Davenham Players are an amateur drama group based at Davenham Theatre, owned by the group. We aim to present at least three major drama productions every season. Besides our own company, our theatre also hosts regular monthly Jazz evenings, visiting drama productions by professional and amateur groups, youth productions and other general arts events.
Click HERE to see a page on the history of the Davenham Players.
You can see a list of our productions from the very first one in 1941 to the current date HERE.
Davenham Players Drama
The Davenham Players have a long history, having started off as Davenham Church Players in 1941 and produced amateur drama on stage continuously since then. We aim to stage three main productions at our theatre each season. Our Autumn 2017 production was Motherhood, a drama written by one of our members, Felicity Goodman, and directed by Felicity’s mother-in-law Denise Barry. Although Felicity was responsible for collating the final version of the script, the concept was developed with other members in a series of workshops over several weeks. The plot centred around relationships between mothers and daughters and the impact of memory loss on their lives.
In Spring 2018, we presented Self-Catering by Andrew Cullen, a black comedy exploring the stresses between a set of unrelated aircraft passengers marooned on a deserted island after an emergency landing. The clue as to how they found food is in the play’s title!
We like to have one production each year that allows people with less performing experience to participate on stage and this year we put on Tonight on the Wireless: Mystery. This consisted of a selection of radio sketches and in-house writings with an interlinking theme. Being in a ‘radio’ setting, memorizing scripts was unnecessary and the settings were created by sound effects.
The Summer 2018 production Dirty Dusting by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood was a complete change of mood, being a somewhat raucous comedy well-known owing to touring professional productions. It closed our 2017-18 season with large appreciative audiences.
Autumn 2018 finds us deep in rehearsal for our October play, a Victorian drama The Day After the Fair by Frank Harvey and directed by Paulette Anderson.
Members Evenings and Socials
For people interested in drama, we hold regular monthly Play Reading socials usually on the first Thursday of the month. A play is chosen, possibly one we are thinking of staging, and everyone gets a chance to read. A hot cuppa and biscuit are provided and there is the chance for a natter. Check out our Events Calendar for the date of the next Social. We welcome newcomers who are prepared to join in our activities. You don’t have to be an aspiring actor, just have an interest in helping put on a show. So, come along and see us at a Play Reading or at a show.
A series of Stage Masterclasses have been held at Davenham over the last 12 months or so. The classes, led by professionally-trained actors Tom and Flic Barry, are held in the theatre, each covering one aspect of acting and presenting a show. A charge is made for attendance, reduced for Club members. Check out our diary, Facebook or Twitter for dates of future classes and other club events.
A new venture this summer was a series of weekly Storytelling workshops run by Flic Goodman. A professional storyteller herself, Flic offered to help select and develop members’ own stories so that each was able to present the finished article at a final show to the public. Both the participants and audiences found this a rewarding venture, with some very heartfelt tales emerging.
The organizers of jazz@davenham are separate from the Davenham Players and have been renting Davenham Theatre for their gigs for about three years. Both organizations work closely together to ensure the drama and jazz events fit well in the same space. jazz@davenham aim to choose a wide variety of styles of bands but also bring back ones that have gone down well with Cheshire audiences.
What’s been Happening at Davenham recently?
To illustrate their variety and number, here is a chronological list of events that have happened over the last couple of years:
2017 January – jazz@davenham, Folk Evening
2017 February – Self-Catering by Andrew Cullen, jazz@davenham
2017 March – ‘Radio’ Play Tonight on the Wireless, jazz@davenham, stand-up comedy night with Brennan Reece, two-day Woolyback film shoot at theatre
2017 April – Visiting company K.C. Finn’s Dark Moments, jazz@davenham, Play Reading Social
2017 May – Play Reading Social, stand-up comedy night with Brennan Reece, jazz@davenham. Our secretary Paulette Anderson directed six people, each reading a very different story in three nights of storytelling – one written by member Maggie Innes. One of these items was a one act play called “Lost”. Paulette later took this and its two cast members to the Chelford One-Act Play Festival and they not only won Best Play but also took the trophy for Best Adult Performance.
2017 June – Seven LitFest events (Northwich Literary Festival) held at the theatre, jazz@davenham, Play Reading Social
2017 July – Visiting company K.C. Finn’s Murder Nights, Play Reading Social
2017 August – Two-week theatre rental for children’s drama holiday workshop, Quiz night, Rehearsals and Preview of Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre event Young and Fresh by Urban Trendz
2017 September – jazz@davenham with Mike Walker, Play Reading Social, Folk Evening, Drama Masterclass
2017 October – Davenham Players’ ‘home-grown’ production Motherhood, jazz@davenham with Tom Millar Quartet, Play Reading Social
2017 November – jazz@davenham with Philip Clouts and Phil Meadows, Play Reading Social, Drama Masterclass
2017 December – jazz@davenham with Amy Roberts and Richard Exall quintet, Play Reading Social, Christmas Readings & Carol singing, Drama Masterclass
2018 January – jazz@davenham with Dave Hassell and Andy Scott, Play Reading Social, Drama Masterclass
2018 February – jazz@davenham with Andrea Vicari, Play Reading Social
2018 March – jazz@davenham with The Weave, Play Reading Social, Tonight on the Wireless: Mystery (including some original writing by members), Davenham Primary School staged their end-of-year show in our theatre, Folk evening, Poetry evening, Drama Masterclass
2018 April – jazz@davenham with Deep Cabaret, Play Reading Social, Funeral tea held at theatre, Drama Masterclass
2018 May – jazz@davenham with Tiptoe Quartet, Play Reading Social, Dirty Dusting by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, Drama Masterclass
2018 June – jazz@davenham with the Ushaw Ensemble, Play Reading Social, Drama Masterclass, Seven Northwich LitFest events, Storytelling workshops
2018 July – Storytelling workshops, Nook and Cranny Storytelling event for children, Rehearsals and Preview of Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre event Mission:her by Urban Trendz
2018 August – Week-long holiday drama workshop for children. Davenham Players visited a local residential home to perform for them several of our pieces, Storytelling workshops
2018 September – jazz@davenham, Drama Masterclass, Play Reading Social, Storytelling workshops and performance