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Double Bill Review

The Browning Version and Dirty Business received high praise from many who came to see it in February including NODA reviewer Dee Sharpe.

The intense emotions of Rattigan’s tale of social mores and a faled marriage were perfectly counterpointed by the rather lighter tale of council cuts and a couple of cleaners, Whichever you enjoyed most we hope you felt the show was worth waiting form after the cancellation of the original dates in October 2018

The NODA review pointed out the sensitivity and skill of Emma Gosling’s direction of the poignant story of The Browning Verision, as well as Philip Robinson’s effortless genius and Hazelle Woodhurst’s sneeringly cruel but desperate portrayal of his unfulfilled snobbish wife. Top credit as well to Simon Perkins as the lover who finds his disgust at himself is eclipsed by what he finds he really thinks of his co-adulterer. All the supporting cast including CDS newcomers Logan Brewer, Josh Hands and Heather Gosling along side old-hand Laurence Leng.

Following such a famous play and such intense passions was always a hard task. (Rattigan’s original companion piece Harlequinade is far rarely performed than The Browning Version.)

Dirty Business then was set out as a total contrast, author Derek Webb. has a good number of plays to his name, but would probably not expect to be linked with Rattigan. Dirty Business was then cheekily cheery contrast standing on its own terms.

Primarily a double act with little time off stage its protagonist cleaners played by Caroline Morley and Lorraine Jordan are determined to protect their interests (specifically their jobs). Unlike the Browning Version they are willing to consider exposing Paul Ruse’s council manager’s dirty laundry as part of taking a stand against the cuts.

Lesley Jenks’s direction brought a sense of modern realism in a relaxed working environment after the stuffy suits of the 1950s, with the set transformed into an office with three very accomplished performances. The surprise twist at the end concluded what Dee called a hugely enjoyable evening.


Don’t MISS The Double Bill

As many of you will be aware, we had to cancel our October production of our two one-act plays (The Browning Version and Dirty Business) due to the sudden illness of our leading lady.

Both plays are now back at the very top form and will showcase the dramatic and comedic talent we are lucky enough to have within the group!

You won’t see a better show from actors who are unpaid, but clearly skilled.

So don’t miss this superb pair of plays in one great evening at the Queen’s Hall with CDS!

Book here or drop into Marcus Grimes in Cuckfield.



Men needed in Ditchling

As well as Henfield's need for a new Brian, Ditching need a couple of men as well ...

Ditchling Players Are presenting How the Other Half Loves’ by Alan Ayckbourn in May and are still looking for two men to fill the last two roles:

Bob Phillips – disappointed in his marriage to Teresa and home life – looking for something better.  Is always in conflict with his wife and ignores anything to do with their child.  Employed by Frank Foster and having an affair with Frank’s wife (Age 30 to 50).           

William Featherstone – Works for Frank Foster to whom he is rather ingratiating.  Dominating and controlling towards his wife, Mary.  Bit of a “nerd” for which he overcompensates at times.  (Age 30 to 50).                  

Rehearsals are Tuesdays & Thursdays at Ditchling Village Hall and the production dates are 15th to 18th May.

Henfield Recasting!

URGENT RE-CASTING CALL FOR ‘FULL CIRCLE
with Henfield Theatre Company

Due to serious family illness one of our cast members has had to drop out, leaving an urgent need for someone to take on the following character role in their March play, Full Circle .

A black comedy about a family in the immediate build up to a wedding and a few days after. In the tense atmosphere of preparing for the wedding of the century (in Mum Linda’s eyes) various family skeletons come tumbling out of long, firmly locked, closets and natural disaster threatens the big day’s content. Brian, the long suffering husband/father of the bride has to take control and pick up the many pieces.

The Character portrait is:-

Brian (45-55): a very likeable, funny individual, who doesn’t take life too seriously although he is quite capable of
intensity given the right reason. He loves his wife and child and is sometimes a little over protective. He is a ‘live and
let live’ kind of person. He is very intelligent but allows his wife to make all the major decisions in the house and
very rarely puts his foot down. He has a very special relationship with his mother (Dee). He sometimes gets
frustrated with Wills from next door, but it is a comical, not derisory, relationship.

Rehearsals have just started on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, with Sundays nearer the production dates of 14/15/16 March.

Director Malcolm Harrington would like to hear from anyone who feels that they, or someone they know, would like to take on this challenging but rewarding role.

Please contact him on 07788713864 or email [email protected]  ASAP to get more information and a script, and arrange a brief meeting /audition.

Peter Gilbert cast!

We are delighted to welcome Josh Hards to both CDS and to the cast of The Browning Version.

Josh joins the existing cast members of this moving play, considered to be Rattigan’s finest work – and we are sure one of the best in Cuckfield too!

JOHN TAPLOW — a schoolboy Logan Brewer
FRANK HUNTER — the chemistry  master Simon Perkins
MlLLIE CROCKER-HARRIS — wife of Andrew Hazelle Woodhurst
ANDREW CROCKER-HARRIS  – a classics master Philip Robinson
DR. FROBISHER — the headmaster Laurence Leng
PETER GILBERT — a modern languages teacher Josh Hards
MRS GILBERT— wife of Peter Heather Gosling

(If you missed out on our recent auditions the Hurstpierpoint Players are auditioning this week for Rope – see our page here for details of that and other acting opportunities we are aware of!)

New Peter Gilbert SOUGHT!

Our delayed October Double Bill will be staged at the end of February as …(drum roll)… The February Double Bill. All the cast for the two plays are available – bar one part in The Browning Version.

So we need to recast the supporting role of PETER GILBERT in this classic one act play.

Anyone able to play a young(ish) man (with appropriate makeup if required!) is invited to come along on Saturday 5th January from 11am to meet the cast and director Emma at the White Harte meeting roomAnd of course you can read Peter Gilbert’s lines.

  • The performances are Thu 21st – Sat 23rd February (half term week)
  • The scenes that the Gilberts are in are quite limited
    • And Peter Gilbert has about 50 lines
    • So the rehearsals should only be a few evenings or at weekends
    • Peter is the younger successor teacher to the protagonist Crocker-Harris (whi is in his 60s)

Might this suit you, or someone you know?

  • Experience would be ideal – but we will support anyone who is willing and able!
    • These roles might well suit a student (A level or University) who loves theatre and who would like to work with a group of experienced actors.
    • Or it would just as well suit a slightly older man who’d like to work with CDS.
  • With focused rehearsals we think the impact on academic work will be minimal, and it will all be over before the end of half-term.
  • So please pass this on to any contacts who may be interested

About the Play

  • The Browning Version is often considered Rattigan’s masterpiece, tells a story of British reserve, as characters develop and and the situation builds to an intense emotional peak that finally reveals the sensitivity behind the stiff upper lip with  unexpected strength replacing weakness.
  • Ill health is forcing Andrew Crocker-Harris to retire from teaching Latin & Greek at a public school. His wife despises him for his failures and finds consolation with Frank, a younger teacher. She openly taunts Andrew while Frank watches with disgust and shame. The wife knows she has lost Frank- but even more bitter is the realization he’s now Andrew’s fast friend.
  • Peter Gilbert is the incoming modern languages teacher, who togther with his wide will be moving into the Crocker-Harris’s flat (where all the play is set), together with his wife. Crocker-Harris therefore has to face the fact that he is being replaced in his marriage, his position, academic subject and home as well … But he finds solace from an unexpected source…