Author Archives: Paul Shave

Heading North

After our successful toe back in the water with Evil Will Come in November 2021, the critics said: “I find the Compton Players guilty of delivering an extraordinary one act play in a most exceptional manner”; “Well done, Compton Players for a wonderful performance, that kept us all on the edge of our seats”;  “It was, as is usual with Compton Players, a smooth, well-paced production with a sting in the tail”)

So we’re doing it again. But differently. First, we’re taking it to the Abingdon Festival of one-act plays in June, with the original cast. And then it’s going to the Edinburgh Fringe. Helen Saxton has changed it from the cast of seven to a cast of two – herself and Pete Watt. Intriguing. If you want to see how she’s done it, there is a one-night-only preview in Compton Village Hall on 14th July.

Tickets go on sale soon. Watch this space.

We’re back!

We are delighted to be back again in the Compton Village Hall with our production of Evil Will Come by Alexi Stonehouse from 18th to 20th November. Priority booking opens on 13th September and general booking on 27th September.

The Covid Inspector

Compton Players have been itching to perform again and have got down to the serious business of producing a play.

Pete Watt’s play The Covid Inspector is adapted from Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector. Directed by Helen Saxton and filmed using Zoom, the production is now available to view online. There’s no charge to watch this production but please consider making a donation to the So far, thanks to generous donations from our audience, we have raised over £400 for this worthwhile charity.

You can see details of the production along with audience comments and a NODA review here.

For information about viewing, go to the Book Tickets page.

Spare a thought for Amateur Theatre

This article was in the Newbury Weekly News on 29th October 2020

There has been much publicity in the media regarding support for the professional theatre during the Covid pandemic — quite rightly as people’s livelihoods are at risk.  However, spare a thought for those of us who belong to the amateur theatre.

We do not have salaries to pay, but for most of us there is little prospect of us being able to perform anytime soon.  Not only do the current restrictions mean that performing live is almost impossible, unless the cast and crew of any production are in the same ‘bubble’, but many of our venues are not able to open at the present time because they cannot guarantee a Covid secure environment.

Even if they were able to open, the limitations placed on the number of audience members means the production is likely to be financially non-viable. 

The Compton Players were established in 1947, and over the years have built up a loyal and steady following.  Since 2015, we have received a NODA award every year – two for Best New Show, and 3 Accolades of Excellence, the most recent being for our 2019 production of The Ladykillers.

 We hate to think that there will be no more productions, so are trying to keep the interest and support alive, but it is not easy. However, there are ideas in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled!

Compton Players

Compton Players productions

Photos clockwise from top: The Ladykillers, The Entertainer, Richard III, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Compton Players were delighted to win the NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) South East Region Accolade of Play Excellence Award 2019 for their production of Graham Linehan’s The Ladykillers, a classic black comedy in which a sweet little old lady, alone in her house, is pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing. Director Pete Watt and designer Helen Saxton faced a tough challenge fitting the complicated three-level set onto Compton’s small stage.


Due to the lockdown, the Compton Players Committee have been forced to cancel our Spring production of Beyond a Joke. We had hoped to revive it in the autumn, but cast commitments and hall availability have meant that isn’t possible. BUT we will resurrect it as our Spring production next year from…

28th April to 1st May 2021