Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · Crown Matrimonial by Royce Ryton
Date · 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 June 2019
Crown Matrimonial, first performed in 1972, focuses on the private family drama of Edward Vlll and the Royal Family leading up to and following the very public abdication. Set in Marlborough House between 1936 and 1945, this powerful drama provides a fascinating and moving study of both a major constitutional crisis and an overwhelming issue of personal conflict.

However, as King Edward VIII renounces the monarchy in order to marry Wallis Simpson, it is impossible not to be reminded of more recent royal crises. Time and events have given Ryton's play an edge it didn't possess first time around.

Edward had to choose between the crown and Mrs Simpson, because as head of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith he couldn't be married to a divorced woman.

Yet the present Prince of Wales not only divorced his own wife, but married the divorced woman with whom he had long been conducting an affair. Few are now suggesting that this makes him unfit to be king.

Edward's mother, Queen Mary, around whom the play mainly revolves, offers highly persuasive arguments about the responsibilities of royalty, and the need to sacrifice love for duty, whilst trying to stiffen the resolve of her second son, the future George VI, who stammeringly confides that he would sooner face a firing squad than become king.

This is an unexpectedly gripping and thought-provoking play, shot through with flashes of dry humour; its championship of decorum, duty and a stiff upper lip provides a refreshing contrast to today’s more open displays of emotion.
Crown Matrimonial
Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · Private Lives by Noel Coward
Director · Jean Lebeter
Date · 24 to 28 September 2019
Private Lives is described by its author Noel Coward as an intimate comedy of manners. It concerns a divorced couple who, while honeymooning with their new spouses, discover that they are staying in adjacent rooms at the same hotel. Despite a previously stormy relationship, they realise that they still have feelings for each other. And that’s the trouble…….

Coward wrote the play over several weeks in 1930, whilst convalescing from a bout of flu in Shanghai. It was premiered the same year, with Coward taking the role of Elyot opposite Gertrude Lawrence, with Lawrence Olivier as Victor.

It has proved a lasting success and has been revived many times, with some very well known names taking the leading parts. They include Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Maggie Smith and Robert Stephens ( their son Toby taking the same part as his father opposite Anna Chancellor in a more recent revival.) And of course the late, great Alan Rickman with Lindsay Duncan, who won an Olivier award in the same production at the Albery Theatre, since renamed the Noel Coward theatre.

Private Lives is probably Coward’s most well-known play, and is characterised by his trademark witty and acerbic dialogue.

It certainly hasn’t lost any of its humour and will delight and entertain a modern audience, as it has done since Coward first thought of it all those years ago in Shanghai!
Private Lives
Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne adapted by Laura Eason
Director · Dave Baliol-Key
Date · 10 to 14 December (incl Sat matinee) 2019
This classic story follows Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout as they attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days.
Around the World in 80 Days
Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · Handbagged by Moira Buffini
Director · Jean Lebeter
Date · 28 Jan to 1 Feb 2020
For over a decade Margaret Thatcher met the Queen for a weekly audience.
With other Prime Ministers the Queen enjoyed a fairly informal relationship, but with Mrs Thatcher things were different.
Handbagged
Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · The Library Siege by Barry Wood
Date · 12 to 14 March 2020
When a conspiracy theorist lays siege to Higgsfield Library the fate of mankind hangs in the balance. In this wacky comedy, a full complement of nutty librarians are held hostage by a customer who thinks he is saving the world.
'The Library Siege' by Barry Wood, winner of the Robin Hood Theatre 2018 Script Submission competition, is our 'New Work' play for the season.
The Library Siege
Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · Breaking The Code by Hugh Whitemore
Date · 21 to 25 April (incl Sat matinee) 2020
This is an exceptional drama about the life of Alan Turing Winner of the BBC’s recent Greatest Icons series, who played a major role in winning World War II; when he broke the complex German Enigma code.
No one knew how much was owed to him when in 1952 he was put on trial for breaking another code - the taboo of his sexuality.
Breaking The Code
Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · The Vicar of Dibley by Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer
Date · 16 to 20 June 2020
The stage version of the very popular TV show featuring all your favourite characters.
Relive the arrival of the new female Vicar, Geraldine Granger, and meet again the many insane inhabitants of the quiet village of Dibley.
The Vicar of Dibley