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Showing posts from 2017

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

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Dario Fo's manic political farce has long been considered a classic of twentieth-century theatre, and for good reason. As Director Karl Harland says: “Are you worried that the world has descended into corruption, incompetence, and bad language? If so then the Sewell Barn’s next show, Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, will reassure you that you’re not wrong and it’s nothing new.

It’s 1969 or thereabouts and after gaining access to a Milan police station, the scene of the death of a suspect in a previous terrorist incident, our hero the Maniac sets to work digging up the truth that was buried by a nest of corrupt coppers. Add journalist Maria Feletti to the mix and it can only end one way. Or can it?"


The positive reviews started arriving as soon as the first night was over, and we're very proud of the magnificent cast and crew who have brought their energy and skills to this show.

"Very impressed with the actors and performance. Icing on the cake was a set …

Lark Rise to Candleford

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Flora Thompson's well-loved trilogy (Lark Rise, Over to Candleford and Candleford Green) were written during the years of WW2, reflecting largely autobiographically on Thompson's own life in late 19th century rural Oxfordshire. In the 1970s, Keith Dewhurst adapted the three books into two plays: charming, humorous, observant, poignant, and using traditional music to link wonderful vignettes of village life. They were originally staged in the National Theatre's Cottesloe space, using a promenade style. Finally, the books were adapted again for television in 2008.

It's a rare treat to have the chance to see both Lark Rise and Candleford performed together (each is a full-length play, standing on its own), not least because of the large cast required for each show (two dozen actors across the two plays), as well as four first-rate musicians. Robert Little and his cast have done a wonderful job, using our unique and intimate space with simple staging, a marvellous band and…

A Chorus of Disapproval

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Alan Ayckbourn's wonderful comedy rang true for anyone who's been a member of a club, society or group. As one of our reviewers said, "The performances are all honest and real" - every one of the fourteen actors presents a very recognisable personality...

Here's what audiences said.

"Haven't laughed so much in ages, what a fantastic show, beautiful singing too, well done to everyone involved." Ruth H

"Had a great evening watching A Chorus of Disapproval at the Sewell Barn last night - lots of laughs, high production values and beautiful characterisation. Well done and thank you." Clare H

"Enjoyed it immensely. The cast seemed effortlessly (or should that be seamlessly?) meshed into a well tuned ensemble - the mark of good direction and casting coming together." Jack S

"There is an excellent production of Ayckbourn's A Chorus of Disapproval showing at the Sewell Barn at the moment. We saw it at last night's packed per…

Talking Heads

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Alan Bennett is well known for his observant, hilarious, often painful creations. His Talking Heads monologues - two series, each of six characters, one male and five female - are widely acknowledged as being some of the finest solo works in the theatre.

While we were sad at the Sewell Barn to have had to cancel our planned June production due to casting difficulties and illness, we couldn't be more pleased with its replacement. Two of the Passion Play cast join director Judi Daykin to portray three very different women telling their stories.


In A Lady of Letters, lonely spinster Irene watches the world from behind net curtains, writing to complain about anything she sees. But when a couple across the road seem to be abusing their child, should she intervene?

Recently widowed Muriel faces a series of challenges and revelations after the sudden death of husband Ralph, not least from her two children. As the truth about the family is uncovered, will she manage to keep Soldiering On?

Kissing Sid James

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A disastrous follow-up to a disastrous first date: a weekend in rainy Blackpool. As director Angela Rowe put it, "If you have ever been single, if you have ever wanted everything to turn out alright, if you have wanted something better or you just want to see great theatre then come and see Kissing Sid James." This fabulous two-hander has been delighting audiences during the first week of performances; don't miss your chance during the second half of the run (Wed 10 to Sat 13 May).

"You MUST see this rather wonderful comedy/drama.
I know, I KNOW, you get so many people saying, YOU MUST SEE THIS! These are usually posted by friends or advertisers hidden behind the cloud of social medias masses, not me, er well...not this time anyway.
Two characters, just 2, away for a 'dirty weekend' grab our attention from the first few moments, then the laughter begins. These are people we know, perhaps even us sometimes, coping with life while searching for 'love'…

The Kitchen Sink

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With a functioning kitchen, a beautiful set and a cracking cast and crew, The Kitchen Sink is a gentle, reflective, poignant and very funny observation of the challenges of real life. Here are some comments from our audiences.

"Theatre is a lovely thing. I went along to the Sewell Barn tonight with absolutely no expectations.  I didn't know the play, didn't know the playwright, didn't know who was in it or who directed it, and I was treated to a little gem of a play, warm, witty, true to life, and so believably played by the cast. If I say it was small, this in no way derogatory, it was heartwarming and lovely. Well done everyone! Go and see it, you'll love it." David W

"You [Ruth, playing Kath] were amazing!!! I loved the play so much and you were the cornerstone of an amazing cast!!" Wendy A

"That was a very warm and intimate play, full of very sympathetic characters. A very reflective piece, enjoyed it very much." Barnaby M

"Go al…

Timon of Athens

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It's not unusual for a Shakespeare to be included in the season at the Sewell Barn. However, Timon of Athens is an unusual show and seldom seen in performance - so here's your chance! It plays 16-18 and then 22-25 February.

The cast works superbly as an ensemble in this modern setting, using mostly women and a great deal of multi-casting. It's challenging, absorbing and wholly relevant to a twenty-first century audience, as the reviews are telling us.

"Saw the opening night of Timon of Athens at the Sewell Barn yesterday - brilliant production of a play which should be performed much more often. Debt, bankcruptcy and being abandoned by your friends - a story for our times." Fiona D

"Just seen Timon of Athens @sewellbarn. Great show, well done, all!" Rosamund W


"Really enjoyed your performance last night of Timon of Athens. Excellent throughout. Don't know why this play doesn't get put on more." Dan F

"Thank you @sewellbarn for br…

There Came a Gypsy Riding

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This beautiful play is quirky, challenging, full of light and shade, Irish superstition and humour, tears and reflection and hilarity. It was referred to by the cast and crew as 'the Irish play' as we'd hit so many challenges along the way: by the time the show went up, we were on our second directing team, our second Simon and our FOURTH Louise - all for very understandable reasons. Our set designer was taken ill with the final painting and set-dressing still to do. And the East Anglian snow set in on opening night. Yet this fabulous tale withstood those challenges, and continued to delight.

"What a wonderful way to kick off a new year - select a top-notch play by a master of the craft, equip it with a superb cast in sparkling form, give them a simple but beautifully imaginative and evocative setting, complete with sound effects - then sit back and enjoy! I know this simple recipe involves an enormous amount of hard work beforehand but the end result was a fitting a…