Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s production of Salome by Oscar Wilde

Come audition for the Studio Theatre Company's production of Salome by Oscar Wilde, directed by Phil Tomlin, on Tue 7 & Wed 8 Dec at 7.30pm. There is nothing to prepare but audition pieces and character info are available on request. Script available on request....

Interview with SESSIONS Set and Costume Designer

Ahead of Paines Plough’s latest touring show SESSIONS by Ifeyinwa Frederick coming to South Hill Park on Wed 27 Oct, the company took a few moments to speak with the show’s designer, Anna Reid, to find out about her work, what it takes to create the look of a Paines...

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day Fri 8 Oct Join us for a walk or tai-chi session in South Hill Park's beautiful grounds, Bracknell. Tai Chi: 11am-12noon Walk: 12.30-13.15pm Join us for an optional tea or coffee, cake and a chat to find out more about local mental health...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s next production Road

Come audition for the Studio Theatre Company's next production Road, by Jim Cartwright on Mon 27 Sept 7.30pm, and Fri 1 Oct 7.30pm. They will be group auditions, nothing to prepare. The company are looking for 7 actors most of whom will multi role. The performance...

Shrek 2022 Auditions

We are excited to share that our 2022 Easter Production will be Shrek The Musical - coming to the Wilde Theatre in April 2022! If you would like to be part of the greatest fairy tale never told, that's guaranteed family fun, then book your audition here. Auditions...

RARE Productions Hairspray Auditions

Visiting company RARE Productions will hold open auditions for their production of Hairspray at South Hill Park from Thu 3 - Sat 5 Feb 2022. Auditions will take place at South Hill Park on Tue 5 & Sat 9 Oct and are open for anyone aged 8-21yrs. Audition event...

Excellent results for South Hill Park’s LAMDA students

Eleven learners took their LAMDA exams at South Hill Park this summer under the tuition of Mark Hooper (Director of Learning, Participation and Community Engagement). The learners (10 Grade 8 & 1 Grade 1) had their exams cancelled at the start of the pandemic and...

Bracknell resident completes 500km run for South Hill Park Trust appeal

On 12 June 2020 Bracknell Forest resident David Baker pledged to run 500km in aid of South Hill Park Trust’s major public fundraising campaign following the potentially devastating impact of Covid-19. On Saturday 12 June 2021 David will complete this mammoth feet at...

An acting debut in Rope 2021

Gordon Vince, who will make his acting debut in the Studio Theatre Company’s 50th show celebration performance of Rope from Wed 23 – Sun 26 June, has shared with us what made him want to audition, what audiences can look forward to, and some behind the scenes...

Live events return to the Wilde

‘The social distancing at this was amazing; lines and rows of seats physically removed to keep all groups apart with a fantastic one-way system and oodles of sanitiser everywhere. It was lovely to support a local production and the cast were insanely good.’ – Louise,...



South Hill Park

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Join the celebrations – The Comedy Cellar turns 30!

October 5, 2016
The Comedy Company

The party starts in South Hill Park’s Cellar Bar this Friday as they celebrate The Comedy Cellar’s 30th anniversary! This is a hugely significant birthday which marks the recurring event as one of the longest running comedy clubs outside of the capital – and you are invited to join the fun! Initially begun as ‘The Friday Alternative’ (and renamed The Comedy Cellar 10 years ago), some of the brightest sparks in comedy have set foot in the intimate setting, like Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand (appearing as “The Sea Monster”!), Sarah Millican, Alan Davies, Jimmy Carr, Micky Flanagan, Graham Norton and many, many more. The Comedy Cellar has a long and established reputation for helping launching the careers of many in the industry.

As part of the ongoing celebrations, South Hill Park’s CEO, Ron McAllister reminisces on the good old days when the event launched:

I remember in the early 80s at SHP, Friday night was Cabaret night in the Cellar, and therefore came under my jurisdiction as  “Head of Music and Festivals”.  This was when the first shoots of Alternative Comedy were sprouting in London at the Tunnel Club and Comedy Store.

Simon Houlihan, who was my Music Assistant at the time, and I decided to go and visit Malcolm Hardee’s famous (and notorious) Tunnel Club to see if we might be able to establish a comedy club here in Bracknell.

I think its fair to say we were a bit shocked at how raucous the event at the Tunnel Club was. Gongs were used to tell comedians to get off the stage , audiences were not slow to let them know what they thought of the acts, and if they really didn’t like them…. beer bottles were sent flying. (Yes beer bottles, and sometimes glasses too!) Health and Safety has come a long way since then…

Anyway, we managed to persuade the legendary Malcolm Hardee to run a regular series of comedy nights in the Cellar – and to compere them for us, for the trial period of one year. This was all back in 1986.  We became the first weekly alternative comedy outside of London, and it has run continuously every Friday (except August) since then. So we are indeed the longest running and best known comedy  club on the circuit outside of London.

Malcolm Hardee still appeared here from time to time in the late eighties and nineties, but he was actually succeeded by Eddie Izzard as our regular compere for six months. From the early days I remember seeing Jo Brand (appearing as “The Sea Monster”) and Julian Clary down there. Julian had an act called “The Joan Collins Fan Club” and he appeared with his dog, “Fanny the Wonder Dog”!

Those were heady days, and I am very proud of the legacy that came from that slightly scary visit to the Tunnel Club.

I am delighted to say that Malcolm Hardee was recently honoured by an award being named after him at the Edinburgh  Fringe Festival. He was an inspiration and great fun to work with. Simon Houlihan still runs the comedy cellar and we have remained great friends over these past 30 years – thank you Simon for keeping the faith!

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