Vanya Arrives with a Bang!

Uncle Vanya opened on Wednesday with the house over 90% full!

The set and costumes looked amazing, surpassed only by the  quality of the acting from the fine set of actors as CDS brought rural Russia to Cuckfield.

See the comments already received or if you saw the show already add your own!

There are some gunshots in the play, (even  if you are don’t know the story that’s not a spoiler – there are warning  signs in the lobby), but the tension and frustration are so palpable that the actual shots are a welcome release!

There’s still time and seats to book – check for the latest – or buy at the door if there are any left!




Sussex Harmonisers Barbershop

If you are a male singer looking for a find a suitable home for your voice, the Sussex Harmonisers would like to invite you to an open rehearsal of their male-voice chorus.

The Harmonisers is a sociable chorus which offers a warm welcome and an opportunity to develop your singing skills under the guidance of our talented music team.

Their open rehearsal takes place on Tuesday 24 October at 7.30pm at our normal rehearsal venue: St Paul’s Catholic College, Jane Murray Way, Burgess Hill RH15 8GA.

The music is ready and the kettle is on Just drop in and they’ll do the rest!

The Sussex Harmonisers is a Registered Charity (number 1146107).

For more information, visit or call Brian on 01273 553 102.


Vanya Playlists

As part of the work to develop our characters and having a little fun to boot, the cast of Uncle Vanya contributed some ideas for appropriate music for their characters.

A  one off joke to illustrate characterisation and traits turned out to be rather fun and got the whole cast bonding with some themed music suggestions included Heavy Rock, ABBA and The Beatles!

We are now posting playlists for each of the characters on our social media (twitter & facebook) or search for the hashtag #VanyaPlaylists.

You can also follow the progress here on the website for each character(Vanya, Helena, Sonia, Marina, Mme Voitskaya, Professor Serebryakov, Telegin, Doctor Astrov and Workman & Watchman)


And you can even leave your own suggestions!









Real Chickens?

Are the rumours correct?

Have CDS been auditioning chickens for a role in Uncle Vanya next week?

Father of modern acting Konstantin Stanislavski founded the  Moscow Art Theatre (MAT) in 1898, with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko.

Their aims were to change theatre in Russia with policy determined by the needs of the script and actors, and productions having their own sets, props, and costumes!
The theatre was also intended to be accessible to everyone, including the worker and peasant classes and not just the elite and to reject cliché and embrace truth in all aspects of the production.
The first 1899 MAT production was filled with the kind of “mood” creating physical elements that the MAT was known for in persuit of realism.
So the first act opened with mosquitoes, real chickens and a dog onstage…  all included to establish the feeling of real life happening in front of the audience.
  • Please be aware – mosquitos and dogs will not be on stage in Cuckfield, and no chickens were hurst during the making of this blog post!

Uncle Vanya Approaches

Cuckfield Dramatic Society presents

Uncle VanyaSet on a remote country estate in pre-revolutionary Russia, the story shows the dramatic fall out when the routine of daily life is disrupted by relatives from the city and seething discontent and latent passion come to the fore…

Consistently rated as one of the world’s top plays Uncle Vanya has as much drama and relevance to our lives as any modern play  with themes that include family relationships, breakdown, money, and love!

Written in 1897, Uncle Vanya is arguably the first modernist drama, full of conflict, unrequited love, frustration, rivalry, jealousy and a sprinkling of hope. It examines the complicated interaction within a group of people, secluded in a country estate in Czarist Russia. The play is filled with dramatic irony and with overwhelming themes of introspection, ennui and dashed dreams.

What makes this play great? Why has it stood the test of time? The themes of political and social change resonate with many eras as well as the present, the references to conservation and how man has impacted upon climate change and looking back to what could have been, make this a timeless classic.

  • The show runs Wed 25th Oct until Sat 28th Oct nightly at 8pm, at the Queen’s Hall in Cuckfield
  • Tiered seating and floor level tickets cost from £7 and can be purchased with no online booking fee via or at Marcus Grimes in Cuckfield High Street.
  • For more info search for “Cuckfield Drama” or contact [email protected] or 01444 848 156

Audiences can expect “a great night out” and “entertainment of West End standard” with other previous comments on CDS shows including:




Support Local Theatre!

Coming Soon in Hurstpierpoint (& Cuckfield)!

After Greta Scacchi, Geoffrey Streatfeild &  Celia Imrie attended the first Cuckfield Book Festival at the Queen’s Hall this past weekend another celebrated actor will be in the area next week.

Judy Parfitt, star of Call The Midwife and Girl With A Pearl Earring, will be at the Hurst Players Theatre launching the 24-hours-a-day marathon readings of Shakespeare’s plays at 7.30 on Thursday 12th October.

  • There may even be some Cuckfield Dramatic Society players there as well – if they are not too busy preparing for the season’s main event of Uncle Vanya (Wed Oct 25th – Sat 28th).

Throughout the weekend there will be a raffle and a silent auction for some really exciting prizes – come along on Thursday to find out what they are.

You can even by a commemorative programme and a commemorative T-shirt!