South Street Arts Centre Brings Back Live Theatre

On Track
On Track

READING’S South Street Arts Centre has announced the exciting return of live theatre – one of the first in the UK – starting in October 2020.

Produced by South Street, as part of its award-winning ‘theatre in unusual spaces’ strand SITELINES, two innovative Arts Council funded shows have been created in collaboration with resident artists in an attempt to address ‘the strange times we all find ourselves in – whilst we’re still experiencing them.’

Uniquely performed at Palmer Park Stadium & Velodrome in Reading – and staged entirely outdoors, and with the support of the mental health sports charity, Sport in Mind, ‘On Track’ explores the effects of Covid-19 on mental health and shows how a simple bicycle can be a vehicle to freedom once again.

As everyone begins to emerge from a long period of enforced isolation, ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is a chance to reflect on what it is to be alone, whether by choice or necessity. From a Hillwalking father to the plague village priest, the show leads you through a fascinating anthology of isolation tales, shedding light and empathy on our personal and shared histories of being alone.

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading Council’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I am so excited by the much-anticipated return of live theatre to Reading. Reading is a buzzing centre for cutting edge culture and I’m not surprised we are one of the first to bring back live theatre – and what an offer!

“These shows explore topics so deeply relevant to our current circumstances as we all grapple with life during a pandemic – but are also timeless interrogations of the human condition – storytelling at its absolute best. I’m particularly looking forward to the performance of ‘On Track’ outside at Palmer Park Stadium & Velodrome – with its focus around the themes of women in cycling, isolation and exercise as a vehicle to mental wellbeing and recovery.

“Both new shows will be staged with COVID safety measures built into the experience, with each show limited to 20 people, to ensure the safety of everyone attending. With South Street unable to present shows as normal until next year, these shows represent an exciting and innovative way to re-engage with our audiences.

“I hope these shows will herald the gradual return of much, much more. Whilst we continue to hold safety at the forefront of all our plans, this shows how much can be achieved with innovations and creativity in the face of adversity! Don’t forget to also check out our amazing Reading Culture Live website for your virtual culture fix.”

Tickets are selling fast for both shows, with some already sold out reflecting the strong demand for the local return of live theatre. For anyone who can’t get tickets, don’t worry, the shows will be available virtually in November on Reading Culture Live, thanks to funding from Reading UK



South Street & RedCape Theatre present
a SITELINES production

On Track

Saturday 17 & Saturday 24 October 2020, 3pm & 6pm
Location: Palmer Park Stadium, RG6 1LF
Tickets: £15, £13 South Street Members

Important information

The show is staged outdoors, so please dress for the weather.
Capacity for each show is limited to 20 people and seating will be socially distanced.
No latecomers will be admitted.

Created & Performed by Cassie Friend
Written by Catherine Dyson
Directed by Cassie Friend, Helen Iskander & Rebecca Loukes
Produced by John Luther

Supported by Arts Council England with funding from the National Lottery

Developed with support from 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space

South Street presents
a SITELINES production

Behind Closed Doors

Wednesday 28 – Friday 30 October 2020, 7pm

Saturday 30 October, 3pm & 7pm

Sunday 1 November, 12 noon & 4pm

Location: South Street Arts Centre
Tickets: £15, £13 South Street Members

Important Information
Capacity for each show is limited to 20 people and seating will be socially distanced.
No latecomers will be admitted.

Written & Performed by Sabina Netherclift & Benedict Sandiford
Produced by John Luther
Supported by Arts Council England with funding from the National Lottery

South Street Background

South Street has produced a run of acclaimed shows exploring the history & landscape of Reading through innovatively staged experiences in unusual locations of importance to the local community.

‘Jackson’s Corner’ was set in, and about, the famous Reading retail institution on the eve of it closing in 2013; ‘The Final Whistle’ (originally staged in 2016 & revived in 2019) told the story of Reading Football Club and was performed inside the home changing room at the Madejski Stadium; ‘Being Gordon Greenidge’ was made in collaboration with the Barbados & Friends Association (Reading) in 2017 and charted the legendary West Indian Cricketer’s rise from Reading schoolboy to international sportsman (it also went on to win the ‘Made In Reading’ award at the Reading Cultural Awards 2018); ‘In Ruins’ celebrated the history of the Abbey Quarter as part of the ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ project in 2018, with a promenade show through the historic quarter; while 2019’s ‘Amelia’ took audiences to Caversham Lock and View Island to witness the gruesome story of Reading’s most infamous serial killer, Victorian ‘Baby Farmer’ Amelia Dyer.

Reading Arts and Venues runs the three main arts venues in Reading, on behalf of Reading Borough Council. This includes The Hexagon, South Street Arts Centre and The Concert Hall at the Town Hall. It also incorporates box office services for other local and national events and festivals.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. By 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help deliver this vision.


Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email or call 0118 937 3957