Cuckfield Dramatic Society (CDS) is an active andCDS logo + masks + ribbon thriving  community theatre group which currently puts on two major play performances a year (in the May and October half-term holidays), two other annual shows in February and December plus further ad-hoc productions.

We are based in Cuckfield (where else?) in Mid-Sussex which lies between the town of Haywards Heath and the A23 .  Most of our shows are performed in the Queen’s Hall in the High Street, where we have a traditional (proscenium) stage and set-up our own raked seating, although we now branch out to other formats and locations on occasion!

We form part of the regular social scene in the village and the quality of our events is spreading by word of mouth (and the internet) and audiences are growing (although we’re always keen for more people to discover how good we are!).  With our reputation rising we work hard to put on shows of quality, but still manage to have a good time while we do it!

CDS started in its current form some 20 years ago and as most founding members stepped down from active roles newer and some younger members have brought renewed a renewed vigour with our activities and membership currently expanding!

We try hard to avoid becoming a society that is run by and always casts the same faces!  We work at making new members welcome  and are always looking to give new members the opportunity to act or become involved in other ways with our performances and the society’s work in general.

There are lots of opportunities to get involved in acting, backstage work, directing or producing, front of house management or other organisational work (such as club administration) or if you just want to support us generally and come to some of our social activities then please get in touch.

You don’t even have to live in Cuckfield!

A registered charity, (reg 1051485) our aims are “to involve, educate and entertain the local community, by bringing them quality performances of drama and other performing arts”.

In recent years we have expanded our community involvement, Bridge2raising over £4000 for the refurbishment of the village’s historic Holy Trinity Church,  £1800 in a joint Murder Mystery with the local Rotary club.  A CDS  candidates stands in the election for the unique Cuckfield institution  that is “The Independent State of Cuckfield” (as featured by Penelope Keith in her recent Channel 4 series on village life.)  “ISOC” promotes charitable work and community spirit within the village.

Whether performing or engaging with the wider community we like to have fun doing it as well!

For more details on opportunities backstage and in administration see Get Involved


Membership is open to all, there is no geographic requirement to live in the village and some of our keenest members live in the surrounding area.

You don’t need to be a Thespian, or even have any ambition to appear on stage, although we welcome new talent! People support CDS backstage, managing props, costumes, running lighting and sound, as well as essential help with Front of House  tasks such as ushers, publicity, box office and the bar. Organising a show or helping run the society are all just as vital as a lead or supporting role on the stage.

However we do not have a junior section of the society so full membership is only open to those of 16 and upwards. But we do offer a family membership class. (Friends and audience of any age are always welcome, subject to the suitability of the show in question!)

If you are under 16 we can suggest some excellent local groups to develop your skills and we have occasional roles for a younger person.

bridge 1 So if you would like to join us in any capacity please either email us or apply here.

Why not take a look at our past newsletters or sign up (for free!)

Be a Friend of CDS

CDS membership is very reasonably priced, but we term those who stay in contact for newsletters (and possible future involvement) as Friends. This term just implies that you receive our (usually monthly) newsletter, and possibly extra emails on subjects of particular interest to you. There’s no cost and you can unsubscribe yourself at any time.

Of course following us on Twitter or Facebook is another way to get updates.

Just Audience

If you are just interested in watching our performances then you can join the mailing list for Audience Only mailshots. These will only send you announcements about show dates and ticket sales. Just unselect any other interest options and we won’t bother you with the monthly newsletter if you only want audience news.

Child Protection Policy and Procedures

CDS recognizes its duty of care under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, the Child (Performances) Regulations 1968, the Protection of Children Act 1999 and the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

The society recognizes that abuse can take many forms, whether it is physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. We are committed to practice which protects children from harm. All members of CDS accept and recognize their responsibilities to develop awareness of the issues which cause children harm.

The CDS Child Protection Policy and Procedures document has been adopted by the CDS committee and is based on the NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) child protection template.

Data Protection and Privacy

The society’s use of computers for administration keeps our costs down and we use computers to administer email and membership lists. While we are exempt from data protection registration (by virtue of limited uses and/or as a not-for-profit body) we aim to comply with the letter and spirit of regulation and best practice in any personal data we hold.

To that end we have a formal Privacy and Data Protection Policy although a summary is that

  • We (or services we use) store and process records for membership, mailing lists, ticket sales and associated financial records.
  • We also sometimes record video, audio or photographic images for publicity, training or where appropriate, as an archive record of CDS activities.
  • We don’t share or or provide our newsletter or membership lists for use by any other organisation.
  • We don’t think that’s anything unusual or objectionable, but if you have any concerns please see the full policy, or contact the membership secretary.

Data Processing Services

Any data processing services used by the society will be subject to UK and EU data protection rules.  CDS currently uses data processing services provided by TicketSource and MailChimp.