Ed Max and the cast of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Ed Max and the cast of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
The Rhodes Arts Complex in Bishop's Stortford, county town for East Hertfordshire, has long played host to a variety of professional and amateur shows, including an annual home-grown pantomime. Now it has its own professional theatre company – Contexture Theatre – which has been created by two locally-based actors.

They are the husband and wife team of Simon Anderson and Gailie Pollock. Their venture launches on 8 October with a new production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" directed by Ed Max, followed on 15 October by Joe Penhall's "Blue/Orange" directed by Pollock and concludes with Yasmina Reza's "The God of Carnage" on 22 October directed by Jonathan Holloway.

Anderson explains that the initial model for Contexture was the well-established weekly summer repertory season at Frinton, on the Essex coast. This has been run by Max since 2004, and he has provided practical help as well as experience. The designer for Frinton's 2013 season Martin Robinson has designed the three Contexture shows.

Although each of these initial productions runs for just one week as something of a 'calling card', it is hoped that a year-long repertory programme of plays, mixing familiar classics and less well-known work, will develop. Work with schools including workshops and the prospect of master-classes are intended to integrate the productions more closely with the town and neighbouring Essex.