Welcome to Stamford Shoestring Theatre

Hailed by The Sunday Times as "amongst the finest amateur reps in England…" We are the resident amateur repertory company at Stamford Arts Centre, in Stamford, England, staging four productions a year

We are an inclusive company encouraging our members to take on roles in all aspects of theatre. We believe in nurturing the talent that we have both in front of and behind the curtain. Theatre needs not just actors, but design, costume, lighting, music and more. If you wish to find out more about our upcoming productions, or how to join click below.

Events


  • £10
  • 03/03/2020 07:45 PM - 03/07/2020 10:00 PM
  • 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
  • 02/06/2020 07:45 PM
  • 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. A Summer Treat! Book Now! At Stamford Arts Centre Theatre from 2nd-6th June 2020

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  • 08/09/2020 07:45 PM - 07/12/2019 10:00 PM
  • Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

By Laura Wade, adapted from an incomplete manuscript by Jane Austen. Directed by Hilary Spiers.

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  • 01/12/2020 07:45 PM - 05/12/2020 10:15 PM
  • Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

By Charles Dickens, adapted by John Mortimer. Directed by Heather Wass

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  • £10
  • 03/12/2019 07:45 PM - 07/12/2019 07:45 AM
  • 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 07:45 PM - 14/09/2019 07:45 AM
  • 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 08:00 PM - 19/07/2019 11:00 PM
  • 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 07:45 PM - 08/06/2019 07:45 PM
  • 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 07:45 PM
  • 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 10:10 PM
  • 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 07:45 PM
  • 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 07:30 PM - 15/05/2017 07:30 PM
  • Stamford Arts Centre, Saint Mary's Street, Stamford, UK

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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About us


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”.

So far this year we have produced The Herd by Rory Kinnear, The Roses of Eyam by Don Taylor, Ladybird, Ladybird by Hilary Spiers, and, for December, Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale.
Our highly successful 2018 season took in Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People before visiting Diane Samuel’s Kindertransport, The Goodale Brothers’ Jeeves and Wooster and ending with the First-World War centenary tribute from David Haig My Boy Jack.

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 centre stage but in stage design, 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!
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NEXT AUDITIONS
  • London Assurance [performance 2-6 Jun 2020] – [click to download details] London Assurance Audition Notice.pdf
  • The Watsons [performance 8-12 Sep 2020]
  • A Christmas Carol [1-5 Dec 2020]


About us

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Contact


For membership, email membership@stamfordshoestring.com For all other enquiries and for any problems with this website, email stamfordshoestring@gmail.com or use the contact form below.

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

Membership


BECOME A MEMBER 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 in theatre. Don't forget the annual dinner! Members also 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.

Everybody

£5/Year
  • Please contact the Membership Secretary, email us at membership@stamfordshoestring.com
  • or print the below membership form. Note that the email address on the form is (temporarily) out of action.

Reviews


Best show seen in years - One Man, Two Guvnors. I don't laugh out loud often but this was very very funny"

William JonesInterior Architect

What a great play. Great production last night from @StamShoestring - still giggling."

Michael KrossSenior Interior Designer

#Congratulations to all cast and crew for a wonderful performance of #GoodPeople last week. Fantastic show!"

Amy WarmouthTime out

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