Dani Davies left The Abbey in 1999 and has since gone on to wonderful achievements in the world of theatre and the arts. She is the founder and director of local theatre company Reading Between the Lines (RBL), which she started with her husband Toby in 2012.
RBL aims to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy live theatre performance, regardless of age and background. This ethos has driven the company to great things; it is now a multi-award winning, Guardian Top 20 theatre company and last year hosted a hugely successful adaptation of A Christmas Carol. During the run of this production, RBL ran a project in conjunction with The Abbey to give children from local partnership schools the opportunity to attend the theatre at Christmas.
Reflecting on her roots as a former Abbey student, Dani says
“It was in The Abbey lecture theatre that I had my first experience of Shakespeare and my love of theatre grew from there. With the help of some pretty amazing English teachers I went on to study classical acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and have not looked back. The Abbey gave me a great foundation and coming back to my Reading roots and working with The Abbey School last year to allow over 300 school children from partner schools to experience live theatre in their home town was an honour. This year we have secured funding from Arts Council England and are able to give free tickets to over 350 school children. A Christmas Carol was a great success last year, but we are aiming to break the box office with a wonderfully modern, fun, interactive production of Hansel and Gretel that children and adults will fall in love with.”
The Abbey is proud to support Dani and RBL with their Christmas production this year: Hansel & Gretel.
Hansel and Gretel were born holding hands, nothing can keep them apart. Until one day they are cast out into the forbidden woods with no way home. Will they ever find one another again? Can they survive the dark, twisting festival of the forest? And what is that powerful smell of candy floss that keeps catching on the wind?
The show is running from 9 to 31 December at South Street Arts Centre and is suitable for ages 8+.
For more information and to book tickets please visit their website.