September Club Night & Social

Free & Open to all! Wednesday 20th September

(a collection for Leanne’s campaign for Mayor will be taken)
 At the White Harte meeting room at 8pm!

Would We Lie To You? Or Will You Lie To Us?

Briefing material will be handed out to those taking a turn
So no preparation is required!
Bring nothing except your imagination (if you want to take part)
But in any case be sure to bring your sense of humour!

September’s club night event is open to everyone (potential members, guests, the public) and will be an evening of improvisational practice at being convincing –  or as some of us call it “Acting”.

  • We will be asking other local clubs (theatre and others) if they would like to come and share the fun with us!
  • Watch or join in it’s your choice!

Taking inspiration from TV shows such as “Would I Lie To You?” people will take turns to tell tall tales, which may or may not be true.

  • Spot the liars! Identity the Truth!
  • Massive prizes!  Fame and glory!
  • Guest appearances by Hollywood and West End Stars!
  • Free OBE’s for all attendees …

Can you spot the truth from the acting?

Who will be provide the most Unbelievable Truth and the most convincing lies?
Can you Call My Bluff in defining obscure words or making up a red herring?

Visitors from other groups, or anyone interested in some free entertainment are very welcome!

Saturday Night Is Race Night

No it’s not a Hairspray reference!

CDS is supporting Leanne Knapman for Mayor of the Independent State of Cuckfield!

Leanne is holding a Race Night at the White Harte on Saturday 2nd September at 8pm.

  • Admission is just £2, including a Race Card.
  • If you want to guarantee a table please let her know in order to reserve one!
  • If are unable to come but would like to support this, you could buy a horse for £2.50 – if your horse wins the race you win a prize!

Support Leanne for Mayor!

The Independent State of Cuckfield

As official theatre company of The Independent State of Cuckfield CDS has always tried to engage closely with this unique local institution and its annual election.

This year CDS had no candidate of its own and the committee decided that given our long standing link with the White Harte we would support the official White Harte candidate for mayor, Leanne Knapman

Leanne has a lifelong association with ISOC and its events and good works. This is her 13th time standing and it is frequently said that over those 13 years she has raised more money for ISOC than any other individual!

Please vote  generously!
And keep Cuckfield special!


Summer Bumper Newsletter Sent!

Click on any topic to read the online version of the newsletter here – but why not sign up for your own copy?




Bridge To Farce Review

Dee Sharpe was kind enough to send us this review of the Hurst production!  (Contains some spoilers!)

Bridge to Farce started life as a one-act play, written by Paul Ruse and Richard Willis and was performed by Cuckfield Dramatic Society in 2015. It was so successful the playwrights decided to turn it into this well constructed three act play. The resulting farce, expertly directed by Sophie Bradshaw, is stuffed full of comic confusions, rib tickling one liners and riotous antics; and had the audience (a full house) laughing uproariously throughout.

Two disparate events are taking place on the same evening at similar addresses. Bossy, ambitious Tory councillor, Margaret Nicol-Stevens and her long-suffering husband Norman are holding a bridge party. Dope smoking George Collins and sexy, pole dancing wife Zoe are holding a ‘swingers’ party.

Wide boy Barry and dim but game girlfriend Angie arrive at the Nicol-Stevens, while strait laced bridge players Edward and Charlotte arrive at the Collins,’ both couples expecting a very different game from the one on offer.

As more characters join the pandemonium – a vicar into photography, an invisible goat, another local councillor, a drug dealer and a horsewoman; the misunderstandings escalate and culminate in a hilarious visual gag and the arrival of the local PC. This leads to more hilarity, mayhem and a strange kind of justice.

It is rare to attend a play where the actors have been so perfectly cast that they are completely believable in the role that they play. Philip Robinson was perfect as the bumbling, hen pecked, passively rebellious Norman, and Hazelle Woodhurst magnificent as snooty, domineering, politically ambitious Margaret Nicol-Stevens.

Every actor gave a superb performance and their characterisation, interacting and timing was faultless, culminating in a hugely entertaining play.

The comic gems were prolific and impossible to list, but I particularly enjoyed Jaba Bowman’s portrayal of PC Lilley being scary, Paul Ruse as Barry coming on to an askance Margaret Nicol Stevens (Hazelle Woodhurst)  and Peter Bowman’s Prosser, taking a selfie.


The sets reflected the personality of the couples, effectively drawing the audience into their world. The Nicol Stevens lounge complete with bridge table, had some clever touches such as election boards with Margaret Nicol Stevens and Sir Gerald Farquar and a picture of Margaret Thatcher on the wall.

The Collins’ living room also had couch and coffee table but also a  dancing pole for Zoe and artistic images, including a sketched nude on the wall.

The costumes included comic touches such as the shiny grey synthetic wig that the reverend wore, a crazy curly red headed wig that transformed Margaret Nicol Stevens and a skin tight black PVC outfit for swinger Zoe.

Finding flaws in this performance was like hunting for a typo in the Tory manifesto!  The only things I spotted were were a couple of brief lighting glitches and momentarily mislaid lines which the actor found again, before anyone noticed!

This gifted cast and crew should feel very proud of themselves for being part of this outstanding Farce. Next stop Brighton Festival, Edinburgh Festival, West End…..?

Another Bridge To Farce Review


(Text from review in Holy Trinity Parish Magazine for July 2017)

Brian Cutler reviews the latest offering from Cuckfield Dramatic Society, ‘Bridge to Farce

[WARNING – For those still to see the show at Hurstpierpoint this review contains spoilers!]

It has been said that farce treats the improbable as probable and the impossible as possible. The idea of two couples mistaking the venue of their Saturday night out and ending up with totally different evenings to what they had been expecting is really quite improbable, if not impossible. However, this is exactly what Richard Willis and Paul Ruse’s new play, Bridge to Farce, convinces you can happen.

The Nicol-Stevens (Margaret, the politically ambitious wife, and Norman, a henpecked, golf loving husband), are expecting a couple they do not know, the Websters, for a game of bridge. The young couple that arrive, Barrie and Angie, are looking forward, somewhat anxiously, to a totally different kind of evening, a wife swapping party. As other guests arrive the opportunity for misunderstanding and double entendre are innumerable and the language of bridge subjected to the strangest of interpretations.

Meanwhile, the Collin (George, a photographer, and Zoe, a model, both of whom enjoy the recreational use of sex and drugs to the full), are awaiting their unknown and anonymous guests. The real Websters arrive and soon find that this is not quite the evening that they had in mind either. However, by the time that they realise their mistake, they are enjoying the evening so much that they suggest the Nicol-Stevens join them. Chaos reigns with some resolution in the final act, though the investigations of DS Doyle, the perspicacity of the prosecuting counsel, Nailer, and the judgement of the local magistrate.  [spoiler removed!]

This amusing and entertaining piece has no fewer than 21 roles undertaken by a cast of 15 talented actors. However, their success is not primarily in any individual performance, but in how the Director, Sophie Bradshaw, enabled the whole company to work together to produce a lively, engaging and fun show. Of course farce can be seen as just that – something to make us laugh. However it does also demonstrate just how much perception is dependent upon expectation, on the mind set with which we approach any issue.

Watch out for CDS’ next production, Chekov’s Uncle Vanya, in the autumn.

There is also a review on the NODA website – see link here.