Updated: Jun 22, 2020
2017 – 2018 Season Celebrates 50 Years at the front of regional theatre.
In 1967 David Wood OBE directed the Worcester Repertory Company’s first production; Anne Jellicoe’s The Knack. Some people walked out. Apparently, the language used was not appropriate for the theatre in 1967. But fifty years later David Wood and John Hole’s (the Rep’s first Artistic Director) legacy is still here to see. In 2017 prolific theatre critic, Lyn Gardner, won the UK Theatre Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre. Whilst receiving her award she stated.
“I hope that in my own small way I have made a contribution to keeping the conversation around theatre – particularly in the regions, where too often great work both off stage and on goes unsung – alive and kicking, celebrating all the things it does brilliantly and all the things it is trying to do better.”
Lyn Gardner is absolutely correct. So much work that gets produced in the regions goes completely unnoticed. But if you want to see the future of British Theatre then the regions are where you have to go. I can’t remember the last time I switched on a British made TV programme and wasn’t able to spot someone on the production who hadn’t worked in a regional theatre and more often than not, there’s normally someone who’s worked for the Worcester Rep. Regional theatre companies are where the big names of today started their careers. Before Imelda Staunton was being nominated for Oscars, Oliviers and every other theatre award going, she was in Wood’s production of The Gingerbread Man alongside Kevin Whately! Before Sean Pertwee was strutting his stuff as the no-nonsense butler to Bruce Wayne, Alfred, he was in John Doyle’s company having joined after training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Bonnie Langford, now a household name and on our TV screens at least twice a week had her ‘first grown up job’ in Godspell at the Worcester Rep. One of John Doyle’s Associate Directors…let me see…if I can find out…oh yes…here we are…PHYLLIDA LLOYD! One of the most powerful people in theatre and film on the planet.
Bonnie Langford, Sean Pertwee and Imelda Staunton were all members of the Worcester Repertory Company before 'hitting the big time'.
So the next time you wonder whether or not you should go to your local professional theatre I would encourage you to take the chance. You’ll be seeing the future of the industry, right on your door step.
The 2017-18 Worcester Rep. 50th Anniversary Season
Don't miss out on these amazing shows. Visit our WHAT'S ON page for more information.
Where is Mrs. Christie?
December 2017 – January 2018
Where is Mrs. Christie? (National Tour)
February – July 2018
Macbeth (Young Rep)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Transfer to National Theatre of Romania)
April – May 2018
The Hound of the Baskervilles