EMMA

by Jane Austen | Directed by Lisa Harrington | Performed March 2024

The best amateur dramatics in the Newbury area

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The best amateur dramatics in the Newbury area

New Era Players, Emma at New Era Theatre, Wash Common, on March 14-16, 18-19 and 21-23.

IF you want to discover the best amateur dramatics in the area, I advise you see a play by New Era. They are housed in their very own cosy, intimate and traditional venue in Wash Common.

Emma, Jane Austen’s comedic story, follows the matchmaking endeavours of the titular character Emma Woodhouse. Despite her good intentions, Emma’s attempts at arranging marriages often lead to misunderstandings and complications, particularly when she tries to pair up her friend Harriet Smith with various suitors.

Throughout the story, Emma learns about the complexities of love and relationships, ultimately finding her own romantic happiness in the end.

This smart, witty and humorous adaptation by Paula K Parker was slickly and professionally brought to life by director Lisa Harrington.

I was immediately engaged in the story of Emma’s meddling matchmaking, played confidently by Pippa Higgins – a wonderful performance throughout – driving the story with sharpness and wit. Emma’s friend Harriet, embroiled in her mischievous games, was played sensitively and innocently by Emily Beck, such a lovely actor.

Emma’s worrywart of a father, Mr Woodhouse, was by far my favourite, what a natural talent Keith Phillips is. I warmed to his character immensely and his physicalisation bought the character the life.

Even lighter touches and humour came from wonderful duo Mrs Bates, played with physical hilarity and good timing by Pam Hillier-Brooke, and friendly chatterbox Miss Bates (Karen Ashby). Emma’s steady and sensible friend Mr Knightly was played nicely by Chris Billingham.

There were so many wonderful performances, each professional and polished.

The set was simple but effective and the costumes beautifully made. There was even a Regency dance excellently choreographed by Jacqui Trumper.

The sold-out run continues to tonight (Saturday). You need to book way in advance because they are incredibly popular.

I enjoyed every aspect of this slick, polished and amusing play.

AMY TRIGWELL-JONES

Cast

Mr Woodhouse – Keith Phillips
Emma Woodhouse – Pippa Higgins
Mrs Bates – Pam Hillier-Brook
Miss Bates – Karen Ashby
Mr Knightley – Chris Billingham
Harriet Smith – Emily Beck
Mrs Goddard/ Mrs Elton – Rachel Lashford
Mr Weston – Richard Tripp
Mrs Weston – Justine Fry
Isabella Knightley/Jane Fairfax – Floss Fearon
John Knightley/Mr Martin – Harry Forkin
Frank Churchill – Parry Bates
Mr Cole – Ranjan Bhunyan
Other characters at the Christmas party and ball – Parry Bates and Harry Forkin
Maids – Sally Hall/Sheila Berry

Crew

Director – Lisa Harrington
Stage Manager – Gareth Capner
Assistant Stage Manager – Duncan Mack
Props – Sally Hall/Sheila Berry
Wardrobe Mistress – Jacqui Trumper/Pam Hillier Brook/Lisa Harrington
Seamstress – Ally Dewdeney (Mr Billinham’s Jackets)/Helen Cubitt( Mr Billingham’s waistcoats)/Maddy Winter (Miss Higgins’ overdress ball)/Brenda Agguteer (Miss Lashford’s Act2 day dress)/Lisa Harrington (Miss Higgins’ Act2 day dress)/Jane Read (Miss Higgins Act1 dress decorations)
Set Design and painting – Clémence Muller/Jessica Choi
Set Builders – Duncan Mack/Richard Tripp/Stephen Bennet/Jane Read
Prompt – Georgie Gale
Light and Sound – John Cordery/Crispin Bishop
Programme – Editor Webb

Jane Austen’s feisty, provocative and enchanting heroine, Emma Woodhouse, comes to life on the stage in Paula K. Parker’s sparkling new stage adaptation

The best amateur dramatics in the Newbury area

New Era Players, Emma at New Era Theatre, Wash Common, on March 14-16, 18-19 and 21-23.

IF you want to discover the best amateur dramatics in the area, I advise you see a play by New Era. They are housed in their very own cosy, intimate and traditional venue in Wash Common.

Emma, Jane Austen’s comedic story, follows the matchmaking endeavours of the titular character Emma Woodhouse. Despite her good intentions, Emma’s attempts at arranging marriages often lead to misunderstandings and complications, particularly when she tries to pair up her friend Harriet Smith with various suitors.

Throughout the story, Emma learns about the complexities of love and relationships, ultimately finding her own romantic happiness in the end.

This smart, witty and humorous adaptation by Paula K Parker was slickly and professionally brought to life by director Lisa Harrington.

I was immediately engaged in the story of Emma’s meddling matchmaking, played confidently by Pippa Higgins – a wonderful performance throughout – driving the story with sharpness and wit. Emma’s friend Harriet, embroiled in her mischievous games, was played sensitively and innocently by Emily Beck, such a lovely actor.

Emma’s worrywart of a father, Mr Woodhouse, was by far my favourite, what a natural talent Keith Phillips is. I warmed to his character immensely and his physicalisation bought the character the life.

Even lighter touches and humour came from wonderful duo Mrs Bates, played with physical hilarity and good timing by Pam Hillier-Brooke, and friendly chatterbox Miss Bates (Karen Ashby). Emma’s steady and sensible friend Mr Knightly was played nicely by Chris Billingham.

There were so many wonderful performances, each professional and polished.

The set was simple but effective and the costumes beautifully made. There was even a Regency dance excellently choreographed by Jacqui Trumper.

The sold-out run continues to tonight (Saturday). You need to book way in advance because they are incredibly popular.

I enjoyed every aspect of this slick, polished and amusing play.

AMY TRIGWELL-JONES

Cast

Mr Woodhouse – Keith Phillips
Emma Woodhouse – Pippa Higgins
Mrs Bates – Pam Hillier-Brook
Miss Bates – Karen Ashby
Mr Knightley – Chris Billingham
Harriet Smith – Emily Beck
Mrs Goddard/ Mrs Elton – Rachel Lashford
Mr Weston – Richard Tripp
Mrs Weston – Justine Fry
Isabella Knightley/Jane Fairfax – Floss Fearon
John Knightley/Mr Martin – Harry Forkin
Frank Churchill – Parry Bates
Mr Cole – Ranjan Bhunyan
Other characters at the Christmas party and ball – Parry Bates and Harry Forkin
Maids – Sally Hall/Sheila Berry

Crew

Director – Lisa Harrington
Stage Manager – Gareth Capner
Assistant Stage Manager – Duncan Mack
Props – Sally Hall/Sheila Berry
Wardrobe Mistress – Jacqui Trumper/Pam Hillier Brook/Lisa Harrington
Seamstress – Ally Dewdeney (Mr Billinham’s Jackets)/Helen Cubitt( Mr Billingham’s waistcoats)/Maddy Winter (Miss Higgins’ overdress ball)/Brenda Agguteer (Miss Lashford’s Act2 day dress)/Lisa Harrington (Miss Higgins’ Act2 day dress)/Jane Read (Miss Higgins Act1 dress decorations)
Set Design and painting – Clémence Muller/Jessica Choi
Set Builders – Duncan Mack/Richard Tripp/Stephen Bennet/Jane Read
Prompt – Georgie Gale
Light and Sound – John Cordery/Crispin Bishop
Programme – Editor Webb

Jane Austen’s feisty, provocative and enchanting heroine, Emma Woodhouse, comes to life on the stage in Paula K. Parker’s sparkling new stage adaptation

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