the phoenix playershead





Previous Productions > 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009

January 2000 Season Greetings Alan Ayckbourn
April 2000 Ring Round the Moon Jean Anouilh
September 2000 Beyond Reasonable Doubt Jeffrey Archer
January 2001 The Odd Couple Neil Simon
April 2001 The Gazebo Alex Coppel
September 2001 Party Piece Richard Harris
January 2002 Steel Magnolias Robert Harling
April 2002 The Rivals R.B. Sheridan
September 2002 Arts Centre Closed for rebuilding  
January 2003 Cold Comfort Farm Paul Doust
April 2003 On Golden Pond Ernest Thompson
September 2003 Twelve Angry Men Reginald Rose



January 04 - Stepping Out - Richard Harris

Stepping Out Stepping Out

"Daphine Worster's brilliant production of the Richard Harris comedy Stepping Out took the talent of the Phoenix Players to new heights of achievement.

The cast's dedication in mastering those tap routines, and the stunning quality of the glittering finale, won well deserved cheers. This sell-out show was a real triumph!"

Wilts Gazette & Herald
January 2004



April 2004 A Talent to Amuse (review)  
September 2004 Home and Beauty W. Somerset Maugham
January 2005 The Winslow Boy Terence Rattigan
April 2005 Beyond a Joke Derek Benfield
September 2005 No Production resting



January 06 - Out of Focus - Peter Gordon

Out of Focus

"Players' tribute to a popular local drama buff is a sell-out"

"In the annexe of St Jude's parish hall there was consternation when booking clashed. A Brownies' sleepover, a badminton match, an illustrated lecture and the first meeting of a church fundraising group were all due to take place.

The vicar's worried wife, Evonne, played so effectively by Margaret Price, was the culprit, having handled the hall hire. Her inbred inadequacy and dread of upsetting her husband, were so pitiful that the victims of her mistake rallied to launch a joint enterprice.

As the action unfolded, over two months, personal relationships, hostility and hopes surfaced amid laughter, and touches of pathos... There was no weak link in this production, and the Phoenix Players provided fun galore."

Wilts Gazette & Herald
January 2006


April 2006 - Murder by Misadventure - Edward Taylor

April 06

"Actors take mystery by scuff of the neck and make it all their own"

"The story is a clever one which involves a writer, his partner and the ever present wife who will do just what her husband tells her - or does she! One of them decides to murder the other. Does it all go smoothly? It also involves a persistent and perceptive police inspector. Nasty surprises, laughs, thrills and twists and turns are played out. All of this kept an enthralled audience guessing with superb performances from a very talented cast of four the audience went home extremely happy - what more could you what?"

Evening Advertiser
April 2006


September 2006 - The Government Inspector - Nikolai Gogal

The Governement Inspector

One of the most famous comedies in the world theatre, Gogal's masterpiece has lost none of its bite. In a small town at the back of nowhere corruption is rife and the Major and his cronies have got it made. But when they learn they're going to be subject to an undercover government inspection they panic. Mistaking a penniless nobody for the powerful official they swiftly fall victims to their own stupidity and greed. In this hilarious new translation, award-winning satirist Alistair Beaton bring to life its dazzling blend of preposterous characters and all too real situations.

"Comic capers as conscience drives corrupt officials into frantic cover-up"

"The Phoenix Players met the challenge of Nikolai Gogal's comedy translated and adapted by Alistair Beaton. A 20 strong cast performed the panic of a small town's corrupt administration at the prospect of a government inspector's visit, possibly incognito.

Superb performances by Mark Harris as the Major who ruthlessly maintained his power at the expense of the populace and Nicholas Gratton as Khlestakov, an elegant penniless opportunist who was certainly not from the government but welcomes the opportunity to have his debts cleared and to accept assorted "loans" from officials, were ably supported by some brilliant characterisations from the rest of the cast."

Wilts Gazette & Herald
Sept 2006


January 2007 - Blithe Spirit - Noel Coward

Blithe Spirit

"Spirited performance of a superb play"

"The Phoenix Players produced a superb production at the Arts Centre this week. The cast looked as though they were having a thoroughly good time and portrayed each character with true gusto and total believability.

Once again the Phoenix Players have shone that as an amateur company they really are good. everything about them shown they know just what they are doing right down to the last stage effect and lighting detail.

Superlatives? - Just too many to get in this review Guys!"

The Advertiser
January 2007


April 2007 - Fools - Neil Simon


"We laughed from beginning to end"

"The players have once again triumphed with a play as diverse as you can get. It is after all, a fairytail for adults, superbly played by all the members of the cast.

The leading roles where taken by two newcomers to the Players, and what a find. They were just perfect for this particular play. Ben Meredith is a young name who is off to stage school next year... Lynsey Coglan was taking the stage for the first time after watching the Player's last production. Her high-pitched tone of voice and quite superb portrayal of the innocence of her character, with just a hint of what was to come was refreshing.

We laughed from beginning to end. An excellent stage set, lighting, sound effects and good direction from Eric Partington made this play a pleasure to watch."

The Advertiser
April 2007


October 2007 - Rough Justice - Terence Frisby

Rough Justice

“Spellbinding Drama”

A masterpiece of words expertly delivered. It had the audience spellbound from start to finish due to the clever writing and believable characters, portrayed by actors who are at the top of the amateur tree.
The Phoenix Players always deliver a great evening of entertainment, no matter what and this was no exception – a difficult, wonderful piece of theatre.

Swindon Advertiser
October 2007


January 2008 - Over the Moon - Ken Ludwig adapted by Ray Cooney

Over the Moon

“I laughed until I cried!”

“A witty, clever, farcical play which in the hands of the Phoenix Players was quite a triumph. This was a very special cast, in the fast pace of the play they were completely on top of their game. Farce is never easy to play or direct but these guys and director Sandra Gilbert managed to make it look easy. I went away wanting more. Now that’s what I call good theatre, be it amateur or professional.”

Swindon Advertiser
January 2008


April 2008 - The Darling Buds of May - A comedy by H.E. Bates

Darling Buds of May

“The Phoenix Players’ absolute triumph”

“The Darling Buds of May, H.E Bates’ engaging tale of the Larkin family, reflected this company’s remarkable expertise. Audiences were enchanted as they were drawn into the Larkins’ rural idyll in 1950’s Kent, in Colin Wilkins’ absorbing production at the Arts Centre, Swindon. Stephanie Trinci and Mike Sly, as Ma and Pa Larkin headed a superb cast. A convincing set incorporated the farmhouse kitchen and part of the yard creating just the right ambience. One could almost glimpse the bluebell wood and meadow, off stage.”

Stella Taylor
Wiltshire Gazette and Herald


September 2008 - Murder in Play - Simon Brett

Murder in Play

"Rollicking romp is witty wonder"

What a light frothy piece of lush theatre. Tackling a play within a play is like forbidden fruit -scrumptious and tempting but either sublime or deadly dangerous. Fortunately in the hands of The Phoenix Players it worked a treat. The seven-strong cast did the Simon Brett comedy complete justice.

Swindon Advertiser
Sept 2008


January 2009 - The Shell Seekers - A play adapted by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham
from the novel by Rosamunde Pilcher

Shell Seekers

"Sibling Rivalry Over Picture"

"Sandra Gilbert directed an absorbing adaptation of Rosamunde Pilcher's best selling novel The Shell Seekers. The play takes its name from a painting by the late Lawrence Stern, a notable artist played impressively by Eric Partington, as his daughter Penelope Keeling, now elderly, recalls her youth.
Sally Lewis is superb as Penelope. Her family's awareness of the value of their late grandfather's works fuel sibling rivalry, greed and deception. The Phoenix Players steadily drew their audience into this family saga, with cleverly staged glimpses of past joys and sorrows"

Swindon Advertiser
January 2009


April 2009 - The Hollow - Agatha Christie

The Hallow

"Classic Christie whodunnit complete with twist in tail"

"This intriguing thriller with a large, talented cast ably directed by Daphne Breakspear offered fine entertainment at the Arts Centre last week, and in true Agatha Christie mode, there was a surprising final twist to seal the case"

Wilts Gazette & Herald
April 2009


September 2009 - Blood Brothers and Once And For All

Blood Brother

"Faultless Yet Again"

"Blood Brothers by Willy Russell was first written as a school play in 1981. He spent the whole of 1982 turning it into the full scale musical. Phoenix Players took the small scale production of the play and as usual gave a stunning performance."

Swindon Advertiser
September 2009