Another fine mess of shows at the Maltings in 2015

Hats Off to Laurel and Hardy

Hats Off to Laurel and Hardy - Credit: Archant

The brochure for for the next season at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans, which features a mix of music, comedy and drama, is now available.

Following the New Year folk concert triple bill on Friday, January 2, and the return of Vicky Arlidge and her unique brand of comedy on January 23 and 24, will be resident theatrical group OVO’s first drama of the season, Two by Jim Cartwright.

A sharp, salty, quick fire evocation of the surface gaiety and underlying melancholia of English pub life, it is a contemporary classic and can be seen from February 12 to 14.

Later in February, Breakaway will present Ayckbourn’s funny yet poignant A Woman In Mind where an ordinary housewife invents a perfect family to fill the void in her life with hilarious and tragic consequences.

Next up is The Boy Preference, a brand new play by Elinor Cook presented by Best Theatre Arts’ youth theatre group as part of the National Theatre Connections programme. A tale of discovery, revenge and hope, underscored by a live soundscape, it will be performed on March 4 and 5.

OVO is back from March 11 to 14 with psychological thriller The Country by Martin Crimp. Richard and Corinne, a middle-class couple, have fled the city in search of rural calm. Their peace is shattered when Richard, a doctor, brings home a girl in the middle of the night whom he claims to have found sprawled unconscious by the roadside.

Modern drama continues on March 19 and 20 with Craig Taylor’s One Million Tiny Plays About Britain. This multi-media production will be the first time that all 95 of the published Tiny Plays will be staged, using projection and live performance to depict stories of life in modern Britain.

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Having played to full houses and standing ovations nationwide, Hats off to Laurel and Hardy is an account of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s lives and careers. It includes recreations of their most famous routines both on stage and screen and can be seen on Saturday, March 21.

Mike Leigh’s iconic play Abigail’s Party, a satire that ruthlessly exposes the domestic hell beneath a suburban drinks soirée, will be presented by Maltings Arts Theatre regulars irrational theatre from April 16 to 18, before the season comes to a close on April 21 with The Soldier’s Tale, the culmination of a six-month collaboration between The Purcell School, Bushey and the Young People’s Puppet Theatre.

Director of programming at the theatre, Imogen de la Bere said: “We’re delighted and proud at the Maltings Arts Theatre that our programme continues to diversify as our audiences grow.

“The range of drama, comedy, music and even puppetry from local and national companies, including youth theatre, is something we are constantly nurturing and our January to April season is a great example of the effort that goes into planning the programme.”

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office on 0333 666 3366.