Local theatres and groups

Our local theatres and groups offer you the chance to see performances or get involved in local theatre.

About our creative companies

We got in touch with our creative companies to find out more about them.

Play on Words

Play on Words theatre was formed in 1990 and is run by actors and directors Aidan Dooley and Miriam Cooper. 

We are an award winning production company, including an Edinburgh Fringe First for the play Tom Crean, Antarctic Explorer and an Off West End Theatre nomination for a one woman show, Prostitutes Marry in may formerly 'Sister Queens'.

The company has worked extensively, both on an international and local level, touring productions as far as Ireland, America and Australia.

Play on Words also initiates and co-produces the extraordinarily popular children’s christmas shows at the Brook Theatre.

The company

The company pictured below, includes: 

  • Aiden Dooley
  • Lily Cooper
  • Miriam Cooper

Aidan dooley    Lily cooper  Miriam cooper

Play on words community

The Play on Words community tours to festivals and schools with a vast array of shows and workshops, from science to Shakespeare. They also run Play on Words Young People’s Theatre, Play on Words Activate Classes for trained actors, and Drama Summer Schools at The Brook Theatre.

What they do at the theatre

  • perform and write theatre shows or community projects or research and perform historical characters
  • rehearse for upcoming professional productions
  • offer drama classes and run a young peoples youth theatre working with industry professionals
  • run drama summer schools
  • offer workshops for home educated groups

Get involved

  • Youth theatre: 13 to 18 years, Wednesday 7pm to 9pm. First session is free
  • Young people’s theatre: 8 to 12 years, Saturday 4pm to 5.30pm. First session is free
  • Activate: professional actors and performers in training and writers, Tuesday 7.30pm to 9.30pm. First session is free

Shows in Medway

They have produced and performed numerous professional productions in Medway. Some of which include:

Tom Crean: Antarctic Explorer

Tom crean antarctic explorer

Tom Crean, Antarctic Explorer

 

Prostitutes Marry in May 

Prostitutes marry in may

Prostitutes Marry in May 

 

O’Sullivan Beara: The last Gaelic Chieftain 

O sullivan beara the last gaelic chieftain

O’Sullivan Beara: The last Gaelic Chieftain 

 

The company has co-written, produced, and performed the Children’s Christmas Shows for 3 to 6 year olds at The Brook Theatre for the last 10 years with Icon Theatre and Loop Dance Co.

Also, productions of Galway Girl by Geraldine Aron and Melody by Deirdre Kinahan.

Childrens christmas shows at the brook theatre play on words theatreChildrens christmas shows at the brook theatre play on words theatre

They have performed in The Dickens Summer Festival, The English Festival, The Will Adam’s Festival and most recently created a short film for Dickens 150 Online Festival.

They have also worked with the Guildhall Museum and East Gate House in Rochester, on various educational projects. 

In the last year they have written and performed Spirit of The Bridge for the Rochester Bridge Trust, to accompany their exhibition in the Strood Archive and Kent Museums.

Over the past 4 years they have co-written and performed the Summer Science shows, Doc Yard and Bunsen at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Their site specific performances in Medway portraying historical characters, include locations such as The Guidhall Museum, Upnor Castle, Temple Manor, Rochester Castle, Fort Amherst, St James’s Church, Cooling and St Margaret’s Church, Rochester.

They have performed on the wonderful Light ship, LV21 and at Cobham Hall.

They have toured Medway and Kent schools with their production The School for Bravehearted Botanists, in association with the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership.

They have run a Baby Rave Festival Raving Babies for young parents and their young children and immersive themed workshops for crafters with Carry on Crafting at The Brook Theatre.

Their youth theatre has performed various productions over the years from Narnia to The Crucible and Oliver Twist at The Brook Theatre, as well as site specific productions at Fort Amherst and Eastgate House and Chatham High Street. They’ve hosted a youth theatre festival at The Brook Theatre, bringing together other youth theatres in the south east. 

They have been based at The Brook Theatre for nearly 15 years and have run drama classes for 20. Associate Artists: Balvindar Sopal and Mark Conway

Square Pegs Arts

Square Pegs Arts is an award winning charity that offers theatre and arts based opportunities for children, young people and adults who have learning disabilities and autism.

We have been successfully running regular drama groups, a singing group and music projects, producing theatrical productions, running film projects and various other creative activities in Kent and Medway for over 15 years.

We use drama, music, movement, and other creative methods to develop confidence, self-esteem, communication skills and wellbeing. We celebrate difference, nurture friendships, and create supportive and caring environments where everyone feels valued, respected and feel a real sense of belonging. We support our young people to fulfil their potential and shine as individuals, whilst being part of the Square Pegs community.

They have a strong volunteering programme. They also offer training and development opportunities which is an important part on their work.

Group of young kids performing

 

People in black clothing performing

2 people Role playing

Their theatre company is based at The Brook Theatre. They rehearse weekly, make work, and perform in the theatre. They aim to challenge perceptions by making bold, original theatre with the voices of our learning-disabled artists at the heart.

They also run holiday projects and one off workshops.

Their theatre company previewed their first show in 2019 Head Shoulders Knees and Autism. This was an original piece that explored autism and challenged the audience to grow in their understanding of the autistic mind.

Their Maidstone based drama groups perform their annual shows in the theatre too. These have included adaptions of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, Giraffes Can’t Dance and The Twits

They've  been based at The Brook Theatre for 4 years.

Interesting facts

  • They won The Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2018, which is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.
  • They performed in Parliament as part of the 2012 Olympics Cultural Olympiad.

Medway Little Theatre

Address: Medway Little Theatre, 256 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1HY

Capacity: 108 seats

Find out more on the Medway Little Theatre website

The Oasthouse Theatre

Address: The Oasthouse Theatre, Stratford Lane, Rainham, Kent, ME8 8AG

Find out more on the Oasthouse Theatre website

Spotlites at Kings Theatre

Spotlites at Kings Theatre is a professional theatre company based in Kent that specialise in innovative theatre for young people.

The company also runs Spotlites Youth Centre and runs 18 theatre, dance, singing and technical workshops for young people and has performed across many theatres including at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Address: King Theatre, 338 High Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4NR

Capacity: 110 seats

Find out more on the Spotlites website