THEATRE: Cherwell Theatre Company – The American Evening

An evening of ‘transatlantic innovation’ takes place at the Banbury and Bicester College Theatre when the town’s community theatre company welcomes a group of talented American students to Banbury.

Cherwell Theatre Company hosts a visit by Western Washington University for its annual improvisational extravaganza – The American Evening.

The performance takes place at 7pm on Monday, March 21 at the Broughton Road college’s theatre and is the first major event since CTC’s hugely successful pantomime, Cinderella, in January.

“The evening will showcase an assortment of improvised sketch comedy with CTC’s friends from across the pond,” said CTC artistic director, Tristan Pate.

“The company’s talented youth theatre will share the fruits of their training this spring in an unforgettable evening of comedy – also featuring short plays by the American acting company.”

Liam Nooney, fresh from his turn as Dame Bitsandbobbins in Cinderella is directing CTC’s young actors in a series of ‘splash’ scenes, where one half of the script is rehearsed in Banbury, the other in the US, with the actors coming together for the first time to perform the work live on the night itself!

Alongside scripted material, CTC members have also been developing their improvisation and comedy skills:

“This year we’ve been looking at improvisation as a way of devising theatre, giving the youth theatre a chance to crest some of their own scenes,” said Nooney.

“I am constantly impressed by how our young people absolutely throw themselves whole heartedly into the work – especially those who have just joined us this term.”

Mr Pate said: “The American Evening is always a joyful event and our young members get such a buzz from performing alongside such talented drama school students from the US.

“It’s another great example of the way CTC integrates young people with those of greater experience in this field and our students absolutely thrive on it.

“If you enjoyed Cinderella, get ready to see our talented young members take on an altogether different challenge, with hilarious results guaranteed!”

For the first time this year, CTC and the American students will also take their show to the troops within the USAF contingent at RAF Croughton. It is hoped that this fun event will bring a little bit of ‘home’ to the American servicemen and women stationed there.

“This event is free to attend although the company will be making a collection for Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund afterwards- a charity which helps to fund aspiring actors like our own,” said Mr Pate.

You can find out more about Cherwell Theatre Company at www.cherwelltheatrecompany.co.uk