The Studio Theatre Company (based at South Hill Park Arts Centre) are celebrating 50 shows of independent community theatre this June, with a production that fans of Alfred Hitchcock may recognise…
“We really wanted to put on an extra-special show to celebrate our 50th play”, says creative director Luke Burton (who we interviewed back in 2019, https://www.wokinghampaper.co.uk/interview-luke-burton-of-the-studio-theatre-company-south-hill-park/).
In 2011, Luke was tasked with turning an unused & haunted theatre space in the Arts Centre into a thriving venue for modern plays, offering the sorts of experience you don’t find elsewhere – along with abundant opportunities for the community to get involved.
“The Company actively seeks out new talent – we urge the community to get involved and try out something they may never have done before, be it acting, directing or working on one of the many backstage roles”, says Luke. “The company has welcomed so many new faces to South Hill Park and given them that opportunity to shine.”
And while funding for the arts has declined in recent years, Luke’s efforts have been a resounding success – the theatre has produced sell out shows and rave reviews.
So to commemorate the huge milestone of reaching 50 shows, Luke is bringing back one of The Studio Theatre Company’s most celebrated productions – Rope, by Patrick Hamilton.
First produced and performed in 1929, Rope was later turned into a film by Alfred Hitchcock and remains to this day one of the classics of the thriller genre.
College student Brandon wants excitement and little cares how he gets it. He persuades his weaker minded friend, Granillo, to assist him in the ‘perfect’ motiveless murder of a fellow undergraduate. The two place the body in a wooden chest and, to add a little spice to the proceedings, invite a few guests round to a party that very night including the dead student’s father; the chest with its gruesome contents serving as a supper table.
Loosely based on the real events of the Leopold and Loeb murder case of 1924, the horror and tension in the play slowly build alongside the thunder outside and the suspicions of their former tutor, Rupert Cadell…
Rope will be playing in The Wilde Theatre 23rd – 26th June 2021. Tickets are £16 (£15 Concessions/£14 Members) and are available at https://www.southhillpark.org.uk/events/rope-2/). Photographs courtesy of Savannah Photographic.
Please note that at the time of writing, South Hill Park Arts Centre have a number of measures in place to remain Covid-safe, which are detailed at https://www.southhillpark.org.uk/2020/09/making-south-hill-park-covid-safe/