Friday, 25 June 2021

Proof that theatre is a winner

READING’s new theatre company is only two years old but already they are making big plans for the future, writes Lesley Potter.

Director Paul Stacey set up Reading Repertory Company at the black box theatre at Reading College with the aim of bringing some of the pizzazz and culture of the West End down the M4, but as he is casting for their Spring production — a revival of David Auburn’s Proof — he reflected that the venture has been even more successful than he hoped.

“It’s beaten all expectations,” he said. “And it’s growing exponentially. It’s looking like next year we are going to do co-productions, touring work around the south-east, and we are looking to transfer work into London. Things are picking up.”

The company launched with its début play back in 2012, Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, and has since staged productions of Miss Julie and Look Back In Anger, which have been greeted with open arms by Thames Valley theatre lovers. Stacey says he chose Proof as a relatively new work so that they would be providing “something for everyone”.

The play, which ran on Broadway for several years, was later made into a film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins. It tells the story of a young woman who believes she has inherited not only her father’s mathematical genius but also his unstable mental health.

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