Welcome to Stamford Shoestring Theatre

For 2022 we present some interesting and challenging plays; two are 20th Century and two are 21st Century.
Our next is "Blackbird", see trailer below:-

Theatre needs not just actors, but design, costume, lighting, music and more, and we encourage members to get involved in all aspects. We nurture the talent both in front of and behind the curtain.
Have a Go - click the link at the top of the page.

  •  07/06/2022 19:45 - 11/06/2022 19:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

Winner of the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. David Harrower’s Blackbird is a hard-hitting and challenging exploration of a forbidden relationship. At his workplace, 55-year-old Ray is shocked to be visited by a young woman, 27-year-old Una. Fifteen years earlier, the two had a sexual affair, for which Ray was arrested and imprisoned. As they recollect their experience from both sides emotions of guilt, rage, shame, anger, hurt and love are exposed. Without moral judgments, the play’s mesmerizingly natural script never shies away from the brutal truth. Contains strong language and adult themes, including descriptions of sexual activity. Suitable for ages 16+. Running time 75 minutes no interval.

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  •  06/09/2022 19:45 - 10/09/2022 19:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

Directed by Ann Stutz. This sparkling example of US playwright Neil Simon’s wit and comedy is set in a Los Angeles hotel suite and comprises four playlets that offer an evening of slick acerbic dialogue filled with humour, wit, and occasional pathos.

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  •  06/12/2022 19:45 - 10/12/2022 19:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

Rules for Living by Sam Holcroft is both genuinely touching and side-splittingly funny. It’s a seasonal tale of disharmony, ruined expectations, and overindulgence when an extended family gather for Christmas dinner. Premiered with great success at the National Theatre in 2015. Directed by Ken Walsh.

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  •  08/03/2022 19:45 - 12/03/2022 22:00
  •   Stamford Arts Centre

1930s Berlin. Decadence. Excess. Ambition. All under Hitler’s rising star. Christopher Isherwood’s novel ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ is brought to vivid, moving and satirical life in ‘I am a Camera’. The musical ‘Cabaret’ was based on the same book. A rich cast of characters inhabit the play, from Sally Bowles, outrageous, outspoken yet vulnerable cabaret artiste determined if necessary to sleep her way to the top through conflicted German Jews and a wealthy American to an amusing and empathetic German landlady who is convinced that Hitler will prove Germany’s salvation. "I am a Camera" was written by John van Druten.

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  •  16/12/2021 19:45 - 18/12/2021 22:15
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

By Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by John Mortimer. Directed by Heather Wass and Liz Cullum. An intriguing and entertaining version of Dickens’ classic tale.

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  •  11/12/2021 14:00
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK
  •  08/12/2021 19:45 - 11/12/2021 22:15
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

By Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by John Mortimer. Directed by Heather Wass and Liz Cullum. An intriguing and entertaining version of Dickens’ classic tale. A large cast of 23 will be bringing this classic tale to life in John Mortimer’s lively witty version of the famous story. There have been many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novel, but this one was originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the dialogue is very faithful to the original story. It is also full of music and laughter, thrills and chills, and promises to be ideal family entertainment for the Christmas season. Two weeks in December is a new departure for Shoestring. On 12 to 14 December, when we are not performing, the Arts centre cinema will be operating.

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  •  06/09/2021 19:45 - 11/09/2021 22:00
  •   Stamford Arts Centre

"My Mother Said I Never Should", directed by Estella Todisco. Charlotte Keatley’s award-winning play, "My Mother Said I Never Should," is the most commonly performed work by a female playwright worldwide. A story about the difficult relationships between mothers and daughters, the play explores the lives and relationships of four generations of women: Doris, Margaret, Jackie and Rosie. Their loves, expectations and choices are set against the huge social changes of the twentieth century. Keatley says of her work, "I think it’s a play that anyone - any age or gender - can relate to. It’s about family… and love, how we show it or withhold it; ambition, what that means for each generation. It’s both funny and moving, so it’s a play that makes us react… When I’m writing plays I think about this: I want the audience to laugh and cry and be truly moved, in one evening."

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  •  19/07/2021 19:45 - 24/07/2021 22:00
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

By Dion Boucicault, adapted by Richard Bean. Dion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens, wrote the brilliantly funny "London Assurance" in 1841 and thereby created, in Sir Harcourt and Lady Spanker, two of the great comic roles of the English stage This new version of the play, revised by Richard Bean, who wrote the hilarious “One Man, Two Guvnors”, was an outstanding success at the National Theatre in 2010.

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  •  19/05/2021 20:00
  • Online Event

Following on from Stamford Shoestring’s animated reading of extracts from Widows by Ariel Dorfman, Amnesty’s Chile Coordinator, Carla Torres hosts a Q&A session about the current unrest in Chile and ‘Eyes on Chile’ report. - She is joined by Chile Solidarity Network founder Carole Concha Bell and Amnesty members Nina Patel and Jorge Diaz-Munoz. - ________________________________________ You can register for Chile in Focus here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9178058278031949072 ________________________________________ For more information contact: stamfordandrutlandamnesty@outlook.com

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  •  19/05/2021 19:00
  • Online Event

Launching for one night only for the Festival of Social Justice, Stamford Shoestring Theatre company will stream a filmed animated reading of extracts of Widows by Ariel Dorfman with Tony Kushner. - This powerful, haunting and deeply poetic play tells of the impact on the families of Los Desaparecidos, The Disappeared, in Chile after Pinochet seized power in 1973, but could just as easily apply to many countries around the world and the events happening today in Burma or China. - Followed by Chile Awakens Q&A. - (This event is split into two parts with a short interval in-between. Keep your screens on and take a break!) ________________________________________ You can register for Chile in Focus here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9178058278031949072 ________________________________________ For more information contact: stamfordandrutlandamnesty@outlook.com

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  • £10
  •  03/03/2020 19:45 - 03/07/2020 22:00
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

by Anton Chekhov in a new version by David Hare. Set in late 19th century Russia, where people are experiencing change and facing an uncertain future, Chekhov’s great comedy is very relevant today. David Hare’s new version was premiered at Chichester in 2015 and transferred to the National Theatre in 2016 to great acclaim. On a summer’s day a young writer named Konstantin puts on his bold new play starring his beautiful neighbour, Nina. The assembled family audience includes his mother, a selfish fading star of the provincial stage, and her lover a famous novelist. What happens during and after the performance will change not just the course of the summer, but the lives of everyone involved for ever. 3rd-7th March, 2020 Tickets £10 (£8)

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  • £10
  •  03/12/2019 19:45 - 07/12/2019 07:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

Love or knowledge: which would you choose? This was the dilemma faced by university women students well into the 20th Century. Girton College, Cambridge, was one of the first colleges in Britain to admit women. The ladies match their male peers grade for grade but they are not allowed to graduate. They leave university stigmatised as ‘blue stockings’ – without degrees and unmarriageable; regarded as ‘unnatural, educated women’. The year is 1896 and the lively play tells the story of Tess Moffat and a group of ‘first-years’ determined to win the right to a degree. Their story is followed over one tumultuous year as they encounter the many hurdles in their way - the class divide, misogyny, and the university opposition – not to mention the distractions of love. Finally the whole issue is put to the vote… Tickets £10 (£8 concession)

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  • £10
  •  10/09/2019 19:45 - 14/09/2019 07:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

Zoë wants a baby. Maggie wants her mum to follow her halfway round the world. Steve wants his mother-in-law to sell her Lincolnshire home. Hugo wants to get to know his new family. And Muriel? She has ideas of her own, but nobody’s bothered to ask her what they are. This wry and fast-moving comedy exposes the ties that bind us together – and how easily they start to fray.

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  • £14
  •  15/07/2019 20:00 - 19/07/2019 23:00
  •   The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance TR19 6JU

We are lucky enough to be part of the roster of visiting companies to the beautiful Minack Theatre in Cornwall, and will be performing our highly successful play The Roses of Eyam in July 2019. This remarkable true story tells of a village in Derbyshire stricken with plague through the arrival from London of a box of clothing. The villagers make a heroic decision, persuaded by the present and former Rectors, to prevent its spread by remaining within the village and containing the disease at the certain risk of their own lives. As the plot unfolds, we experience the human tragedies and even comedies that ensued and the idealism and the courage required to live within that idealism. Live music is played throughout this production to set the scene and to create the authentic atmosphere of 17th Century England. Traditional English folk songs have been chosen to fit with the action of the play. There are tunes particularly associated with Derbyshire and tunes from the collection of John Playford, a 17th Century collector and publisher of dance music.

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  •  04/06/2019 19:45 - 08/06/2019 19:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre Theatre

A cast of 40 actors and musicians tell this remarkable true story of a 17th Century Derbyshire village stricken with plague through the arrival of an infected box of clothing from London. The villagers make a heroic decision, persuaded by the present and former Rectors, to prevent its spread by remaining within the village at the certain risk of their own lives. As the plot unfolds, we experience the human tragedies and even comedies that ensue, and the idealism and the courage required to live within that idealism. Live music is played throughout our production to set the scene and to create the authentic atmosphere of 17th Century England. Traditional English folk songs have been carefully chosen to fit with the action of the play.

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  •  11/12/2018 19:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre 27 St Mary's Street Stamford Lincs. PE9 2DL

Written by David Haig | Directed by Kay Roberts A play to commemorate the end of World War One in November 1918. Rudyard Kipling’s determination to secure a commission for his short-sighted son to fight in the Great War triggers a bitter family conflict, leaving the world-famous author devastated. Kipling is torn apart by his love for his son, his family and his devotion to King and Country. Please see the Gallery page for photographs of rehearsals and costumed characters.

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  •  09/11/2018 22:10
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

A very silly tale of not much at all! The play is newly created comedy about evergreen characters, known and enjoyed by several generations; it’s a romp of great silliness involving multiple role playing and enormous energy. Bertie Wooster is unwisely co-opted by relations to help achieve various things: obtaining a cow creamer; resolving romantic conundrums; and other similar frivolities. He is patiently assisted by his long-suffering butler, Jeeves.

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  •  10/03/2018 19:45
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary's St, Stamford PE9 2DL, UK

The idealistic Dr Stockmann discovers dangerous flaws in the new spa development that promises huge rewards for his home town and its inhabitants. As he battles against vested interests, important questions are raised about personal loyalty, press freedom and the greater good. With wit and considerable humour, the play explores these moral complexities, while still honouring the dark heart of the original. This fast-paced, pared-down version of Ibsen’s classic by Rebecca Lenkiewicz packs a powerful punch in its treatment of a story with continuing relevance today.

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  •  11/12/2017 19:30 - 15/05/2017 19:30
  •   Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

Kindertransport was written by Diane Samuels. Separated from her German Jewish parents at the age of nine, Eva is brought to England on the Kindertransport with the promise of a new life. Under the care of her kindly foster mother Lil, the young Eval slowly acclimatises to her new life and, at length, believing her parents to have perished in the camps, tries to re-invent herself as English. But memories and fears are not so easily erased. When her own daughter starts to question the story her mother has woven over the years, the protective shell that Eva, now calling herself Evelyn, has built around herself begins to crack. This modern classic about one woman’s struggle to come to terms with her past is told with tenderness and warmth, across the generations and the years. The issues explored remain as pertinent to us today as when the events of the late 1930’s unfolded in Germany and England.

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30 October 2021
West Deeping Roadshow - ‘Food for Thought'
Six Shoestringers (pictured right) entertained about sixty people at St Andrew’s Church fundraiser in West Deeping. Falling on the eve of the Harvest Festival, sketches mainly centred around food, including Macbeth’s witches do the Great British Bake Off, Alice in Wonderland, Office Party regrets, an Ode to a Pork Pie, Entertaining Problems, and a musical finale. Performers included some of Shoestring’s newest and long-standing members, providing a great opportunity to get to know one another better and a have fun time rehearsing, performing and supporting the community.

"Thanks again so much to you and your team. We loved having you! Thanks for being so willing from the start, and also for the generous gift of your performance: very much appreciated.” West Deeping PCC

19th May 2021
Our second online Zoom film was based on extracts from Ariel Dorfman's play Widows, was streamed at the launch of the Stamford and Rutland Social Justice Festival.

26th March 2021
The first of our lockdown Zoom plays, extracts from Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, was filmed and streamed to members .

ALSO
Shoestring New Year message 2020-2021. A year on and still relevant.

December 2019

Just wanted to congratulate all those involved with the production of Blue Stockings! We saw the show last night and were absolutely riveted by the story, acting and singing of the cast. It was a flawless performance and so thought provoking (and entertaining!) We just wished that our graduate daughters had also come along to see it and to see the fight that the women had (and how long it took) for them to enjoy a university education. We talked about it all the way home.
Absolutely fantastic! Well done to the Shoestring Company, we’re looking forward to next year’s productions!
A Member of the Audience

June 2017
Best show seen in years - One Man, Two Guvnors. I don't laugh out loud often but this was very very funny.
William Jones.
NEWS
About
History
In 1943 a new Stamford drama group performed 'Man of Destiny' in the High School Hall. Membership of Stamford Music & Drama Club was 7/6d for adults and 3/6d for junior members. The group performed two plays each year at a variety of venues - Stamford School, George Hotel Gardens, Bourne Corn Exchange before finally working mainly from the Darby & Joan Hall in Stamford’s Broad Street.

In September 1959 Stamford Music & Drama Club became Stamford Amateur Stage, performing up to five productions a year. In March 1963 the company's name was changed again to Stamford Shoestring Theatre because it seemed that every production was run on a shoestring budget! Shoestring finally established a permanent home in the delightful Georgian Stamford Theatre in 1978 where it remains to this day as the resident company at Stamford Arts Centre.

Today
We offer a wide range of drama from classical to contemporary and try to incorporate a rich variety in our annual programme. We stage four productions a year together with occasional roadshows, workshops and play-readings. We are lucky enough also to be part of the roster of visiting companies to the beautiful Minack Theatre in Cornwall, and in summer 2019 we had a sell-out run with our 40-character play, “The Roses of Eyam”.

Our second production of 2021 was My Mother Said I Never Should, in September and in which we welcomed back full-capacity audiences.

Our first live theatre production after the lockdown was London Assurance, performed to sell-out socially-distanced audiences from 19th-24th July 2021. Our production of A Christmas Carol ran for two weeks in December 2021. Last September we filmed a production of a short play, The Cold Equations, which was streamed online on The Stamford Arts Centre last October. Since then, we did a rehearsed reading of extracts from Under Milk Wood via Zoom in March and another Zoom film based on extracts from Ariel Dorfman’s play, Widows for the launch of the Stamford Festival of Social Justice on May 19th.

We like to ring the changes and our public seem to like it too: the leading actors in one production will often be found selling programmes or sweeping the stage in the next. We are proud of the wealth of talent amongst our members; not just in acting, direction and stage management but also in stage design, set construction, lighting, sound and costume. To find out more about Shoestring email us at stamfordshoestring@gmail.com

Readings & Auditions    
 
  • General Information
For each of our productions, a play reading evening is held some four to five months before the production opens.
Auditions are normally held on a Tuesday or Friday evening in the Arts Centre a few weeks later. The director and members of the production team will be on hand to welcome you and answer any questions you may have.
An Audition Notice is sent to members in the Newsletter. but is also available for downloading from this site via the link on this page. The Audition Notice contains a synopsis of the play, a description of the characters and relevant dates and contact details. It may also contain a list of audition pieces so that any potential cast members can prepare for their audition. Scripts and audition pieces will be available to borrow at the Reading.
 
  • Open
Auditions are open to anyone, irrespective of membership or experience. Priority is not given to members or to casting a small rota of our ‘stars’.
Workshop.
We pride ourselves on being a company of skilled individuals, encouraging our members to take on roles in all aspects of theatre. Technicians in all disciplines are as crucial to a production as any actor. An ASM (assistant stage manager) can become a star, likewise a star can become an ASM in consecutive productions!

  • Advertising
Auditions are advised on our Facebook Page:
www.facebook.com/StamfordShoestringTheatreCompany 
Please follow us and select ‘notifications’ to be kept up to date with auditions and late casting news.

  • Commitment
There are usually 12 weeks rehearsal of three evenings per week (Mon, Wed & Thu) in the Arts Centre, plus occasional Sundays for large cast shows, depending on the role. Get-in, technical rehearsal and a dress rehearsal take place on the Sunday prior to the production week. There will be a full-dress rehearsal on the Monday of the production week. All cast and crew will be expected to attend the final week of rehearsal, then both Sunday and Monday of Performance week. Lack of availability must be advised to the Director as soon as possible to avoid wasted rehearsal time.

  • Membership
If successfully cast, and not a current member, you will be expected to pay your Membership Subscription before full rehearsals begin. C’mon it’s only a fiver!


Performance history

Information about past productions can be found under EVENTS / PAST EVENTS and images can be found in the GALLERY. To navigate to a list of every play Shoestring has ever performed click on "Read more"

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  • Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

Join Stamford Shoestring Theatre as a member...

...and gain the opportunity to take part on stage or behind the scenes. Make friends and socialise with people who share a common passion for theatre. Not to mention the annual dinner and summer bar-b-que! Members receive regular newsletters, giving details about productions, invitations to other non-Shoestring events and special offers to Stamford Arts Centre shows. Members can take part in productions. You can email the Membership Secretary at membership@stamfordshoestring.com or to get to the membership form download page click on LEARN MORE .

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