Measure for Measure

by William Shakespeare

‘Who would believe thee, Isabel?’

The delicate balance of power is toppled when the Duke Vincentio bestows absolute power upon his deputy, Angelo, in his stead. When the new and all-powerful Official offers to save the life of Isabella’s brother in return for her virginity, the young postulant nun is left astounded by the state of justice. William Shakespeare’s timeless problem play ‘Measure for Measure’ explores themes of hypocrisy, faith, blackmail and love as we see what happens when the ones in charge don’t abide by their own rules.

This production, set in a time parallel to our own, focuses on how modern-day media frenzy can affect people’s actions, as we live in a world in which we never know who is really watching us. Against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement, we follow Isabella, Shakespeare’s most virtuous heroine, as she campaigns for justice in an oppressive and patriarchal state.

Performed in the Assembly Rooms Theatre.

Three Sisters

by Anton Chekhov, a version by Cordelia Lynn

Do you ever wonder what would happen if we could live our lives all over again but be fully conscious of it the second time?
I bet we’d try to do everything differently, or at least would know to create a different world for ourselves.
The clock strikes. A candle is lit.
The clock stops. Something catches fire.
The clock strikes. They wake up.

A modern retelling of one of Chekov's finest plays, Three Sisters is about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world.

Performed in City Theatre.

Regeneration

by Nicholas Wright, adapted from the novel by Pat Barker

'Men like us, who actually know what they're talking about, don't say a thing because we vaguely believe it's bad form to tell the truth.'

November 1917. Siegfried Sassoon has been accused of insanity for his declaration against the first world war. As his doctor, William Rivers, gets further into his case, the more he starts to question the morality of his job. Based on real events, this drama details trauma, shellshock and sexuality.

Performed in Bede Chapel.

Jesus Christ Superstar

By Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice

For their first ever musical, Castle Theatre Company present ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ - Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s seminal rock musical examining psychological breakdown and the cult of celebrity in the final week of Jesus’s life.

Northanger Abbey

By Jane Austen; adapted by Sophie Wright

Book-mad Catherine Morland enters the busy, sophisticated society of Bath, an unfamiliar world of etiquette, carriages, and romantic faux-pas. But when love interest Henry Tilney invites her to his home Northanger Abbey, Catherine is determined to live out her dreams of gothic spooks, scares, and forbidden rooms.

Harry

By Caitlin McEwan

“Who is that?”
“Harry”
“He’s my favourite.”
“I think he’s everyone’s favourite.”

Castle Theatre Company presents Harry – a play about friendship, fandom, and Harry Styles.

Caitlin and Sophie meet at university and quickly become best friends. United by their love of crisp sandwiches and the latest X Factor sensation, One Direction, they plaster the walls of their room with pictures of the band’s charismatic heartthrob, Harry Styles. But over time, the obsession that initially brings them together starts to have more damaging effects.

Dracula

By Bram Stoker and adapted by Liz Lochhead

As Jonathan Harker travels from London to visit the mysterious Count Dracula at his castle in Transylvania, he is warned of the evil and darkness that surrounds the Count.

Castle Theatre Company presents an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a chilling gothic tale of the battle for power between the protagonists and the deadly Count. Taking place in the historic Norman Chapel in Durham Castle, the play explores the issues of identity and sanity, sexuality and desire, and the fear of the different and unknown. Ideologies will crumble. Loyalties will be tested. Blood will flow.

Twelfth Night - Shakespeare Tour 2018

By William Shakespeare

Castle Theatre Company's biggest tour ever - UK and USA!


'Twelfth Night' is one of Shakespeare's best beloved comedies, and for good reason. A love story full of twists, turns, and twins, 'Twelfth Night' is a charming romance between Viola and Orsino, complicated by not one but two love triangles, and a hearty dose of cross-dressing. Meanwhile, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria conspire against the stubborn Malvolia, leading to yet more confusion and hilarity. 'Twelfth Night' is an unmissable celebration of love, and the mayhem it can cause...

The History Boys

By Alan Bennett

In 1980s Sheffield, a group of bright and unruly sixth formers prepare for their Oxford and Cambridge entrance exams. They are helped and hindered, enlightened and bemused, by an eccentric older teacher and a young more cynical and ruthless supply teacher.

The Adventures of Slick Tuffman: A Noir Comedy

By Michael Bedigan

Written by a CTC alumnus, this was our entry to the 2018 Durham Drama Festival. Winner of best play, best director, best actor and best actress at the festival awards. 1930s New York City: misogyny is rife, smoking is good for you and someone is killing off cops. It’s down to Detective Slick Tuffman, a renegade cop with nothing to lose, to follow the genre conventions and catch the son-of-a wobbly what dunnit.

D'Oliviers- Best Show, Best actress, Best Actor, Best Director

A Murder is Announced

By Agatha Christie, Adapted by Leslie Darbon

An announcement in the local paper reads ‘A Murder is announced and will take place on Friday, October the thirteenth, at little Paddocks – at six-thirty p.m.’ Six thirty arrives and someone is killed- enter Miss Marple to solve the mystery.

Foxfinder

By Dawn King

'They don’t know how to stop it. They’ve been wrong this whole time, and all those people who lost their farms…all those people who died…something like this could bring the whole bloody Government down.'

Following the investigation of a farming couple mourning the loss of their son, ‘Foxfinder’ is a dark exploration of conspiracy, belief and responsibility that is guaranteed to haunt audiences.

BU21

By Stuart Slade

‘So you know how on the news these days there’s just this endless stream of horrendous shit going down, like every single night? Suicide bombs, mass shootings, genocides, drone strikes, school massacres – it’s like the end of the world or something… And you’re kind of like – “Could I even cope if that stuff happened to me?” ’

BU21 follows six young people in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in the heart of London. By turns terrifying, inspiring, brutal, heartbreaking and hilarious, this is verbatim theatre from the very near future.

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2017-18
2019-20
2016-17

Toll - Edinburgh Fringe 2017

By Charlie Keable

Oliver Toll Clement Soanes joined the British Armed Forces at just 17. CTC's first Fringe play in recent years, ‘Toll’ tells the true story of a young man’s experience of the Great War.  Using recorded interviews and historical sources, ‘Toll’ examines the real reactions of a young boy when submerged by dread and fear. Written and directed by the Great-Grandson of Oliver Clement Soanes, Charlie Keable.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare Tour 2017

By William Shakespeare

Castle Theatre Company's Shakespeare tour 2017. In defiance of her father — and Athenian Law — Hermia elopes with her lover, Lysander, into the woods, a place where magic and mischief are rife. Pursued by Demetrius (Hermia’s other suitor) and Helena (who is in love with Demetrius), the four lovers soon become embroiled in a conflict between the King and Queen of the Fairies, who posses a flower that has the power to make anyone fall in love with the first creature they see. Meanwhile, a group of mechanicals prepare to put on a play, and chaos quickly ensues. 

Macbeth

By William Shakespeare

Castle Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. The original tragedy in an 11th century setting. 

In the aftermath of war, Macbeth receives a prophecy predicting that he will one day be King. Nevertheless murder, secrets and lies will haunt his reign, leading to Macbeth's demise. In this land of battles and betrayal, what would you give to rule?

The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas

By Dennis Kelly

'If you could lie without flinching, corrupt without caring and succeed at all costs, how far could you go? From the early promise of the 70s through to unrelenting capitalism of the 80s and 90s, follow George on the journey from innocence to savage greed and knotted honesty, as he invents three golden rule for success, whatever the cost.'

Castle Theatre Company presents a flagship exciting production; a modern morality play that will make you question everything you know about the world.

The Wasp

By Morgan Lloyd Malcolm

Heather and Carla haven’t seen each other since school. Their lives have taken very different paths – Carla lives a hand-to-mouth existence while Heather has a high-flying career, husband and a beautiful home. And yet, here they are in a café having tea and making awkward conversation. That is until Heather presents Carla with a bag containing a significant amount of cash and an unexpected proposition…A twisting two-hander psychological thriller, 'The Wasp' asks how far beyond the playground we carry our childhood experiences and to what lengths some people are willing to go to in order to come to terms with them.

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me

By Frank McGuinness

An Englishman, an Irishman and American awaken to find that they have been locked up in a cell together in the Middle East as victims of political action. Confused, powerless and hopelessly secluded, the trio find themselves engaged in a constant battle for sanity between themselves as much as their captors. As absurd as it is harrowing, the play challenges the differences encountered between people based on race, culture, nationality and personality.

The Crucible

By Arthur Miller

Puritan New England, 1692. The Crucible tells the story of the Salem Witch Trials, which shocked a community; culminating in an attack on the values of society and the perceived evils of witchcraft. Miller's timeless work tells of a society gripped by fear, superstition and malice. The Crucible was performed in Durham Castle's beautiful and haunting Norman Chapel.

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2015-16

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Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare Tour 2016

By William Shakespeare

Castle Theatre Company toured not only the south of England but also New York and North Carolina with one of Shakespeare's greatest and timeless comedies. Centred on two pairs of feuding lovers, we'll explore gossip, deception and the never-ending search for love. After declaring their love for each other, Hero and Claudio pass the time by attempting to convince the stubborn Beatrice and outspoken Benedick to fall for each other. Will the villainous Don John's slanderous ways threaten to derail the whole thing, or will it all turn out to be 'much ado about nothing'?

ORLANDO

By Virginia Woolf - Adapted by Sarah Ruhl

Orlando's life will be the fullest of any man's. He will encounter Queen Elizabeth, foreign princesses, and Russian sailors. He will meet lecherous captains, cranky washerwomen, and cross-dressing Archdukes. He will survive smallpox, the Great Frost, and the Slightly Less Great Flood. And one morning, without warning or reason, Orlando will turn into a woman. And then her life will truly begin.

HOME

By Nadia Fall

Fresh from its debut at the National Theatre, HOME brings to life the unheard voices of the young residents and staff who live and work in an inner-city high-rise hostel. Using real, verbatim testimonials that move and amuse, alongside original music, this bold new play asks what it really means to call somewhere home. The powerful Verbatim HOME recieved rave reviews with the Palatinate calling it  "electric from the first scene" - The Palatinate.

 

THE GREAT GASTBY

By Scott Fitzgerald (Adapted by Nick Chapman)

The fastest selling Durham show ever, CTC's 'The Great Gatsby', presented a brand new student-written adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel - black tie only of course. Transforming Castle's Great Hall into the decadence of the 1920's 'The Great Gatsby' provided an evening of entertainment accompanied by swinging jazz and wine reception. After moving to New York, 22-year-old Nick Carraway is reunited with his cousin Daisy, and her cheating husband Tom,  introducing him to a world of glamour and hedonism, revolved around the elusive Mr Gatsby. 

CTC's COMEDY CABARET 2016

Back for a third year running, Castle Theatre Company presented its annual Comedy Cabaret. Showcasing and supporting the talent of standups and sketch comedians alike, underscored by jazz and champagne. Highlights include performances from Just Desserts, Shellshock and The Durham Revue. Compered by CTC's Director of Comedy George Baker, the Great Hall provided a wonderful evening of comedy stylings from Durham's top comedians. Spread the word and lookout for next years!

HAMLET

By William Shakespeare

Castle Theatre Company went big in their second term  - bringing William Shakespeare's greatest tragedy of madness and revenge to the stage; 'Hamlet' opened in February for two exceptional sell-out performances. As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state. Performed in Durham's historic Town Hall, reviews called it "perfection!" - The Palatinate.

 

SHOW AND TELL

The first event of its kind, in December Castle Theatre Company opened the doors to the Norman Chapel for an evening of theatrical talent presented by the audience. Offering a supportive platform for performers to try out monologues, duologues, poetry and spoken word to the audience, Show and Tell was an theatrical open mic like no other in Durham. 

THE SEVANT TO TWO MASTERS

By Carlo Goldini

We began the new year with a bang, performing Carlo Goldoni's classic 'A Servant to Two Masters'. For the whole audience it was a night of jokes, slapstick and farce. Set in Durham Castle’s historic Senate Suite, it proved another memorable evening of fast paced and witty period comedy from CTC. Directed by our very own Secretary Jess Christy, 'A Servant to Two Master's proved a phenomenal success,with tickets selling out for the final two performances. Catch the rave reviews below!

 

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2014-15

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NO EXIT

By Jean-Paul Sartre

We finished a glorious year of theatre with our ninth show; Jean-Paul Sartre's 'No Exit'. Showing on the 12th & 13th of June in the Castle's haunting Norman Chapel, our production of this comic yet biting piece of theatre was highly commended by reviewers. DST First Night described the show as 'excellent' and 'a fitting end to the company's theatre year', whilst Palatinate described it as 'delightfully demonic'. A huge congratulations to the cast and crew!

 

Reviews: DST First Night and Palatinate.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS - Summer Shakespeare Tour 2015

By William Shakespeare

CTC's post-exams double bill began with two performances of William Shakespeare's fun, farcical and frivolous play 'The Comedy of Errors' as the company prepared to embark on summer Shakespeare tour 2015. The audience convened in the beautiful setting of Fellows' Garden and set up picnics for our matinee performances on the 11th & 12th June. Palatinate reveals that 'the whole audience was smiling' and describes our production as a 'triumph'.

Reviews: DST First Night and Palatinate.

THE BOY JAMES

By Alexander Wright

CTC opened their Easter Term season with a production of Alexander Wright's 'The Boy James', showing in Castle's MCR on 1st, 2nd & 3rd May. Inspired by the life and work of Peter Pan author J. M. Barrie, 'The Boy James' is the story of one boy’s awakening to the harsh realities of adulthood. Our show was described as a 'stunning production in every sense', whilst Palatinate declared that 'it is a tragedy that only a select few will be able to see this little masterpiece, but those lucky enough to experience it will not be quite the same afterwards'. Well done to all involved!

 

Reviews: DST First Night and Palatinate.

PRIVATE LIVES

By Noël Coward

CTC’s next witty and charming comedy was staged on the 1st of March when the company staged Noel Coward’s classic romantic comedy ‘Private Lives’ in the Great Hall. The audience was thoroughly entertained and impressed by the show, which was Castle first-year Louisa Mathieu’s directorial debut. All reviews were glowing, with DST First Night calling for a summer re-run. Huge congratulations to the cast and crew!

 

Reviews: DST First Night, Palatinate and The Bubble.

CTC's COMEDY CABARET 2015

On Saturday 7th February, CTC hosted an evening of comedy that featured an array of comic talent both from within and outside Durham University. Compèred by CTC Director of Comedy Mike Bedigan and Vice-President Ellis-anne Dunmall, the evening's entertainment included some stand-up from Castle students Joe Fleming and Oscar Koronka among others, as well as a variety of comedy sketches from the Durham Revue and headline act Massive Dad. All acts were very well-received and the evening was a phenomenal success. Look out for its repeat next year!

WERTHERS & WRINKLES

By Alex Prescot and Sophie McQuillan

A stunning piece of original student writing, associated with Castle Theatre Company as part of the 40th annual Durham Drama Festival, 'Werthers and Wrinkles' was undoubtedly an audience favourite. In this play, we see the exploration of the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, portrayed sensitively using both pathos and humour. DST First Night reported that 'it is a rare thing for new writing to elicit any sort of emotional response, but 'Werthers & Wrinkles' is an exception'. CTC Artistic Director Kate Barton's work was described as 'excellent' and her casting 'inspired', whilst it was finally stated that 'if you missed this, you missed out'.

 

Reviews: DST First NightPalatinate and The Bubble.

THE ELEPHANT MAN

By Bernard Pomerance

Our third official show of the 2014-15 season took place in week two of Epiphany Term, as CTC performed Bernard Pomerance's 'The Elephant Man' in Durham Castle's prestigious Great Hall. Based on the true story of Joseph Merrick, a young man who is afflicted with a disfiguring congenital disease. The play follows the struggle of Dr. Frederick Treves as he attempts to help Merrick lead as normal a life as possible, ultimately leading to their tragic downfall. Our production was described as 'thought-provoking, moving and at times brilliant' by DST First Night, while Palatinate considered it 'well worth seeing'.

 

Reviews: DST First Night and Palatinate

4.48 PSYCHOSIS

By Sarah Kane

Our second show of Michaelmas Term saw the company stage a 4* sell-out production of Sarah Kane's '4.48 Psychosis' in Empty Shop HQ. The play is an astonishing tour de force, exploring the unbearable pain of clinical depression as experienced within the sufferer’s mind. Our portrayal was described as a "stunning spectacle" and "a take on Sarah Kane's dying speech that will thrill and disturb like nothing else can" by Durham Theatre Review, while Palatinate declared that it was a "powerful portrayal of mental illness".

 

Reviews: DST First Night, Palatinate and Durham Theatre Review.

MOTHERLAND

By Steve Gilroy

We opened our 2014/15 season with a production of Steve Gilroy's 'Motherland' in The Assembly Rooms, a verbatim piece of theatre that tells the stories of women from the North East with warmth, humour and candour. Taken from a series of real-life interviews, we hear the stories of mothers, wives, sisters and girlfriends whose lives have been shaken to their cores by the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Described by First Night as "a show that will be talked about for a long time", make sure you read our excellent reviews below! Also see our preview trailer here.

 

Reviews: DST First Night, Palatinate, Durham Theatre Review and The Bubble.

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2013-14

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THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

By Harold Pinter

We completed our 2013/14 season with Harold Pinter’s dramatic classic ‘The Birthday Party’, staged at Empty Shop HQ. With powerful themes such as the exploration of power and the vulnerability of women, alongside the play’s political nature, CTC’s portrayal was met with high praise and admiration, as First Night described the production as “extremely high quality” and declared that Castle Theatre Company were “going out with a bang”.

 

Reviews: DST First Night and Palatinate.

TWELFTH NIGHT

by William Shakespeare

Summer Shakespeare Tour 2014 saw CTC put on a production of ‘Twelfth Night’, rated 4* by The Tab and described by Palatinate as “first class” when shown in Fellows’ Garden, before heading off on tour shortly after the end of term. Last year, we performed around stately homes across the South of England, but the annual CTC tour has previously featured a trip to the USA, so look out for the announcement of this year's tour location!Reviews: DST First Night, Palatinate and The Tab.

AGNES OF GOD

by John Pielmeier

Shortly after the start of Easter Term, CTC staged a sold-out production of John Pielmeier’s ‘Agnes of God’ in Durham Castle’s Tunstall Chapel. This thrilling play forces us to re-examine the meaning of faith and the power of love, ultimately leading to a dramatic and compelling climax. ‘Agnes of God’ received ‘Best College Play’ at the D’Oscars 2014 and was described by Durham’s student press as a “must-see” and a “magnificent piece of theatre”, with one particular reviewer revealing how they were “captivated from beginning to end”. This play also saw Jenny Walser receive a D’Oscar nomination for Best Actress in her role as Agnes.

 

Reviews: DST First Night, Palatinate and The Tab.

FRANKENSTEIN

by Mary Shelley

Described by Durham Theatre Review as “an exhilarating theatrical spectacle”, David Knowles’s adaptation of this Mary Shelley classic received rave reviews as CTC staged ‘Frankenstein’ in the Great Hall in Epiphany Term. This production also saw Hugh Train receive a D’Oscar nomination for ‘Best Actor’ thanks to his captivating portrayal of Victor Frankenstein.

 

Reviews: DST First Night, Palatinate, Durham Theatre Review, The Bubble and The Tab.

CTC's Comedy Cabaret 2014

To help relieve those post-Christmas holiday blues, we hosted an evening of comedy in Epiphany Term that featured Durham’s finest comic talent, both old and new. With the Great Hall absolutely packed out, Mike Bedigan, Adam Cook and the revered Durham Revue all had the audience in stitches with their individual routines, sketches and comedy songs. Massive Dad, comprising three Durham alumni, were also extremely well received by the jovial crowd and added to what was considered by Palatinate as an “entertaining and irreverent evening of comedy”.

 

Review: Palatinate.