Newbury’s Corn Exchange has announced an exciting programme of indoor and outdoor events for the summer.
They are inviting you to enjoy the very best cultural experiences with the launch of their very first Out of Doors Festival as well as a summer season of shows in the main auditorium. There will also be classes and courses in the Learning Centre and workshops and exhibitions at The Base, Greenham.
With a year so far, for many, spent mainly indoors at home, the Corn Exchange’s Out of Doors Festival sees the arts centre taking its usual programme of high-quality performances and workshops and bringing them to outdoor locations across the district, including Shaw House, the Nature Discovery Centre, Horris Hill, Welford Park, Thatcham Cricket Club, Greenham House Gardens, as well as some local primary schools.
Performances as part of the Out of Doors Festival take place between May and August and include theatre productions Blithe Spirit from BlackBox Theatre, The Pantaloons with Pride and Prejudice, Slapstick Picnic’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Heartbreak Productions’ The Great Gatsby. Audiences can enjoy jazz and musical hall favourites with Mary-Lou Revue Cabaret, magic with Britain’s Got Talent Ben Hart and Red Cape’s cycling theatre production, On Track.
Family shows include circus spectacles from Farm Yard Circus, Apocalyptic Circus-Inbalance’s My House and Charmaine Childs with Strong Enough. Little ones aged up to 2 years can enjoy Woolly Bear caterpillar and friends in the interactive show The Bug Hotel from HurlyBurly Theatre. Morgan & West bring a cavalcade of whimsy and wit with The Three Musketeers . Heartbreak Productions brings David Walliams’ best-selling book, Mr Stink, to the outdoor stage.
Visitors can expect to see the high-quality outdoor programme from the Corn Exchange’s dedicated outdoor arts creations space, 101, including Blast Theory’s guided audio bicycle ride Rider Spoke. There will also be Jeanefer Jean-Charles’ exploration through dance of the often forgotten black presence in pre-Windrush Britain in Black Victorians. Requardt & Rosenberg will present their contemporary sci-fi dance show Future Cargo and there will be a circus-dance production Wild by Motionhouse. These events are free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance.
In addition, there will be a range of outdoor activities for children and families, including favourites that would normally take place in the Learning Centre such as Little Story Sundays, Rhyme and Shine and Toddler Dance. Young people ages 4 to 12 can play with stories and characters with Drama in the Park. Adults can enjoy a variety of arts and crafts including wool or needle craft in Sunshine and Sewing, create a coaster in Glass in the Park and work with clay in Pots in the Park.
There will also be a selection of movement sessions for adults including dance, yoga and tai chi qigong in the series Move in the Park, which is supported by McCarthy Stone. The Out of Doors Festival is in conjunction with The Watermill, Arlington Arts and Newbury Town Council, with support from Shaw House, Thatcham Cricket Club, Thatcham Town Council, Welford Park and Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, Bucklebury C of E Primary School and St Nicolas C of E Junior School.
In the Corn Exchange’s auditorium the season will kick off with Michael Spicer, the comedy writer behind the internet sensation Room Next Door, who will be bringing the online show to the stage with The Room Next Tour. Other comedy offerings that will tickle the funny bones include Phil Wang, Ed Gamble plus the return of the monthly Corn Exchange Comedy Club. Music fans can enjoy the best of country and rock ‘n’ roll with Forever in Blue Jeans or have One Wild Night with the finest tribute to Bon Jovi with The Bon Jovi Experience. Other productions hitting the stage include Lost Dog’s Paradise Lost, a choreographic retelling of the poem by John Milton, and Ockham’s Razor with their award-winning circus theatre in This Time.
Families can enjoy the anarchic and cheeky Horrible Histories as they delve into the Georgians and Victorians. Nick Cope will be returning with his hugely popular Family Music sessions for ages 8 and under, and young fans of the enchanting world of Sarah and Duck can enjoy the CBeebies’s show live on stage with Sarah and Duck’s Big Top Birthday.
Katy Griffiths, Director of the Corn Exchange Newbury, says:
This is such an exciting time for the Corn Exchange. With the roadmap to recovery in place, we are thrilled to be able to announce our summer of events and activities. Outdoor events are an integral part of what we do at the Corn Exchange, so at a time when some people will still prefer to enjoy activities outside, we are delighted to be able to bring a huge range of creative experiences out into the fresh air as part of our Out of Doors Festival. Our fantastic team have been working so hard behind the scenes to ensure all industry guidelines are met so that everyone feels comfortable. And, most importantly, it means that everyone can join in the fun and create wonderful memories with their friends and family.
The programme in the Learning Centre will see the return of popular classes including Pilates, Adult Theatre Skills and Thank Friday it’s Improv! with a small selection of courses available to take part in online.
The Base, Greenham, will be reopening its gallery doors with the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 56 (Mon 17 May – Sun 13 Jun), with this year’s programme of exhibitions including the nostalgia of board games in V&A’s Game Plan (Fri 25 Jun – Sun 5 Sep), Open Studios’ INSIGHT 2021 exhibition (Sat 18 Sep – Sun 10 Oct) and a major photo montage by Britain’s most famous living artist, David Hockney, in Hockney and Hollywood (Fri 22 Oct – Sun 28 Nov). In the venue’s dedicated workshop space, The Lookout Studio, will be a plethora of visual arts courses and workshops including Linoprinting, working with wire to create your own swallow or flower for your garden, developing your observational skills with Still Life Drawing course and learning new techniques with your camera in the Wildlife Photography Course.
For more information and to book tickets, including a full listing of the Out of Doors Festival, visit, www.cornexchangenew.com. For more information about the exhibitions and classes at The Base visit, www.thebasegreenham.co.uk.