career started at 15 years old when she was whisked away to Las Vegas to appear in a top revue. Returning to the UK she went on to work with The Cliff Adams Singers, appear in two Carry On films, grace the top of the pop charts, become a pantomime legend, star in Cats in the West End and feature in 7 Royal Command Performances. Jess Conrad, renowned cabaret performer, is one of the UK's most enduring and endearing stars of stage, film and television.

Comedy Night - 25 June

National comedians Geoff Boyz and Junior Simpson

Compered by Jon Manley

(Tickets £12/£10 for TOADS members and TOADS Theatre Club members)

 

A night of miirth and merriment with two popular comedians from the national circuit (please be advised - this show will contain content of an adult nature - recommended age 16+).