LOCAL rep has been the training ground for many of our best-known actors and directors, and before the expansion of theatre schools and performing arts institutions, rep is where most actors went to ‘learn’ their craft.

Theatre Royal Windsor and the Windsor Theatre Company has attracted its fair share of well-known actors as well as unknown actors who have gone on to become stars either in film, TV or theatre.

The long roll-call includes many household names such as Colin Baker, Trevor Bannister, Amanda Barrie, Lynda Bellingham, Christopher Biggins, Helena Bonham-Carter, Richard Briers, Dora Bryan, Judy Buxton, Peter Cushing, Patrick Cargill, George Cole, Ray Cooney, Ronnie Corbett, Charles Dance, Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray.

Plus Denholm Elliott, Fenella Fielding, David Haig, Nerys Hughest, Sam Kelly, Frank Lawton, Arthur Lowe, Patrick Macnee, Geraldine McEwan, Buster Merrifield, Robert Morley, Sue Nicholls, Derek Nimmo, Ivor Novello, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Palmer, Nicholas Parsons, Denis Quilley, Flora Robson, Beryl Reid, George Sewell, Dinah Sheridan, Mollie Sugden and June Whitfield among many, many others.

In the six plays to be performed over six weeks in Windsor many Berkshire places set the scene for family drama and murders.

Sweet Revenge is set in Marlow, Hay Fever at a family home in Cookham and Amy’s View in Pangbourne.

And there are two ‘local’ actors making their debuts at the Windsor Theatre Royal.

Sarah Kempton, 29 was born and raised in Maidenhead developing a love for acting and theatre through her family’s involvement with Maidenhead Players.

The former Newlands Girls’ School pupil is appearing as Amy in Amy’s View, in Sweet Revenge and in Pardon Me, Prime Minister.

“I had never performed in this theatre, but always wanted to,” she said.

Francis Adams may be a familiar site to former photographic colleagues in Windsor and pupils from Altwood School.

The Taplow born man worked and lived in the area – then known as Adam Hodgson. He also used to peform with his band Easter Monday at the Old Trout in Windsor, now Browns.

“This is such an exciting thing. For me, it’s a bit like coming home,” he said.

Creatives for the season include Barbara Williams taking care of costumes and Maidenhead’s Will Brann who is co-ordinating the light design. Three sets will rotate as one is used for one play, another will be prepared for the next as actors learn their lines throughout.

The 2015 season starts with the high octane farce Pardon Me, Prime Minister between Tuesday May 26 – Saturday May 30.

The second offering is the classic thriller Sweet Revenge, penned by the master of suspense Francis Durbridge.

Week three sees Daphne Du Maurier’s romantic drama September Tide take centre stage from June 9-13.

Audiences can enjoy Noel Coward’s classic comedy Hay Fever between Tuesday June 16 – Saturday June 20.

The fifth production is penned by one of Britain’s most popular playwrights, Alan Ayckbourn. Joking Apart is a favourite and audiences can see why between Tuesday June 23 – Saturday June 27.

The final play in the six play season won Best Play of the Year at The Critic’s Awards 1997 and was nominated for Best New Play at the Olivier Awards. Written by acclaimed playwright David Hare, Amy’s View opens on Tuesday June 30 and runs until Saturday July 4.

Each of the six plays runs Tuesday to Saturday of its respective week, with nightly performances at 8pm, and matinees on Thursdays at 2.30pm and Saturdays at 4.45pm.

Visit www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk