Theatre season offers mix of solemn drama and low farce

From the solemn to the ridiculous, the autumn season at the Spread Eagle Theatre, in the room above the pub on the corner of the High Street and Katharine Street in the town centre, appears to offer it all.

Spy drama meets cabaret with Eva von at the Spread Eagle Theatre

Spy drama meets comedy with Eva von Schnippisch at the Spread Eagle Theatre

From How Eva von Schnippisch Single-Handedly Won WWII to the more serious Meet Tommy Atkins, which is scheduled for the weekend of Remembrance Sunday, the comedy and drama on offer in the studio theatre offers a broad spectrum of genres.

And still the ticket price for an often outstanding evening’s entertainment is, generally, just a tenner, and sometimes less, including the Monday film nights, which are free.

In case you were wondering, the Eva von Schnippisch schtick is a mix of low farce and cabaret, due to be performed on October 28-29.

The publicity spiel says, “The WWII official secrets act is over – and Eva is ready to set the record straight. Germany’s greatest underground cabaret star turned into Britain’s No1 spy and was given the toughest mission of all: infiltrate to the top. Armed only with the power of song, Eva tells a comedic story of love, Frankfurters, the other Eva… and de-bunks the bunker story once and for all. Time to burn your history books.” You get the drift.

The more sombre historical piece, Meet Tommy Atkins is more poignant, with performances on Nov 10 and 11 in a venue which is just a few yards from Croydon’s own war memorial.

Written by playwright and actor Peter Gill, the new play details, through the eyes of a simple “Tommy” in what has been described as “an astonishing solo performance”, which attempts to portray the reality of war from those who actually fought it.

have written and scored their musical comedy, The Unbearable Pleasure of Being A Woman

Joanna Eden and Leigh McDonald have written and scored their award-winning cabaret, The Unbearable Pleasure of Being A Woman

The eclectic autumn season includes free screenings of Shakespeare films on Monday evenings throughout September, plus films based on classic novels through October, as well as regular stand-up comedy nights.

The season begins this Friday, September 16, with a one-night performance of 2016 Brighton Fringe Cabaret Award-winner The Unbearable Pleasure of Being a Woman – which was described by the Brighton Argus‘s theatre critic as “Fascinating Aida on Red Bull”.

The Unbearable Pleasure is the brain-child of singer-songwriter Joanna Eden and West End and National Theatre actress Leigh McDonald, who combine their own musical compositions with top-class musical theatre.

The Spread Eagle’s full autumn season schedule can be seen here, where tickets can be booked for all the shows.

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