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Reading Rep Theatre Launches With Reading Rep: Reborn - An Opening Night Gala Celebrating Reading And Its Cultural Future

The gala takes place on 15 September.

Reading Rep Theatre Launches With Reading Rep: Reborn - An Opening Night Gala Celebrating Reading And Its Cultural Future

Reading Rep Theatre, led by Founding Artistic Director Paul Stacey and Executive Director Nick Thompson, opens its doors for the first time on 15 September for its Opening Gala. The event will mark the official opening of Reading Rep's new cultural arts hub, following a two-year build and fundraising campaign which raised over £1 million to build the new theatre. The Gala is an opportunity to celebrate Reading's new home for classic stories reimagined, a company rejuvenated, and a cultural hub revitalised.

The Reading Rep: Reborn season then begins with DORIAN, a world première adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Bruntwood Prize winner Phoebe Eclair-Powell, and RSC Associate Director Owen Horsley. Paul Stacey then directs local born Beth Flintoff's adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and Fringe First Award winner Gary McNair's Jekyll & Hyde; and Helen Eastman directs her children's show Alby The Penguin Saves The World. Completing the season is A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Paul Stacey and Christie O'Carroll.

The Gala will be supported by Reading Rep's Associate Companies as part of a specially curated evening including:

  • Animal written and performed by Camille Ucan, directed by A Girl Call Stephen Artistic Director Annie Kershaw
  • Inauspicious directed by Exit Pursued by Panda Artistic Director Adrian Tang, performed by Zheng Xi
  • When This Is Over devised and performed by Make/Sense Theatre

Artistic Director, Paul Stacey, says "This is a really special moment. We've been working tirelessly to complete this project during an incredibly difficult time for the industry and country. It's such a joy to be able to finally open our doors with such an exciting first season of work. We can't wait to share both the theatre and RE:BORN season with the community we serve."

Adrian Tang is a London and Berkshire-based theatre maker. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Exit Pursued By Panda, a theatre company promoting the interests of East & South East Asian (ESEA) creatives in the UK. His directing credits include Ghost Ferry (New Earth Theatre), Wight Rose, Wight Rose, Wight Rose (Theatre503) Unburied, Who Killed Chameleon Girl? (Bunker Theatre), and One of the Good Ones (Hampstead Theatre). As a writer, his credits include Inauspicious, Setting a High Bar, and Eyes.

Camille Ucan's previous theatre credits include Outings, Marriage, Birthday Girls in Party Vibes, Birthday Girls in 2053 (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). Her television credits include Cinderella: After Ever After, Lee and Dean, Scarecrows, Limbo, @Elevenish, Brotherhood, Pompidou, Absolutely Fabulous, and Gittins. Ucan is part of the comedy sketch group Birthday Girls.

Annie Kershaw is a queer director and producer from Reading, and the Artistic Director of A Girl Called Stephen. Her work has been performed at Applecart Arts, Pleasance, Lyric Hammersmith, South Street Arts Centre, The Space Edinburgh, Vault Festival and Reading College.

Reading-based Make/Sense Theatre was founded by three highly-experienced SEN/SEMH drama and dance practitioners and performers to make theatre for, by and with the neurodivergent community. Ambitious in all their work, Make/Sense Theatre provides equitable access to drama and dance through in-reach programmes for adults and young people, multi-sensory theatre for complex needs, inclusive community youth theatre and training and employment opportunities for neurodivergent people.

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