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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 Studio

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis A successful teacher with a loving family, Daniel has everything he wants. But he’s forced to watch his whole world crumble as an allegation is made against him by a former pupil. Is he guilty? And does it even matter, as the press and public have already made up their minds? Alligators is a fast-paced thriller, proving that the past can never truly be forgotten, and all it takes is one pointed finger to undo a lifetime’s achievement. This play contains adult themes and language. ‘A play that feels all too relevant in these prurient times’ – British Theatre Guide ‘Andrew Keatley’s Alligators has serious bite’ – The Stage

    Ticket Info

    £13, £12

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  • Theatrix Main Stage

    7:30 PM

    Synopsis Theatrix’s annual showcase gives all their students the opportunity to perform on the Main Stage of the Abbey Theatre. This year they celebrate playwrights and occasions (both comic and tragic) through the eyes of children and young people. There will be a medley of scripted scenes, adaptations, original writing, dance, movement, singing, sketches and improvisations.

    Ticket Info

    £12.50, £10

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  • Company of Teens Studio

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis The Company of Teens performs one of ten brand new plays written for National Theatre Connections 2020, the UK’s largest celebration of youth theatre. An ordinary Tuesday suddenly turns very weird indeed when a tear rips across the sky over the school yard. What happens when parallel worlds collide?

    Ticket Info

    £8

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  • Charity Show Studio

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis A charity evening of music, monologues and poems, in aid of the Ollie Foundation and the World Challenge, organised and performed by Jack with a little help from his friends. Jack is a local teen who has battled with poor mental health and who is taking part in a World Challenge expedition to Morocco. The young people involved need to raise money to help with local projects in Morocco, and then help carry them out. World Challenge works alongside schools, women and children’s centres and rural communities. Often people who suffer with poor mental health seem ‘on top of the world’ but inwardly they are struggling to maintain control. The Ollie Foundation works with communities to promote good mental health among young people and those that support them. It can prevent young suicide by delivering training programmes and by campaigning and influencing national policy.

    Ticket Info

    £5

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  • Humdingers Comedy Studio

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis Humdingers Comedy returns in 2020 with more hilarious headliners and sensational support artists. Check their website for future dates and acts as they are confirmed: www.humdingerscomedy.com

    Ticket Info

    £15

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  • Company of Ten Main Stage

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis Adapted from the film starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Ladies in Lavender tells the bittersweet story of sisters Janet and Ursula, living peacefully in 1930s Cornwall. After rescuing a handsome young Polish violinist washed ashore during a storm, the sisters gently nurse him back to health. But his mysterious presence touches both their lives in unexpected ways, stirring up emotions long thought lost. The British Theatre Guide called the play ‘skillfully and sympathetically adapted… equally, if not more, moving than the film’. What’s On Stage said it was ‘an evocative, heart-warming story of unfulfilled dreams and unrequited love’.

    Ticket Info

    £13, £12

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  • St Albans Chamber Opera and Chorus Main Stage

    7:30 PM

    Synopsis Baron Zeta attempts to use his guile to convince Count Danilo Danilovich to marry the rich widow Hanna Glawari, in order to keep her millions in their impoverished homeland. Unaware of their past attachment, Zeta’s plan is fraught with problems. Wonderful and well-known tunes weave among scenes full of humour, pathos, misunderstanding, deception and love.

    Ticket Info

    £22.50

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  • St Albans Youth Music Theatre Main Stage

    7:30 PM

    Synopsis Based on the stories of Dr Seuss, and narrated by The Cat in the Hat, this imaginative and joyful musical features such well-known characters as Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz and Mayzie La Bird. Join Jojo on his adventures to Whoville in the Land of the Whos, a microscopic planet on a speck of dust. Anyone who has read the original stories will be enchanted by our youth company’s production of this fun family show. The Londonist described the show as a ‘mad-cap adventure, jam-packed with life lessons on love, friendship and being happy with who you are’. Broadway World said it was ‘very silly, as Seuss is in nature, but also charming and rapturously received, creating an electric atmosphere’.

    Ticket Info

    £12

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  • St Albans Jazz Ensemble Main Stage

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis It’s Staje’s twelfth year at the Abbey Theatre and they’re still going strong. This popular local ensemble returns with an engaging mix of jazz, blues, swing and Big Band classics, all infused with their special brand of talent and enthusiasm. Don’t miss it.

    Ticket Info

    £12.50

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  • Company of Ten Studio

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis America, 2019. The President is impeached, a wall has been built on the border with Mexico and Rick is in prison awaiting sentencing for the crime of the century. He grants just one interview to Gloria, an African American historian. As this extraordinarily relevant new play unfolds, the truth is chillingly and inevitably exposed – or is it? The Stage called the play ‘bold, bite-size, and unapologetically political. A binge-worthy, 80-minute box-set of a show.’ Variety said it was ‘a hot-off-the-laptop scorcher of a play… sure to provoke shock, awe and much talk’.

    Ticket Info

    £13, £12

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  • Company of Ten Main Stage

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis Fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford – only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard but a sleepy Suffolk village. Jefferson’s ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by the enthusiastic am-dram thespians. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself. The Stage said that ‘the acerbic wit of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman metamorphoses into some hugely funny one-liners verging on farce in the best possible way’. The Mail on Sunday gave the show four stars, saying it was ‘deliciously stuffed with Shakespeare… a laugh-a-minute’.

    Ticket Info

    £13, £12

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  • Company of Ten Studio

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis Billy is dead. Or at least his family hopes he is. After all, they shot him twice just to make sure. Finally free from a lifetime of abuse, Billy’s wife and daughters struggle to find their new place in the world. But no one reached out to help them while they suffered, and no one seems able to understand what they’re going through now. Billy may be dead, but the memory of him is still very much alive. A shocking exploration of domestic violence, this is a powerful example of the ‘In-yer-face’ style of drama. The Independent said it was ‘an eloquent play, too emotionally mature for melodrama, that I warmly recommend.’ Varsity raved about the play, with a reviewer calling it ‘one of the most powerful, unsettling and morally complex pieces of theatre I have ever seen.’ This play has strong language and adult themes.  

    Ticket Info

    £13, £12

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  • St Albans Folk Festival Main Stage

    8:00 PM

    Synopsis Singer Fay Hield teams up with leading musicians Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron with songs from her new album, Wrackline. Fay uses traditional materials to explore ideas of the space between, looking to ghosts, fairies, spirits and talking animals to understand what it is about the unknown that entrances us. For further information see www.stalbansfolkatthefestival.org.uk

    Ticket Info

    £16

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  • Company of Ten Highfield Park

    7:00 PM

    Synopsis Roger’s having trouble assembling his cricket team to play against the British Railways Maintenance Division Reading East. But these complications pall before those occurring among the team’s various wives and girlfriends. And just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it starts to rain! Fans of Alan Ayckbourn in particular will love the way writer Richard Harris presents us with clearly-drawn, recognisable characters. The Bucks Free Press calls the play ‘very funny… the laughs come thick and fast as this very witty play unfolds’. We’re taking our version of the play to the cricket pavilion at Highfield Park.

    Ticket Info

    £13, £12

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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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Reviews

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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