THERE’S a packed season ahead at Central Studio, the theatre on the campus on Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke.

Autumn and winter promise comedy, dance, drama, children’s events, live music and much more, all performed in one of the most intimate spaces in the town.

Here are some of the theatrical highlights coming up for local audiences to enjoy.

The Island of Immortality

Certainty of Chance Theatre Company

September 27

THIS play by Natassa Sideri won The Ronald Duncan Playwriting Contest 2013. It’s the story of an island whose inhabitants can expect to live to a higher than average old age. When the Mayor of the island decides to exploit the island for financial gain, it sets matters on a course from which they can never return.


Basingstoke’s Proteus Theatre Company

September 11-12, touring until October 5

THE life and death of a British Martyr, written by Clive Holland and directed by Mary Swan.

The story of Edith Cavell, a caring and compassionate nurse working in occupied Belgium during the “war to end all wars”, is revealed and recounted by a war hardened, weary and cynical 21st century female war correspondent.

One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War what have we really learnt? Could Edith Cavell’s death been avoided? Was she used as a propaganda tool by the British Government - a perfect martyr to polarise world opinion against the Germans?

And in the 21st Century theatre of war, are aid workers, journalists, and civilians murdered and martyred as Cavell was, in the hope that a jaded world will listen?

Following the success of the award winning Missing In Action, Proteus turn their attention to the female experience of conflict. Hard hitting, intelligent and contemporary, the play lifts the lid on one of the great untold stories of World War One.

Fawkes, The Quiet Guy

BATS Next Gen

November 7 – 8

FAWKES the Quiet Guy tells the story of the 1605 gunpowder plot.

Most people will know how a gang tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament, and how Guy Fawkes was caught. Following days of ghastly interrogation the gang were all rounded up and executed.

Actually, the plot was far more sinister than that and makes for a thrilling whodunnit involving spies and sabotage.

The show is set in Catesby's Cabaret Club with the outrageous hostess Miss Catherine Wheel. Even if the club didn't exist, everything in it did actually happen right up to the explosive finale!

The Pearl

Dumbshow Theatre Company

October 1

Basingstoke Gazette:

WHEN impoverished pearl-diver Kino finds the ‘pearl of the world’ he believes his family’s life will be transformed forever.

Seduced by the pearl’s beauty and promise of riches, he is blind to the danger of possessing something that everyone else wants. Instead of bringing hope, the pearl leads Kino and his family down a dark and dangerous path.

This timeless fable about the allure of wealth, the confines of class, and the redemptive power of love, The Pearl asks us to consider what we value most in the world.

Dumbshow adapt John Steinbeck’s classic novella for the stage; bringing it to life with their trademark visual inventiveness, original music and playful theatricality.

What the Dickens?

Gonzo Moose

November 13

YOUNG Charles Dickens is a rookie reporter on The Morning Chronicle.

Whilst investigating the foggy slums of Ye Olde London Towne, he accidently stumbles on a story that could make his reputation.

Follow our hero on the adventure of a lifetime! Expect a world of pockmarked pickpockets, cobwebby convicts, teeming slums and empty marshes, dark secrets and convoluted plots, and lots and lots of fog.

This inventive and gripping comedy features just three actors playing over 20 roles in 80 minutes of fast-paced fun and thrilling action.

Brimming with unfeasibly quick costume changes, stupidly surreal characters and wonderfully daft jokes, What The Dickens? is the most absurd contribution to the Dickens bicentary you could hope to see.


Gate Theatre

February 3

Basingstoke Gazette:

SHE’S a hot-rod F16 fighter pilot. She’s pregnant. Her career in the sky is over. Now, she sits in an air-conditioned trailer in Las Vegas flying remote-controlled drones over the Middle East. She struggles through surreal 12 hours shifts far from the battlefield hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night.

Winner of a Fringe First award (2013), Grounded is a gripping, compulsive new play that flies from the heights of lyricism to the shallows of workaday existence. This extraordinary play targets our assumptions about war, family, and what it is to be a woman.

Find out more about any of these shows, or the rest of the autumn and winter programme, by calling 01256 418318 or logging on to