ACTRESS Kim Hartman, who became a household name when she played Private Helga Geerhart in the iconic television series ‘Allo, ‘Allo!, will be taking to the Courtyard Theatre stage this Sunday in support of local amateur arts groups.
Ms Hartman, has agreed to compere the Open House production, which is an evening showcasing some of the best amateur groups in the area run as a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Bear Pit.
The actress comes fresh from playing the evil Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty in Middlesborough opposite her long-time colleague Vicki Michelle as the Lilac Fairy.
The pair are both better known for their roles in the TV sitcom, which ran for nine series starting in 1982.
Last year, Ms Hartman also agreed to become patron of The Bear Pit, following the theatre’s highly successful production and adaptation of ‘Allo ‘Allo! which she attended at The Bear Pit Theatre at the United Reformed Church in Stratford during the summer.
She will be presenting ten local groups on the night: Shakespeare Institute Players, Second Thoughts, Stratford Playwrights, Consensus Opera, Phoenix Players, The Bear Pit Theatre Company, In2theatre, Avonside Players, Trinity Players and Stratford Music Centre.
This is the third time the RSC and The Bear Pit have worked in partnership on an Open House event.
The first occasion was in 2010 when at the invitation of Geraldine Collinge (RSC director of Events and Exhibitions) and Greg Doran (former chief associate director and now artistic director for the RSC) Open House celebrated the opening of the newly-completed Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Ian Wainwright, RSC Event and Exhibitions Department, said: “We are once again pleased to be working with The Bear Pit to showcase the skill, talent and creativity of Stratford amateur theatre makers.
“For the Royal Shakespeare Company it’s a great opportunity to engage with and support Stratford’s thriving community of theatre makers, and to continue on a local level the work we do nationally through our Open Stages project. For the performers, technicians and stage managers it’s an opportunity to experience working on the RSC’s stages.
“Open House began as a one-off event to mark the re-opening of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 2010 but proved so successful it has continued to be a part of our programme ever since.
“Welcoming back many of the companies we have worked with over the past three years is always enjoyable as they continue to surprise and entertain us with the ambition, variety and quality of the work they produce, often reminding us why we got into theatre in the first place.
“We are confident this year’s performance won’t disappoint, with extracts including everything from panto, with the Phoenix Players’ Snow White, to Shakespeare, with the Institute Players’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream [Pyramus and Thisbe].”
Other items on the bill include Second Thoughts with Strong Poison; Stratford Playwrights (A Disputatious Man); Consensus Opera (The Rivals); The Bear Pit Theatre Company (Fawlty Towers); In2Theatre (Happy Birthday William Shakespeare); Avonside Players (Twixt Heaven and Hell); Trinity Players (Unhand Me, Squire) and Stratford Music Centre (James Bond Theme).
Simon Allen, chairman of The Bear Pit, said: “The Bear Pit is delighted and proud to be working with the RSC once again on the Open House event. It is an exciting and significant opportunity for all of us involved.
“As with the previous shows, we know it will be a celebration of the wonderful talent that Stratford has to offer.
“We are also thrilled that our patron Kim Hartman has agreed to compere the event this year.”
Open House shows on Sunday 19th January at 7pm at the Courtyard Theatre.
Tickets (£12, £10 concs) are available from the RSC box office on 0844 800 1110 or by visiting www.rsc.org.uk
The overall figure of £170,000 in expenses also needs unpacking. Most people think of business expenses as person...
Although the government u-turned on their decision to ignore VC winners born abroad in September, there were concerns th...
They say there is an “appalling lack of information” handed out to users by energy suppliers, and three quar...