Archive – Seasons back to 1945

Natural Causes by Eric Chappell

16-21 June 2014

Celia Bryce wants to die. Her husband, Walter, wants her to die. So does her secretary, Angie, who also happens to be Walter’s mistress. The rubber plant wants to live. Enter Vincent, the blundering would-be poisoner and chaos reigns in this hilarious comedy. Will anyone ever drink his (very) special brew? If so, who will it be?

Click on images (courtesy of Craig McNair) to view scenes from this play:

Lettice and Lovage by Peter Schaffer

24-30 March 2014

Lettice is an eccentric tour guide at Fustian House, England’s most boring stately home. To enliven her commentary, she invents an imaginary history for the place, which her customers find enchanting. All goes well until Lotte, an inspector for the trust to which the house belongs, turns up with Lettice’s P45. The two women eventually forge an unlikely friendship in this richly entertaining comedy, with an unexpected outcome.

Click on images (courtesy of Craig McNair) to view this event:

Patrons Night

24th & 25th January 2014.

The entertainment will alternate between songs and stories from Helen Hillcoat and “Dramatic Renditions” of poems written by Robert Service. This will include the well known “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “Bessies Boil”.

Click on images (courtesy of Craig McNair) to view this event:

Quartet by Ronald Harwood

25-30 November 2013

Reg, Wilf and Cissy are enjoying their autumn years in a home for retired opera singers, until Jean (Reg’s ex-wife) arrives. The parting was far from amicable and the sparks begin to fly. A successful movie by an Oscar-winning author, the play retains its gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) humour, and an ending to make you smile.

Murder by Misadventure by Edward Taylor, March 2013

Harold has become dissatisfied with his writing partner and wants to dissolve the partnership but Riggs knows he would not survive as a writer without Harold and threatens Harold into maintaining their association. Harold conspires with his wife Emma to kill Riggs using a plot from a projected script as his inspiration.

Photo gallery, click on a thumbnail to enlarge. Photographs courtesy of I D Event Photography

Patrons Murder Mystery, December 2012

Photo Gallery, click on a thumbnail to enlarge. Photographs courtesy of I D Event Photography

The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, November 2012

“Congratulations to Bill Dodds and all his team on very well produced show.” – National Operatic and Dramatic Association (click here to read the full review).

Photo Gallery, click on a thumbnail to enlarge. Photographs courtesy of I D Event Photography

A Double Chinn, June 2012

A double bill for June included A Respectable Funeral and From Here to the Library. The one-act plays were penned by Manchester writer Jimmy Chinn.

2012 June Double Chin - Set for Theatre in the Round

2012 June Double Chin – Set for Theatre in the Round

A Respectable Funeral

A Respectable Funeral sees three middle aged sisters at their mother’s funeral look forward to receiving their inheritance, until their brother arrives with a request that changes their lives.
It becomes apparent that their mother was no saint, and this truthful, witty play gives us an intimate glimpse into their four lives, and the effect on them of one woman’s selfishness.

From Here to the Library

This tells the tale of one woman, Beryl Tidy, who storms out of her job at the library in a fit of rage.
It is a touching, funny play about Beryl Tidy, whose new boss goes to visit her after an uncharacteristic outburst at work.
Set against the background of the often hilarious comments of Beryl’s deaf, elderly father, the pair find out about each other and find hope for the future between them.

A Dangerous Obsession by NJ Crisp, March 2012

The audience were kept in suspense by this play which tells the tale of John Barrett, a stranger who turns up at Sally and Mark Driscoll’s luxury house on a summer’s afternoon. They don’t realise that his visit will change their lives forever.
Cast members included Cleadon regulars Ian Reah, Gill Crossley, and Bill Dodds

“The last picture as the lights dimmed and the curtains closed, was very powerful. You could almost feel a spine chilling shudder go through the audience. Another excellent production.” – National Operatic and Dramatic Association (click here to read the full review).

Fashion Show Event, January 2012

Photo Gallery, click on thumbnail to enlarge. Photographs courtesy of I D Event Photography.

Enchanted April by Matthew Barber, November 2011

Set in the early 1920s in London, following the Great War, where so much was lost both in terms of life and the old ways of living, two middle class housewives deal with their sorrow and restless confusion by renting a villa in Italy away from their bleak marriages. They recruit two very different English women to share the cost and experience. All fall under the spell of the sun drenched, wisteria-scented surroundings and in the process learn new truths about themselves, rediscovering laughter and romance along the way.

Photo Gallery, click on a thumbnail to enlarge:

Relatively Speaking by Alan Ayckbourn, June 2011

One of Ayckbourn’s earliest and funniest plays, this production delighted audiences with its series of amusing misunderstandings with regard to more than one extra-marital affair leading to a succession of very funny scenes. It was staged 360 degrees in the round with audiences feeling almost part of the action. They showed their warm appreciation by almost continual laughter throughout as the complicated plot unfolded. The play was directed by Paul Lamb with actors: Gill Crossley, Dean Jukes, Peter Calvert and Denise Wilson.

“The whole play is a resounding success. It’s just as well that Cleadon Drama are putting on an extra performance on Saturday afternoon, otherwise there are going to be some disappointed potential customers…” – The Shields Gazette (click here to read the full review).

“With fantastic performances from all on stage, great sound\light from David Oliver and a superb direction from Paul Lamb, this is definitely a must see.” – Michael Hunter, Theatre Critic (click here to read the full review).

Photo Gallery, click on a thumbnail to enlarge:

Laura by Vera Caspary/George Sklar, March 2011

‘Laura’ is a mystery play, set in New York, which centred on a murder of a young woman, a determined detective, the beautiful and enigmatic Laura and several unusual and possibly sinister friends and neighbours. The play kept audiences guessing to the end. The production reflected the black and white film noir of the 40’s, giving people an unforgettable evening.

“The audience leaves the theatre with the sense of having seen a very good performance of a good play.” – The Sunderland Echo (click here to read the full review).

Photo Gallery, click on a thumbnail to enlarge:

Imaginary Lines by Reggie Oliver, November 2010

The November production of Imaginary Lines was a runaway success with full audiences most nights. It presented two main challenges, a split stage – Wanda’s flat and a second hand bookshop – and thoughts (and in the final scene, imagined action) spoken out loud to the audience in the midst of the onstage dialogue. The latter gave insight into the complex emotions and contradictory thoughts that belie the surface social intercourse. The imagined scene where Wanda returns, in glittery nun’s habit and cross, allowing her to be superior in her disappointing friendships, produced much laughter from the packed house.
Neil Weathers and Bob Lawson worked a miracle with the set and Jim McKenzie again showed how tight, inspired direction brings out the best in both actors and audience.

Cast members included Peter Calvert, Gillian Crosssley, Ian Reah, Pat Thompson and Denise Wilson.

Photo Gallery, click on a thumbnail to enlarge:

On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson, March 2010

This play has been made into a memorable film and the plot is familiar but the writing is as fresh and vivid as ever. Husband and wife acting team, Bill and Kath Dodds played Norman and Ethel Thayer beautifully. Their stage daughter was touchingly played by Carole Machin whose own son, Callan gave an outstanding performance as young Billy whilst Chris Bradley was nicely understated as the much abused Billy Ray senior. The play was directed by Lorna Weathers.

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Everybody Loves Opal by John Patrick, November 2009

A feel-good play; set in New York; which reminded us of the power of human qualities such as innocence, acceptance, forgiveness and redemption. The play wore these messages lightly for it had human absurdity and pathos in equal measure. Audiences laughed and cried and were shocked by the collapsing set effects! Actors included Gill Crossley, Bill Dodds, Ian Reah, Nick Sharpe, Steve White and Denise Wilson and were directed by Paul Lamb.

Auf Wiedersehn Fred by Miriam Berry, April 2009

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My Own Show by Lesley Bruce, March 2009

“Audiences are in for a treat, a good story with a surprising conclusion played in a very confident, skilful style.” – Review by The Shields Gazette (click here to read the full review).


How the Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn, November 2008

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How the Other Half Loves

How the Other Half Loves


Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, June 2008

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Archive 2000s

Disgruntled by Miriam Berry, 2007

Miriam Berry is a patron and this was the premier of the play.

2007 premier of patron Miriam Berry's play Disgruntled

2007 premier of patron Miriam Berry’s play Disgruntled

Last of the Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon, November 2007

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Audacity by Simon Mawdsley, March 2007

2007 Audacity by Siomon Maudsley

2007 Audacity by Siomon Mawdsley

Being of Sound Mind by Brian Burton, 2006

2006 Being of Sound Mind by Brian Burton

2006 Being of Sound Mind by Brian Burton

2002 Quartet by Ronald Harwood

2002 Quartet by Ronald Harwood

2002 Quartet by Ronald Harwood

2000 The Cemetary Club by Ivan Menchal

2000 The Cemetary Club by Ivan Menchal

2000 The Cemetary Club by Ivan Menchal


Archive 1990s

Cat’s Cradle by Leslie Sands, 1997

1997 Cat's Cradle by Lleslie Sands

1997 Cat’s Cradle by Lleslie Sands

50th anniversary and Hylda Perridge – founder member of CVDC, 1995

1995 50th anniversary and Hylda Perridge - founder member of CVDC

1995 50th anniversary and Hylda Perridge – founder member of CVDC

1995 50th anniversary and Hylda Perridge - founder member of CVDC 2

1995  Hylda Perridge

The Late Edwina Black by W. M. Dinner & W.M. Moran, 1994

1994 The Late Edwina Black by W. M. Dinner & W.M. Moran

1994 The Late Edwina Black by W. M. Dinner & W.M. Moran


Archive 1980s

House by the Lake, 1986

1986 House by the Lake by Hugh Mills

Two Pails of Water – A Childrens’ Play

1980 Two Pails of Water - children's play

1980 Two Pails of Water – children’s play


Archive 1970s

An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley, 1978

1978 An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

1978 An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

A Clean Kill by Michael Gilbert, 1973

1973 A Clean Kill by Michael Gilbert

1973 A Clean Kill by Michael Gilbert


Archive 1960s

Simon and Laura by Alan Melville, 1961

1961 Simon and Laura by Alan Melville


Archive 1950s

Mother of Men by Ada C. Abbot, 1955

1955 Mother of Men by Ada C. Abbot

1955 Mother of Men by Ada C. Abbot

Gathering Storm by Golden Glennon, 1952

1952 Gathering Storm by Golden Glennon

1952 Gathering Storm by Golden Glennon


Archive 1940s

The Man Who Came to Dinner, 1949

1949 The Man Who Came to Dinner

1949 The Man Who Came to Dinner

1949 The Man Who Came to Dinner

1949 The Man Who Came to Dinner

1949 The Man Who Came to Dinner

1949 The Man Who Came to Dinner

The Admirable Crichton – The First Production, 1945

1945 The Admirable Crichton - The First Production!

1945 The Admirable Crichton – The First Production!