Entertaining Angels by Richard Everett

Monday 6th – Saturday 11th November 2017.

Tickets £6.50 available from The Little Theatre 0191 4470493.

For details see Upcoming Productions

Upcoming Events

Check the website posts over the next few weeks for more details of the following:

Hands On NE CIC present ‘Christmas Cracker’ at The Little Theatre December 2017

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Annual Clear-out – Friday 7th July 5pm

Volunteers Required – members, patrons, non-members

It’s that time of year again when the cupboards, sheds and shelves of the Little Theatre Cleadon need to be sorted and items disposed of.

A skip is on order but we need help to pull everything out to see what we have and what we need to dispose of.

If you can come along Friday 7th July 5 o’clock onwards and help out, it would be much appreciated.

Old clothing and gloves will be required.

See you there

Out of Sight … Out of Murder – Pics

Here is a selection of photographs courtesy of ID Event Photography:

LT1706710To see the complete set of photographs click here:

Review of Summer End by Bob Lawson

Performed 3rd – 8th April 2017 by Cleadon Village Drama Club

Summer End by Eric Chappell

Extracts from Bob Lawson’s personal view

As most of the audience are hardly in the first flush of youth, they can appreciate and feel some empathy with at least one character as portrayed.

Producing and directing a play is a hazardous business, so it gives me great pleasure in saying that Sonia McDonnell in her first attempt at directing has done a very worthwhile job. Whilst she has had very able assistance from Bill Dodds, the final responsibility has been hers. The Cleadon stage is very small and to accommodate two beds and room for other furniture, including a wheelchair, into that area, must have been a director’s nightmare!

The stage crew have done a very good job in building everything needed and, helped by their efforts, have created an authentic room in an old people’s care home.

The newcomer to the Cleadon stage, Philip Holland as Alan, fitted in well, and looked every inch a policeman. I look forward to seeing him in more demanding parts in future. Gillian Crossley as Mrs Lang takes this kind of role with the consummate ease of an experienced actress. Her metamorphosis from smooth trouble shooting manager to greedy villain was every bit a key ingredient of the climax. Jessica Henderson is serving her apprenticeship on the Cleadon stage very well. As Sally, she was the Aunt Sally of the play, having to bear all the recriminations when things either went wrong or were not to others’ liking.

Now to the two main players. I have left them until last because their two characters and the way they were played are the rocks upon which the play depends. It must be said that Pat Thompson as May and Kathleen Dodds as Emily were both an absolute delight. I am sure that no amateur theatre in the North could have bettered these two performances and I speak as one who has seen hundreds of plays in amateur theatres. One of the key aspects of the show was in the first half of the first act when only the two principals were speaking. The timbre of their voices was a harmony in itself regardless of what was being said, one higher pitched one mature and deeper; one so well attuned to the relentless pessimism of Emily and the other to the much more caring May.

Pat Thompson has been a stalwart of Cleadon for many years and recently has only taken lesser parts, but here she has taken a big role which must have taken a great deal of physical and mental effort. It was a joy to see all the old skill being shown for all to see. I especially liked the part when she was displaying her feelings at the neglect of her son and his family.

Kathleen Dodds, since her renaissance on the Cleadon stage, has taken a number of major roles but none have been printed on my memory as strongly as this one has been. Emily’s acerbic tongue was straight from acquaintances which many of the audience will recognise! Eric Chappell must have heard these tones and sentiments in the old people’s homes when he researched the play! The audience loved the dry humour of the piece as well as the setting which must be familiar to many.

All those associated with the production of the play must be congratulated on offering such a course which must surely be ranked as one of the best of recent years. It is certain that the audience went homeward with that feeling of satisfaction at such a dish being offered by such a minute cookhouse in such a small refectory.

Summer End – Photographs

Here is a selection of photographs courtesy of ID Event Photography:

Summer End, Little Theatre Cleadon dress rehearsal

To see the complete set of photographs click here:

Review of Day of Reckoning by Bob Lawson

Performed 23rd – 28th January 2017 by Cleadon Village Drama Club

Day of Reckoning by Pam Valentine

Extracts from Bob Lawson’s personal view

The stage was simply too small for eight players and the furniture.

Actors did their very best to bring out the very different characteristics of each part, with varying degrees of success. Mary Stephenson as Ethel the gossip and nosy parker, brought out her character with skill and effectiveness.

Apart from the newcomer Jessica, all the rest of the cast were very experienced and it showed because one great characteristic needed in actors is CONFIDENCE. This showed very clearly and added to the enjoyment of the play.

After the interval a very different and much more enjoyable play emerged. The great difference was the emerging of a series of distinctive small scenes, usually with just two or three characters. In some of these small scenes we learn much more of each stage person and a series of very interesting story lines emerged, and it has to be said all were very well acted and directed. My favourite mini-scene was the one between the Vicar, Geoffrey, so well played by David Beston and the careworn Gloria (Sonia McDonnell). It was thoroughly worthwhile on a bitter winter’s night to come out and see.

It’s lovely to observe an actress of the ability of Kathleen Dodds to easily fit in as the adulterous wife Sally, and also Pat Thompson’s portrayal as the doddering knitter. Denise Wilson is a natural actress who is able to fill so many different CVD roles with authenticity and empathy. Gillian Crossley took her part with authority especially in the mini scene with Angela, played by Jessica Henderson. Jessica who was making her first appearance on the Cleadon Stage made a decent beginning but has some basic things to learn to be really effective. One basic is that a speaker on stage must be able to be heard by everyone at the back of the audience, another is not to drop your voice when sitting down or when speaking to someone close to you on stage. Well done Jessica, see you again soon on the Cleadon Stage.

It’s a hard task to direct a large cast on the small CVDC stage so a big thank you is due to Frank Ditchburn for all the work and worry he has put in in order to make the production a success.

Overall I enjoyed the play especially the second half.