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Banbury Cross Players

Banbury Cross Players

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Banbury Cross Players

The Thrill of Love - Rescheduled

In a slight case of deja vu (though not quite as deep as 1998, 2007 or 2012 this time) BCP are sad to announce the cancellation of their forthcoming production of Amanda Whittington’s The Thrill of Love due to flooding last week at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury.

Following a meeting of BCP’s equivalent of the COBRA committee this weekend, the decision has been taken to reschedule the production to 25-28 November 2020.

If you have already booked a ticket (thank you!) The Mill will be in contact with you directly. If you are a BCP Gold Card Holder, you will still be able to use your vouchers for any of the forthcoming shows in our Season. If you have specifically purchased a BCP Gold Card for this production, you will be able to carry it forward to the rescheduled production in 2020. For any further queries, please email

Our regular Tuesday evening meetings will recommence at The Mill from 26th November.

Our thanks go to all who have come forward with offers of help during this week and to The Mill staff for their on-going clean-up work.

As a footnote, we are still on the lookout for a place to store two large items of scenery for the show so please get in touch if you think you may be able to assist.

We look forward to seeing you in February for Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn.

Visit BCP's website for more details of this and other productions this season.

Liz Riley

Posted on 19/11/2019

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TicketSource Ltd

TicketSource Ltd

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TicketSource have scoured the globe to reveal
the "Top Musical" in EVERY country of the world.

Using unique data gathered from Google Trends and Adwords*, we have found the top three most searched musical productions in every country*.

Hover over the countries in the World map to reveal the "Top Musical in that Country".

Top Musical by Continent

Splitting the top musicals by each continent, there is a clear worldwide divide between High School Musical, which is most popular in Asia, Africa and Europe, and The Lion King in the Americas, with Australia/Oceania bringing School of Rock into the top three.

Top Musical by US State

In the USA, international hit Wicked dominates the accolade of "Top Musical", with Shrek: The Musical and Chicago coming at number one in a few states each. Award-winning Menopause the Musical, somewhat surprisingly, pops up as the top musical in Nevada.

This Map Shows The Top Musical In EVERY World Country

Click on this map to go to the full article at

The Top 100+ Musicals in the World

Using a unique index scoring system**, TicketSource has also predicted the 106 most searched for musical productions in the world, over the past 15 years.

Disney dominates the very top echelons, with first-place took up by Elton John's blockbuster The Lion King, with High School Musical coming in a close second, even though it's limited to junior performances. The legendary musical composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, sees his School of Rock production making up the top three.

Having been recorded in a whopping eight different languages, Notre-Dame de Paris is fourth on the list. Even though it failed to live up to the hype, particularly on the West End, it's clearly still popular amongst French speaking countries and Asia. The much-loved and well-travelled Cats completes the top five.

Despite its recent rise to world-wide popularity, Lin-Manual Miranda's phenomenon Hamilton doesn't have quite enough punch (at least yet) to break the top ten, coming in twelfth position behind musical stalwarts such as Wicked, Chicago, Les Misérables and Abba-inspired Mamma Mia!

You can find the "Top 20 Most Searched for Musicals" over the past 15 years in the league table graphic, with the full list of 106 underneath.

For more information

and to sign up for a TicketSource account

Posted on 14/11/2019

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Banbury Cross Players

Banbury Cross Players

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Banbury Cross Players

Click above to watch the show trailer!


The Rehearsal Room is an odd kind of space. Chaos and concentration are happy bedfellows. For the actors it’s a safe space to develop their character whilst at the same time developing relationships with their fellow cast and crew members – people they will be very close to and rely upon heavily during show week. For the crew, it’s a military exercise requiring full concentration working through how the show will be managed, what needs to be where - and when - during the run. To be invited in is a particular privilege – one your roving reporter enjoyed recently to watch a rehearsal of BCP’s forthcoming production of Amanda Whittington’s The Thrill of Love.

The room at The Mill Arts Centre was replete with props and furniture, and the cast were rehearsing in (stylised black and white with the odd pop of colour) costume – something not always seen until closer to the show. It certainly added to the atmosphere. More of the atmosphere of this stylish production was added by the Sound Tech being on hand providing the multitude of repeating sound effects and under-cutting the action and dialogue with a sound track of emotive Billie Holliday songs.

By the end of the evening I was completely drawn in to the story that was unfolding. Each of the characters was being beautifully drawn before me. The stranger in the midst, Inspector Gale, with his dogged yet poetic determination to get to the truth; the excitable wannabe star, Vickie Martin; the hard-working, caring charwoman, Doris; Sylvia the hard-bitten grand-dame of Club-land with her effective staccato delivery, and finally the fragile yet aloof Ruth whose story this most definitely is.

All this just from the first act. I look forward to this production coming to the stage at The Mill Arts Centre and being enjoyed by a much wider audience than was room for in the rehearsal space. It really is a show “not to be missed”.

The Thrill of Love opens at The Mill Arts Centre on 20 November 2019, 7.30pm, and runs until 23 November 2019. Tickets are on sale now from The Mill Arts Centre Box Office on 01295 279002 or online.

A short Q & A session with director and cast follows the performance. A “behind the scenes” look at putting the production together and a chance to talk about the facts in the controversial and tragic case of Ruth Ellis.

Visit BCP's website for more details of this and other productions this season.

Posted on 11/11/2019

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10 questions with scriptwriter NEHA KARGETI on writing SUCHITRA KRISHNAMOORTI starring play EK HAAN!

August 24, 2019
Deepak Sinha

Panache Media has announced a new theatrical production titled Ek Haan starring seasoned actor and TV host Shekhar Suman and singer, actor, author Suchitra Krishnamoorti in the lead. The play is based on the story of the notorious life and times of the most influential writers of his time, Saadat Hasan Manto, showcasing the socio-political and emotional turmoil of the pre and post-independence era. RASA AUR DRAMA TIMES speaks to the writer in this interaction on writing the script for the MANTO play!

Q1.) Manto stories are so well known! Why should the audience listen and watch and watch MANTO stories again?

NEHA KARGETI: Manto’s work is a reflection of the soul of our society. It presents a clear picture of the world we are living in, without prejudice and bias, just like a mirror. Times change and so does the world, but the issues we are facing in today’s time are still the same: inequality, gender bias, religious hatred, hypocrisy, materialism, and division of the society based on prejudice, capital, power and religion. Manto’s stories touch the very nerve of the system we are a part of and provide a much-needed perspective. A perspective that is not only liberal and secular but also very human at the core! These stories are and will always be relevant. Manto’s voice needs to be heard..again and again..

Q2.) It seems that you have not adapted one single story of Manto, but many and with your understanding. Could you tell something on it! Which stories and maybe why!

NK: Manto’s writings have always been considered very serious and hard- hitting. This fact distracts us from the wide range and variety of his work. Randhir was sure, from the very beginning, of the three stories we have adapted. The objective was to include stories that are widely acclaimed and well known along with the ones that bring out a side to him that not many people are aware of. So, the main story (that is a blend of fact and fiction) brings out his personal ideologies and emotions, while the three sub-stories bring out three very different sides of his work: Toba Tek Singh explores the affect ‘partition of India’ had on people and the confusion and pain it caused, through the story of a mental patient in a Lahore asylum. Kali Shalwar explores the life and emotions of a prostitute, Sulatana, who has the same problems as any other woman or a man for that matter: financial difficulties, loneliness, love ,and betrayal. ‘Akal Dadh’ explores the monotonous life and arguments between a long-married couple that seems rather funny when you see it from an outer perspective. And finally, the climax (main story) reveals a side of him that is rather unknown.

Q3.) How long did it take to adapt the script?

NK: The first draft of the script took a few weeks of research and a few days of writing. However, it was a long process to reach the final draft from the first one, as ‘Ek Haan’ is not just an adaptation of Manto’s stories; its a fictional story starring Manto himself. So, everything that comes out of his mouth had to match Manto’s sensibilities. That was the biggest challenge. The script kept evolving as I kept getting more and more familiar with Manto. In fact, I did a final round of re-writing after the actors came on board.

Q4.) What are somethings writers could keep in mind during adapting/translating a work of literature? As the writer, Jerry Pinto once put it " Translation is like taking a ship loaded with salt across the sea, which is constantly eroding! Take as much as you can ." Any thoughts?

NK: The most important thing while adapting someone’s work is to first understand the very soul of it. A lot is lost in translation when you are actually ‘translating’. But when you are adapting something, you can always borrow the soul and use your own body and your own fresh perspective to present it to the world. Try to row a boat in a freshwater river rather than sailing a ship in the sea.

Q5.) So, Did one of you write the script separately and then put it together. Or together you sat and completed the script in one year!

NK:We wrote it separately and I then put it together after receiving Neeraj’s invaluable inputs through Randhir. In fact, I only got a chance to meet Neeraj on the day of our preview (first) show!

Q6.) Can both of you speak about your writing experience in more detail for Rasa Aur Drama Times readers?

NK: It was a wonderful and overwhelming experience. In fact, more than anything else, its been a great learning experience for me. I think it is very important for writers to read and understand other writers and their work. Thanks to Randhir, I got an opportunity to write a play on one of the most legendary writers the world has ever seen. While reading and researching Manto’s work and life, I feel I got one step closer to the ultimate craft of writing and the art of storytelling.

Q7.) What are the sources that you generally use while researching a literary script?

NK: The biggest source is Manto’s collection of short stories. Through his stories, Manto has said almost everything that he felt and experienced. The rest of the information comes from his old interviews, the writings of his friend ‘Ismat Chughtai’ and of course, many online news articles!

Q8.) Any tips on scriptwriting?

NK: Every story is different and there are a hundred different ways to express the same story. Hence, as a writer its important to be clear about what you want to say, how you want to say it and how can you make it as effortless as possible. Know that less is more, avoid spoon-feeding and always aspire to create something new and original! It is also essential to keep in mind the medium one is writing for: Cinema, digital platform, television or theatre, as different mediums require a different approach to writing.

Q9.) What creative freedom remains for the actors after a script is closed and frozen. As writers does it interest you?

NK: Yes, I was very deeply involved in the rehearsals and the preparation the actors went through for this play. Shekhar Sir’s impeccable command on the language and excellent sensibility proved out to be the biggest asset for ‘Ek Haan’. He is a perfectionist who doesn’t allow any loose ends in a script or performance so it keeps you on your toes both as a writer and as an actor. He sticks to the script and is always interested in understanding the writer’s perspective. Thus, when he improvises, even a small gesture has a deep meaning and a huge impact. On the other hand, Suchitra mam’s high-spirited attitude, her deep understanding of various emotions and her melodious voice, breathed life into the entire play! Her improvisations, especially in ‘Kali Shalwar’ and ‘Akkal Dadh’, added just the required quirk.

Q10.) What is writing to you in two lines! Rasa Aur Drama Times would love to hear that!

-Writing, for me, is a way to connect with my inner self; for my inner self to connect with the world; and for the world to connect with the divine!

Posted on 24/08/2019

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