The Abbey Theatre

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The Abbey Theatre

Built in 1967, the Abbey Theatre’s 230-seat auditorium and 70-80 seat studio theatre allow flexible year-round programming. It is home to:

  • The Company of Ten: St Albans’ main amateur dramatics group with over 400 members staging up to 10 productions each season. Newcomers are welcome to join for a small fee of £35/year
  • A youth theatre group: the Company of Teens (for 14-to-19-year-olds)
  • The Abbey Theatre Club: supporters receive a monthly newsletter and priority booking for a modest membership fee

Join the theatre’s free mailing list, view a seating plan and buy tickets online.

See below for Abbey Theatre event listings:

What's on at the Abbey Theatre

  • Company of Ten

    2:30 PM

    Adapted by Ron Nicol from the story by Hans Christian Andersen Young Gerda bravely sets off to search for Kai, her best friend, who has been captured and imprisoned by the evil Snow Queen in her ice palace. Gerda needs help from the people and animals she meets and from the audience (that’s you!) to rescue Kai. Will Gerda arrive too late – or will Kai be saved? Reviewers have described this skillful adaption of the Hans Christian Andersen story as ‘a fairy tale treat’, ‘a great show for the whole family’ and ‘moving and wonderfully warm’. Book early to avoid disappointment!

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £12 CONCESSIONS £11, 13 and under £6

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  • Company of Ten

    8:00 PM

    Two young people sign up for a trial to test a new antidepressant. They quickly fall in love. But what is love? And when you view the world through a haze of drugs, how can you tell if what you’re feeling is really you? Arts Desk said that ‘the personal and the political is here nearly perfect … The result is humane and compelling, intensive, stimulating and moving. [It] might well be the best new play of the year.’  

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £12 CONCESSIONS £11.00

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  • Theatrix

    7:30 PM

    The annual Theatrix showcase gives their students the opportunity to perform to a public audience. This showcase explores the theme of global travel through the eyes of children and young people. The Thursday evening and Saturday matinee performances are by Theatrix’s younger students and Friday and Saturday evening performances are by their older students. Family season tickets and party tickets are only available from Theatrix, online at www.theatrix.co.uk, via email at [email protected] or by telephone on 01727 860217.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £9.00 CONCESSIONS £7.50

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  • Irrational Theatre

    8:00 PM

    Irrational Theatre presents a triptych treat for opera lovers and those who want to dip their toe in. It’s a rare and special chance to see three comic gems. First, a fun tale of mixed fortunes in Offenbach’s Le 66, performed for the first time in the UK with an English libretto. Next, Peter Reynolds’ Sands of Time, The Guinness Book of Records’ shortest opera at 3 minutes and 34 seconds. And finally, a new comic opera commission by John Whittaker, The Proposal, which is based on an early Chekhov satire. You may never get to see them again – so don’t miss your chance.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £17.50 CONCESSIONS £16.50

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  • Company of Ten

    8:00 PM

    In this fabulously atmospheric Gothic horror, Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant young student, discovers the secret of creating life from the remains of the dead. But even Frankenstein is horrified when he sees his monstrous creation… Every word in Patrick Sandford’s ‘vigorous adaptation’ (The Times) is taken directly from Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel. ReviewsGate.com called the play ‘a truly impressive theatrical experience.’ This production is accompanied by an educational programme.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £12 CONCESSIONS £11.00

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  • Company of Teens

    8:00 PM

    Written specifically for the Company of Teens, and developed through a number of workshops with the group, My Fear vs The World explores many of the fears, both big and small, that young people face today. As we travel through the different stages of life, we meet a range of characters and an even greater host of fears. This is an ensemble piece that asks questions about our fears as we grow up in the world.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £8 CONCESSIONS £7

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  • SAYMT

    7:30 PM

    Based on the Just So stories by Rudyard Kipling, this show focuses on the creation of all the animals by the Eldest Magician, and the journey made by the inquisitive Elephant’s Child to stop the crab, Pau Amma, playing with the tides and disrupting everyone’s lives. Stiles and Drewe have written many well-known musicals including Honk, Betty Blue Eyes and Mary Poppins. Their latest work The Wind in the Willows opened in the West End this summer.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £11 CONCESSIONS £10

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  • Company of Ten

    8:00 PM

    Darkly funny, The Argument shows how a small disagreement over an unimportant subject can lead to big arguments. A young couple have different opinions on a film and, as the discussion becomes more heated, life-changing differences come to the fore. Before long, family and friends are also engulfed. Inspired by the work of Anton Chekhov, The Argument has been described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘Fascinating… there is real ingenuity here… William Boyd is undoubtedly blessed with both wit and moments of deeper feeling.’

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £12.00 CONCESSIONS £11.00

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  • Company of Ten

    8:00 PM

    Norman, an irascible eighty-year-old, and his wife Ethel have spent summers at their lake house for nearly fifty years. But when Ethel offers to look after the teenage son of their daughter’s fiancé, the elderly couple find their idyll both challenged and enriched. Best-known for the film adaptation starring Henry and Jane Fonda, the play affectionately and humorously explores family relationships across the generations. The New York Daily News praised its ‘simplicity and beauty’ and Variety described it as ‘a rare and memorable theatrical experience’.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £12.00 CONCESSIONS £11.00

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  • Company of Ten

    8:00 PM

    This hilarious play about the ethics of tabloid journalism focuses on Barry, a TV comic, whose career and personal life are in steep and swift decline. Barry is escorted to a smart hotel room to meet Greg and Liz, two journalists pretending to be bankers. They ply him with drink and drugs and entice him with promises of money and sex… It’s up to the audience to decide which of these three characters is actually the least immoral. In his Telegraph review, Charles Spencer said that the play had him ‘squirming in [his] seat with a mixture of embarrassment, pain and guilty recognition’.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £12.00 CONCESSIONS £11.00

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  • Company of Ten

    8:00 PM

    Bernard is having an affair, and so is his wife. They’re spending the weekend at their country house where Bernard has also invited his mistress to celebrate her birthday. To throw his wife off the scent he invites his good friend Robert to pose as his mistress’s boyfriend. But Robert is actually Bernard’s wife’s lover… A crazy, frantic farce which trips in and out of bedrooms, Happy Birthday ran for over five years in the West End and will have you on the floor laughing.

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £12.00 CONCESSIONS £11.00

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  • Company of Teens & SAYMT

    8:00 PM

    This epic musical is a joint production between two superb youth groups – the Company of Teens and the St Albans Youth Music Theatre. The show is a wonderfully engaging satire on the First World War told through comedy, projection and music, including songs such as It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Pack Up Your Troubles and Keep the Home Fires Burning. Developed back in 1963, this musical has won many awards and remains hugely relevant today. The Guardian calls it ‘iconic’, to The Observer it is ‘revolutionary alike in content and form ’and The Telegraph believes it to be ‘cheeky, chipper… a landmark in the story of modern British theatre.’

    Ticket Info

    TICKETS £11 CONCESSIONS £10

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Overview

  • Dates and times: Box office: Mon-Sat 9.30am-12 noon
  • Hire information: Main theatre (230 seats), studio theatre (78 seats), club room and foyer available for hire. Licensed bar and beverage service provided. Contact the theatre manager to discuss further.

Address and Contact info

  • Address: Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill
  • Town: St Albans
  • County: Herts
  • Postcode: AL1 2DL

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Review Overview

The Colours of Kenny Roach by Rebecca Russell - review by herts critic

Kenny Roach is a highly talented artist beset by a serious alcohol addiction that threatens both his work and his marriage in this new play by Rebecca Russell. John Stenhouse as Kenny is highly believable, fleetingly charismatic, but increasingly angry, paranoid, threatening, jealous and delusional as his alcoholism takes hold. 'What is Art?' asks Kenny in the first of his art lectures with which the play opens, and for him it is clearly a baring of the soul, leaving him railing against uncomprehending critics ('I know I'm good, but I have to wait til they see it too') and the art world, but in particular his long-suffering wife.

Rebecca Russell elicits the audience's sympathy as Lisa, and her monologues are particularly moving, but the play itself is largely unrelenting, punctuated only by the occasional humorous note in Kenny's lectures and the excellent art of Clare McInnerny and Alice Moloney, cleverly built in to the set through multimedia projection. Lisa's role is a thankless one, dramatically, as she almost becomes a narrator, explaining Kenny's artistic insecurity, her collusion with his façade, and his ability to enter a 'private world' of drink. The music of The Smiths hardly lightens the tone either.

Clearly the story is an important one, and the play tackles ambitious and difficult themes as Kenny's drinking turns him into the two-headed monster in his wife Lisa's painting. The banal, repetitive, cyclical marital arguments that the addiction provokes ('it's just a few drinks with the lads... I can handle it') are laid bare, and violence - and the threat of it - are never far from the surface. Arguably, however, Kenny is not initially likeable enough in the first instance to hold the audience's affection, and the importance of his art is not fully revealed, which makes his moral descent and the loss of his muse harder to sympathise with. All in all, the dialogue is well written and well performed, and the play is capably directed with an even pace - affecting, tragic and occasionally inspiring. Verdict - Queen of Herts (3 out of 5) [Jun 10]

24 Jun 10
2010-06-24T09:58:18.0000000+01:00
3
The Abbey Theatre
Recommended - review by poodey

Another solid performance by the talented Company of Ten group. 'Taking Sides' is an investigation into art and politics in post-war Germany - sound heavy, but it's handled delicately with warm moments of humour. It's only on 'til Saturday 30th Jan so get in quick. [Jan 10]

25 Jan 10
2010-01-25T10:09:49.0000000+00:00
4
The Abbey Theatre

60%

User Rating: 3 out of 5  ( 2 reviews )

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