Maltings Theatre set to reopen this autumn with The 39 Steps

PUBLISHED: 09:23 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 September 2020

The Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel Gonevski

The Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel Gonevski

PAVEL GONEVSKI

St Albans’ Maltings Theatre has announced a superb autumn progamme of weekly shows, starting early next month.

The Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel GonevskiThe Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel Gonevski

The Maltings Theatre will be putting on shows from October 6 to November 28, including recent outdoor hits Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor, along with retuning favourite The Regina Monologues, and Virginia Woolf’s exquisite A Room of One’s Own.

Following the Maltings’ successful Open Air Theatre Festival that took place in August at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans, artistic director Adam Nichols has announced that the theatre will be reopening on Tuesday, October 6 with a two-month programme of eight weekly plays.

Venue managers are confident of meeting latest Goverment COVID-19 guidelines, and performances will finish before 10pm.

Adam said: “We are looking forward to welcoming back audiences to the Maltings from October 6 and we’re confident of providing a safe environment for everyone that will meet all the ongoing regulations.

The Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel GonevskiThe Maltings Theatre presents The 39 Steps to open its autumn season in St Albans. Picture: Pavel Gonevski

“We had a very good experience when we ran the Maltings Open Air Theatre Festival at the Roman Theatre in August and were pleased to receive an average audience safety score of 93/100.

“Audience members will be seated in pairs at the theatre, with extra spacing between chairs and rows.

“Additional deep cleaning will be carried out throughout the venue, a one-way system will be in place, and there will be an at-seat bar service.”

The new season kicks off with a condensed version of Patrick Buchan’s classic thriller, The 39 Steps.

Patrick Barlow’s Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation ran at the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End for nearly 10 years.

Now it comes to St Albans with a cast of four actors playing 40 roles between them amid frantic staging as they recreate all the film’s iconic scenes, including the intense chase aboard a train, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the biplane crash, and the death-defying finale at the London Palladium.

The play takes the legendary espionage novel, mixes in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film masterpiece, adds a dash of Monty Python and the result is an action-packed, hilarious spy thriller.

Adam Nichols will be directing The 39 Steps, which runs from October 6 to Saturday, October 10, at 7.30pm each night.

He said: “We are all so excited about the reopening of the theatre and about welcoming back our audiences.

“We’ve got such an entertaining and varied programme for the autumn – there really is something there for everyone.

“With social distancing and safety measures firmly in place, we’re looking forward to performing to around 50 per cent of our normal capacity.

“It means we can seat people comfortably and safely.

“Our production of The 39 Steps, which opens the autumn season on October 6, will see four actors taking a total of 40 parts in a condensed version of Hitchcock’s famous film.”

Information and tickets are available from maltingstheatre.co.uk/the-39-steps or by calling the box office on 0333 666 4466.

The 39 Steps will be followed by another chance to see OVO’s recent production of Henry V, from October 13 to October 17.

Fresh from its critically acclaimed run at the Roman Theatre, director Matthew Parker reimagines William Shakespeare’s historical play in a secondary school classroom.

There a group of eager students and their teachers come together – socially distanced of course – to bring this rousing, moving and frequently funny play to life with wit, music and plenty of movement.

To book, visit http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/henry-v-2

Another smash hit from the Maltings’ recent open air season at the Roman Theatre, The Merry Wives of Windsor, also returns for a limited run by popular demand from October 20 to October 24.

Adam Nichols’ production re-sets one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies slap bang in the middle of a summer music festival.

A bunch of 80s rockers – think Guns N’ Roses meet Bucks Fizz – are on the comeback trail.

But an ageing lothario is about to get his comeuppance and romance wins the day.

Live music and great harmonies from some classic 80s hits will get the audience tapping their feet.

Tickets are available from http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/merry-wives-2

Directed by Anna Franklin, The Regina Monolgues by Rebecca Russell and Jenny Wafer can be seen at the Maltings from October 27 to October 31.

Visit http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/the-regina-monologues to book tickets.

There’s opera from November 3 to November 7 when On Behalf of a Madman takes to the stage.

When footage from a West Wing staff party is leaked to a major news channel, the President is on the warpath looking for a culprit.

Staffers scheme and second-guess each other amid the misleading headlines while politicians exploit the turmoil for their own ends.

Sound familiar? Mozart, Haydn, Rossini, and Donizetti would have thought so!

This new opera, woven together from 18th and 19th century plots with new dialogue, points at today’s politics from a new vantage point.

To book tickets, visit http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/on-behalf-of-a-madman

Directed by Dyad Productions’ Elton Townend Jones, A Room of One’s Own plays from November 10 to November 14.

From the award-winning creators of Austen’s Women, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, Orlando and I, Elizabeth, Rebecca Vaughan performs Virginia Woolf’s 1928 exploration of the impact of poverty and sexual inequality on intellectual freedom and creativity.

A 21st century take on Woolf’s celebrated pre-TED talk, this show is created specifically in response to the changing shape of theatre during the pandemic.

Visit http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/a-room-of-ones-own for more details.

Matthew Parker then directs Trestle by Stuart Pringle from November 17 to November 21.

Winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize, the play premiered at Southwark Playhouse, London, in 2017.

Tickets are on sale at http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/trestle

An evening of Gilbert & Sullivan, Express G&S, can be enjoyed from November 24 to November 28.

Charles Court Opera has been described as one of the UK’s leading and most versatile chamber opera and music theatre companies.

A champion of the current reinvigoration of Gilbert and Sullivan, the company will present an evening of G&S repertoire at the Maltings.

Visit http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/gs-express to ticket info.

Tickets for all shows are available from www.maltingstheatre.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0333 666 4466.


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