Comedies of Class

In October 2019 we presented a double bill of comedies by  two highly renowned playwrights, both of which dealt with the battle between the sexes in two different social environments!

Fumed Oak by Noel Coward

The Bear by Anton Chekhov


NEW: read the NODA Review of Comedies of Class here

More photos from the plays will be added in the next few days

Please tell us what you thought!

  • NB: There was no Saturday show this year due to a busy Cuckfield calendar with the both the Cuckfield Fireworks and London to Brighton Veteran Car run that weekend.
  • So the show ran from Tuesday 29th October to Friday Nov 1st
  • For a brief overview of each play see below
  • Or read the flyer (PDF version)

Fumed Oak

Best known for his sparkling comedies of high society (such as Blithe Spirit) Noel Coward was a staple writer and actor in English theatres and film from stage in 1920s until the 1960s (when he played crime boss Mr Bridger in “The Italian Job” with Michael Caine)

Fumed Oak is one of a number of short plays he wrote to revive that form but this is set nearer to his own origins in lower middle-class suburban London where clerk Henry lives with his wife Doris, whiny teenage daughter Elsie and Dorris’s mother. What will happen when the worm turns?

Casting for Fumed Oak

          Directed by Izi & Robin Gaff

  • Doris Gow Louise Paton – most recently seen in Stepping Out
  • Elsie Gow Isabelle King – her debut appearance with CDS
  • Mrs Rocket Lorraine Jordan – most recently seen in Dirty Business
  • Henry Gow — Vincent Whittaker – most recently seen in Christmas Cabaret 2017

The Bear

While this play concerns a young widow and a man chasing a debt there’s no sign of tragedy and long dramatic pauses in this “farce-vaudevilles” by master of realism Anton Chekhov,  who also refered to it as A Joke in One Act.

The brutish Smirnov trying to get his money from a widow who does not have it.  But Popova is still coming to terms with her husband’s passing and some secrets from his past… Refusing interventions from her long standing servant Looka, she has to face down “the Bear” who is more than knocking at her door …

This fast moving comedy is about the oldest topic in the world with plenty of humour in the interplay between the characters.


Casting for The Bear

          Directed by Hazelle Woodhurst

  • Popova — Georgia Rusthon-Read – her debut appearance with CDS
  • Looka — Doug Webb – making a welcome return after last appearing at CDS in Who’s Life Is It Anyway?
  • Smirnov — Simon Perkins – most recently seen in The Browning Version
Rear of flyer