Latest news from Salisbury Playhouse

For the latest news from Salisbury Playhouse please visit

Read our new Dangerous Corner blog!

You can read our new Dangerous Corner rehearsal blog here.

Dangerous Corner is at Salisbury Playhouse from 31 January to 23 February 2013.

Read our Sleeping Beauty updates on our website

You can read what has been going on in the Sleeping Beauty rehearsal room by clicking here.

Photo by Lydia Stamps Photography – Sophia Ragavelas, Ella Vale and Luke Kempner rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty  at Salisbury Playhouse.

Stepping Out cast blog #4

Stepping Out” – A fond farewell to Salisbury

Cast member Adrian Grove talks about his time in Salisbury

As our time here in Salisbury comes to an end, we the cast firstly want to say a massive thank you to everyone at the Playhouse for making us so welcome.

Good regional theatre is incredibly difficult to maintain, particularly in these times of economic hardship and just getting audience members through the doors can be demanding. It takes a great team to make great theatre, but get it right, as I believe Gareth Machin and his team are doing, and what you produce is the beating heart of a community. A place where friends and family can meet during the day to enjoy coffee or lunch, or where you can relax by yourself, check your emails and read a book. In the evening, have dinner before seeing a show in the main house or the studio.

With the new meeting room, rehearsal space and restaurant, writers groups, community groups and businesses can assemble with all their requirements catered for under one roof. The main theatre also provides the perfect conference venue should the number of people be slightly higher. Finally, and most importantly, young people can flex their own creative muscles, learn about all aspects of the theatre, make friends and build confidence in themselves. After all, aren’t these the next generation who will keep the heart beating?

The combination of all these elements with great marketing and a fantastic season of plays puts “bums on seats”, smiles on faces and makes a town proud of its theatre. Salisbury Playhouse, we salute you – the Olympics may have finished but you are Gold!

One final note: I was asked to mention the cast’s favourite things to do in and around Salisbury (away from the theatre) so here they are in no particular order:

1. Salisbury Cathedral Spire Tour – a 2hr tour with incredible views and wonderful guides

2. Best breakfast goes to “Boston Tea Party” (but can be very busy at times)

3. Best lunch goes to “Cote

4. Salisbury Odeon is worth the visit just to see inside this wonderful old building

5. Best Wine Bar is the “Cosy Club

6.Best day trip – Hengistbury Head. Walk then go around the coast to Mudeford for Fish & Chips

7. There are 3 fabulous Vintage shops in Salisbury

8. Endless trails to walk and cycle in The New Forest National Park, or just head out along the river West of the Cathedral (great pubs and stunning views looking back at the Cathedral)

9. For the friendliest pasty in town go see the boys in “Pasty Presto

10. Best Thai food goes to “Thai Sarocha” on New Street

11. Salisbury Museum

Stepping Out blog #3

Actor Adrian Grove updates us on moving Stepping Out from the rehearsal room to the stage

Stepping Out” to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike!

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As opening night approached, we moved from the rehearsal room to Matthew Wright’s phenomenal set, built brilliantly by the crew at the Playhouse. Just the floor itself took a day and a half to put down! The attention to detail is breath taking and what you won’t see is that they have built right back to the rear of the theatre. For us as actors this means that in order to get to the other side of the stage we have to go outside (comedy itself, when it’s raining and you are wearing Y-fronts and a vest!!). For the audience however, you get a beautiful voyeuristic look into the lives of ten colourful characters.

Technical week means that stage management, crew, lighting, sound and wardrobe bring all their elements together. They have been researching, building, making etc. over the previous weeks and in only two and a half days have to combine them all with the actors, director, designer, musical director and choreographer to bring the show to life. No mean feat I can tell you but they have all worked like crazy and continue to do so!! Every prop that you see on stage is placed there for a specific reason: there are check lists and photographs to make sure that every night each ashtray, chair and piece of rubbish is exactly where it should be.

Costumes are lined up on rails, placed in a specific order and in a certain way to obtain the shortest possible quick change time. Ladies, try changing out of a jumper, leotard and tights, into new tights, fishnets, tap shoes, new leotard, shirt, tie, jacket, hat, all in 60 seconds. Now imagine doing that in a small area with 8 of your friends….

One thing that Adam Penford (the director) wanted was for the scene changes to be a part of the show so that the focus is never lost for the audience and, as you will see, each of these is a moment for the audience to see another facet of one or two characters, only adding to the story that is unfolding. At the same time however, around this, costumes and props are changing mostly in full view of the audience. You’d be surprised where a new outfit is hidden!!!!

As I write this we have completed nine wonderful shows, the audiences have blown us away with their response and the critics loved it. We are packing the auditorium, so once again book now to avoid disappointment. We run till the 6th October with matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Finally, I think I will leave the last word to a lady I spoke to in the bar after the show.

“It was the best 2 hours I’ve spent in a long time and one of the best shows I’ve seen at Salisbury. I laughed, I cried and I really didn’t want it to end.”

For tickets ring the box office on 01722 320333 or visit




Stepping Out Cast blog #2

Cast member Adrian Grove updates us on what is happening in the Stepping Out rehearsal room with just two weeks to go till opening night

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Photography by Dominic Parkes

“Well here we are, just over two weeks into rehearsals and all the elements are being brought together like a jigsaw puzzle by Director Adam Penford. Lighting plots are being prepared, scene changes are being worked out, all those extra 80’s props are filling up the rehearsal room and costume fittings continue with a tweak here and there. (Did we really wear that to go out in 1984? Was that a hint of a sequin we spotted? How big could you get your hair with a bit of back combing and some Harmony hairspray?).

Today we started with vocals, yes you heard right. Ben, our Musical Director, warms our voices up with a series of scales and tongue twisters. Try singing “Unique New York” or “Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s dead” whilst going up the scale. Then the girls harmonised, sounding like the Military Wives’ choir. Mrs Fraser (Elizabeth Power), the pianist, has been doing a favour for the Vicar, but just what that is you’ll have to wait and see… Needless to say she’s a lot more versatile than she makes out! And if she’s not around who will tinkle the ivories?

Andrew Wright, the choreographer, has been drilling us with military precision as the sounds of tapping feet ring out across Salisbury, drawing passers-by to the Box Office like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. All this is interspersed with shouts of: “Where does that hand go?”; “Is it up on one, down on four, or up on four, down on one?”; “Who’s got my stick?”.

Thankfully, during all of this there’s always time for a visit to the Encore Café at the Playhouse for a latte and a piece of cake (try the apple & blackcurrant flapjack with a yogurt topping – it’s amazing!!!). Having said that, I’m not sure what the general public think as we stroll around in leotards and tap shoes. Not me of course, although…..if Maxine (Louise Plowright) had her way who knows! Right, that’s enough clues!

Book now to avoid disappointment, especially as my mother has booked a coach load. We all look forward to seeing you very soon.”

For tickets visit or phone the Box Office on 01722 320333.

Cast blog: Adrian Grove on Stepping Out

Stepping Out the perfect cure for Post Olympic Blues:

The cast of Stepping Out start rehearsals at Salisbury Playhouse!
Credit Dominic Parkes

If you are anything like me you will have been glued to the television for the last two weeks as Olympic Fever swept the country, but what now? How can we maintain that feel good spirit, how can we cheer for the underdog and how can we keep ourselves on the edge of our seat, fingers crossed hoping that at the finale everything will be alright?

Tap Step Forward… Director Adam Penford (Associate Director on the West End & Broadway Smash Hit One Man, Two Guvnors), Choreographer & Olivier Award Nominee Andrew Wright, Designer & Tony Award Nominee Matthew Wright and the theatrical comedy gold that is Stepping Out.

Rehearsals started a week ago with a cast that includes myself, Adrian Grove, and nine, very talented and lovely girls, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it!

To say the set is amazing would do it an injustice, it really does have the wow factor. The Stage Management team filled the rehearsal space with props, costumes, doors, stairs and a piano (that’s enough clues!!). And then it was on with the tap shoes! Muscles ached, hats went flying, and life imitated art, but boy are we having fun.

The Wardrobe Department is weaving its magic with a plethora of delights from the 1980’s? Remember Olivia Newton-John – leg warmers, high-waisted leotards, & fishnets, what on earth will they dress me in?

But underneath all the glitz and glam, Adam Penford’s direction unfolds the truth. These are not just characters but real people like you and I, with real worries and problems, brought together in the most unlikely of settings, and when all else fails laughter really is the best medicine.

Will Dorothy ever stop worrying about her London transport problem? Will Vera be able to put down her lavatory brush long enough to practise her time step? And where will Geoffrey get changed with 9 girls taking over?

Find out from September 6th to Oct 6th 2012.

For more information visit or call 01722 320 333 to book now!

‘Parallel’ Blog: Voices From The Rehearsal Room

The Parallel rehearsal room was full of excitement and such a buzz as I entered, with a great range of actors and backstage crew of all ages from Oaklodge Secondary Special School and Stage ’65 enthusiastically creating the opening number! There was a definate sense of collaboration between all the members and they sang such entertaining lyrics. It was inspirational to see a wide variety of people from different backgrounds working together.

After watching the opening number I spoke to the Assistant Director about the rehearsals this week …

“It’s been an exciting week and great to integrate the Oaklodge students into the opening sequence. The company are showing a lot of promise.

Carl Woodward

I then spoke with many members of the Blue company, all of which were from Oaklodge School about their experience of creating and performing in Parallel:

“My favourite part is when we rehearse our scenes and get to practise our lines.”

It has taught me to sing better and speak louder on stage!”

I am looking forward to my family and grandparents seeing me perform.”

– James and Kieran

“It has taught me about the Olympics and the history of the games.”

I am looking forward to performing on the Main Stage.”

I just enjoy taking part and performing because we don’t get to do it a lot and it’s a moment in your childhood.”

– Bennito and Zach

I enjoy being with different people.”

I am looking forward to performing on stage with others!

– Liam B and Daniel F

The cast of Parallel in rehearsals at Salisbury Playhouse. Credit Irene Piera

Parallel Blog #2:

Stage ’65 rehearsals for Parallel at Salisbury Playhouse. Credit Irene Piera

Oliver Davies joins a Parallel rehearsal and interviews some of the cast:

Last week I went to a Parallel rehearsal with the Oak Lodge team and some of the other Stage ‘65 teams; each team was named a colour. During rehearsals we (I joined in) played lots of games based around Parallel and the Olympics one of which was a personalised game of “zip zap boing”. Wanting to find out more about the show, we interviewed four of the performers; Callum, Suzanne, Holly and Rob.

Callum was from the Oak lodge school and was really enjoying the rehearsals. He said that he’d never done anything like this before and he has had a great experience, he wishes more people to join because they should. Callum explained that Parallel is a musical performance with lots of songs in it, and they are working with English Touring Opera!

Suzanne explained what the show was about and she said that it was based on different Olympics games, the history, the people and in one scene they are focusing on a famous athlete who cheated. They have been stretching their acting skills and are creating different views for different people. She loves the fact that they will be singing as it is her passion.

We interviewed Holly and Rob together. They said that they were really enjoying working on Parallel and that it is a great experience. Rob said that it is good to stretch and make friends, even when you are nervous. Holly quoted that everyone should give it a go because everyone is really supportive and you can never do anything wrong at first.

It was great to watch the rehearsals, all of those who think “maybe next year” should do it, get in there, have some fun!

By Oliver Davies, Parallel Marketing Team

‘Parallel’ rehearsal blog #1

Hello Parallel fanatics! This is our first rehearsal blog of the new and upcoming show – Parallel. This musical show is being devised from scratch and is going to be performed by talented members of Stage ’65 and Oak Lodge special school with music from English Touring Opera!

Because Parallel is a devised piece, the acting company get to be really creative in rehearsals exploring all possibilities and deciding which will make the final cut! This means we will be discovering lots over the next few weeks, and will be reporting back to you via this blog. What we do know already is that audiences will be treated to a special promenade performance, which will lead them around parts of the Playhouse you don’t normally see, taken on a musical discovery of performance before reaching the auditorium for the main performance!

So far in rehearsals, the Parallel acting company have been busy researching information on the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

They have also started to bring ideas to the promenade routes, and chosen who is going to lead each route for you Olympics inspired evening! One company has even started to think of lyric ideas to the songs that will be sung throughout the event!

Keep looking out every week for whats going on, we have lots planned including all the gossip from Stage Management and a video blog from some of the acting company… coming soon!



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