I am a freelance writer living in Gloucestershire. I have been writing family style articles in the form of columns for newspapers since 2000 and spent four years presenting an interview chat show on Forest of Dean Radio.
If anyone reading this has ever seen a Rain or Shine production, you will be aware, that in the summer months, the company tours classical theatre to outside venues. In the winter however, they are a little more restrained and do actually perform inside, at venues near you.
The purpose of Rain or Shine Theatre Company is to tour professional theatre at an affordable price. At ticket prices starting from £9 for adults and £5 for children, it certainly is affordable.
The company is currently doing its Christmas tour of thirty or more shows, across the UK. It is a double bill of two old time favourites:Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted and first shown by Rain or Shine three years ago, and a newly adapted piece of Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows. Both pieces have been adapted and directed by James Reynard and are being performed by a band of actors with boundless energy and enthusiasm, professionalism and skill: Jayne Lloyd, Anthony Young, Tom Jordan, Claire Tucker and James Reynard.
Now, with this preview, I do have to claim "kin" so to speak, for if you click on the website of Rain or Shine, you will see that I performed with them myself, two years ago. My great claim to fame is that I acted at Holkham Hall in the same room as the beautiful Keira Knightley. Keira acted there when she did The Duchess. In my case I was playing a ghost at one point, and whereas Keira elegantly descended the marble stairs in magnificent period clothing, I nearly tripped on said stairs whilst wearing muslin over my head and a long nightdress. But nevertheless, we have acted in the same space, Keira and me. Just not at the same time. As such, you could accuse me here of being a little biased, when I tell you that I have no doubt that these shows will be full of fun and vivacity, in true Rain or Shine style. However, I am going to tell you that they will be full of fun and vivacity in true Rain or Shine style, because, they will.
So whether you fancy immersing yourself in Dickens' time honoured favourite, with the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future and the infamous Mr Scrooge, or whether you are looking for a trip down the river banks with Ratty, Badger, Mole and Mr Toad, Rain or Shine will there for you, to entertain and delight.
A Christmas Carol is only on until Christmas, but Wind in the Willows tours until February. The shows are a family treat, with Wind in the Willows being suitable for all over 6 years and A Christmas Carol for all over 7 years.
Weds 12 Dec Great Witley, Worcester 6.30pm 01299 896275 Sat 15 Dec Holkham, N. Norfolk 2 6.30pm 01328 713111 Thurs 20 Dec Cowbridge, Glamorgan 7.00pm 01446 772732 Fri 21 Dec Cuckfield, E. Sussex 7.30pm 01444 451610 Sat 22 Dec Sandhurst, Glos. 7.30pm 01452 731489 Sun 23 Dec Kinlet, Bewdley, Worcs. 4.30pm 07710 288526
Fri 28 Dec Winchelsea, Sussex 4.30pm 01797 224446
Sat 29 Dec Hucclecote, Glos. 3.00pm 01452 547815
Thur 3 Jan Beeston, Nottingham 7.00pm 0115 9431164
Fri 4 Jan Ramsden, Oxfordshire 7.30pm 01993 868222
Sat 5 Jan Edgbaston, Birmingham 6.30pm 0121 454 1860
Sun 6 Jan Toddington, Glos. 4.00pm 01242 621440
Fri 11 Jan Pembridge, Hereford 7.00pm 01544 340381
Sat 12 Jan Naunton, Glos. 7.00pm 01451 850586
Sun 13 Jan Hungerford, Berks. 3.00pm 01488 674737
Thur 17 Jan Blockley, Glos. 7.30pm 01386 701072
Fri 18 Jan Cullompton, Devon 7.30pm 01884 32107
Sat 19 Jan Wotton-under-Edge, Glos. 7.30pm 08456 440931
Fri 25 Jan Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk 7.30pm 01493 730178
Sat 26 Jan Widford, Ware, Herts. 4.30pm 01279 842681
Fri 1 Feb Alderney, Channel Islands 8.00pm 01481 822951
Fri 8 Feb Chepstow, Gwent 7.00pm 01291 625981
Sat 9 Feb Verwood, Hants. 6.30pm 01202 828740
A Christmas Carol:
Tues 11 Dec Bath, NE Somerset 7.30pm 01225 463362
Thurs 13 Dec Willersey, Glos. 7.00pm 01386 852011
Sun 16 Dec Holkham, N. Norfolk 2 6.30pm 01328 713111
Tues 18 Dec Toddington, Glos. 6.30pm 01242 621440
Weds 19 Dec Cheltenham, Glos. 7.30pm 08456 440931[/I]
Note: If, disappointingly, there isn't a venue near you, then call Rain or Shine, to suggest a new venue for their next tour. If they can get themselves and their set there, assuming that it is a financially viable proposition, they will.