Gaslight Facebook

Is Jack Manningham slowly, deliberately, driving his wife, Bella, insane or is she following her mother’s descent into madness?

This classic thriller, set in Victorian London, was first produced in 1938 and later filmed twice, in Britain and the USA, Ingrid Bergman winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Bella Manningham in the later version.  The play gave rise to the term ‘gaslighting’.

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Jack                        Marcus K

Bella                      Stephanie Francis

Rough                   John Barnett

Nancy                   Ellie Skipper

Elizabeth              Anne Strickley

Gaslight Flyer FB
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Cinderella 2017 Cast Announced!

We are incredibly proud to announce the cast for the 2017 panto, Cinderella, which hits the Copthorne Village Hall Stage from 26th to 29th January 2017.

Director Nicki Barnett said, “I was overwhelmed with the standard at auditions…  I am so happy with our wonderful line up.”

Tickets will be available to book soon.  Email to be added to our mailing list or keep an eye on our Facebook page.

The Cast

Cinderella – Catherine Carpenter

Prince Charming – Will Lewis

Dandini – Nikki Chapman

Gert and Daisy (the ugly sisters) – Rob Carpenter and John Barnett

Buttons – Marcus Kirby

Bill and Ben – Andy Dale and Teresa Carlile

Petunia – Gemma Hodsdon

Baron Hardup – Mike Mcahon

Miss Mabbs – Ellie Skipper

Sir Jasper Grabbit – Jon Birch

Pantomine Horse – Jacquie Perry & Sian Taylor

It’s panto time – oh yes it is!

We are delighted to announce that next year’s panto will be Cinderella.  It will be performed in Copthorne Village Hall on 26-29 January 2017.

A read through and introduction to auditions will be held at the village hall on Sunday 4th September at 3pm – 5pm with auditions taking place at the Morgan Hall on Sunday 11th September at 3pm – 5pm.  We are looking for principles and chorus along with help behind the scenes with everything from costumes to scene painting.  If you are interested in being involved either on stage or off please contact the director, Nicki Barnett by email to register.

The auditions will be informal but anyone interested in a principal role will be required to read a short extract from the script and sing (where there are solos or duets).  The chorus will be asked to participate in some basic dance moves and some company singing.  Audition pieces will be available shortly.

We look forward to welcoming you for a fun couple of hours on 4th and to being part of our Pantomime.  Please feel free to forward to family, friends and anyone else you think might be interested in joining us.  We would love to welcome new members.

List of Principal Roles

Gert and Daisy – The Ugly Sisters

Daughters of Baron Hardup. Traditional dame parts to be played by very attractive men! Comedy songs and movement with excellent comedy timing


Can be played by a male or female. Baron Hardup’s right hand man and Cinderella’s best friend (but wishes it was more!).  Needs excellent comedy timing, must build a rapport with the audience. Some singing

Prince Charming

Can be played by male or female.  Traditional principal boy.  Every inch the prince. Singing and dancing required.


Can be played by male or female.  The Prince’s right hand man.  Dashing and suave or at least he thinks he is! A real ladies man. Singing and dancing required.

Petunia – The Miller’s Daughter (small speaking part)

Sweet girl and Dandini’s love interest.  Is kkeen on Buttons to begin with.  The archetypical girl next door.  Some singing and dancing.  Also part of the chorus.


Daughter of Baron Hardup.  Very sweet nature.  Should have a nice singing voice.  Typical panto princess.  Dancing and singing required.

Baron Hardup

Broke owner of Hardup Hall and father to Cinderella and the Ugly Sisters. Loveable uncle character/mad inventor.  Some singing.

Miss Mabbs (Fairy Godmother)

Owner of village store and Cinders Fairy Godmother.  Some singing required.

Sir Jasper Grabbit

Supermarket owner and villain of the piece.  Think melodrama/silent movies.  Some singing.

Bill & Ben (the Brokers Men)

Comedy duo (could be male or female) excellent comedy timing and consummate double act. Some singing.

Pantomime Horse

Two people of similar size required to make up panto horse.  Not on stage much – could potentially be chorus members.

‘Gas Light’ Auditions Monday 23rd May

Auditions for Patrick Hamilton’s ‘Gaslight’ Monday 23rd May 2016, 8pm at the Copthorne Village Hall

The classic psychological thriller Gaslight was written 1938 (but set much earlier as Victorian). There are three main parts, the husband Mr Manningham, his wife Bella and the mysterious Sergeant Rough. There are also two shorter but very satisfying parts of Nancy the young maid and Elizabeth the older housekeeper. In addition, there are two police men.

For more information email

The cast

Mr Manningham, about 45+, “He is tall, good-looking, about forty-five. He is heavily moustached and whiskered. He has a fine figure, and is perhaps a little too well-dressed. His manner is suave and authoritative, with a touch of mystery and bitterness.” Outwardly kind but authoritarian. Think Rob in the Archers…

Mrs Manningham , about 30, “She has been good-looking, almost a beauty — but now she has a haggard, wan, frightened air, with rings under her eyes, which tell of sleepless nights and worse.” Loves her husband but fears him or perhaps fears his disapprobation; her mother died in the madhouse and she dreads the same fate will befall her.

Rough, around 60 (could be younger), “He is greying, short, wiry, active, brusque, friendly overbearing. He completely dominates the scene from his entrance” Ex detective sergeant, very much bound up with his own agenda, an obsessive

Elizabeth, any age, the cook and housekeeper, “She is a stout, amiable, subservient woman of about fifty”. Likes Mrs Manningham but a bit in awe of her husband. Does not seek to get involved but cannot avoid it.

Nancy, about 19. “She is a self-conscious, pretty, cheeky girl”. She is impudent to Mrs Manningham and has no time for her. Rather fancies Mr Manningham.

Policemen, non-speaking. These are called upon to tie Mr Manningham up.

Outline schedule

Wednesday 23rd May Auditions

Monday 25th July Blocking rehearsal

Wednesday 27th July Blocking rehearsal

August JT working with individuals/pairs at mutually agreeable times, polishing lines and getting to know the characters

September Monday/Wednesday rehearsals, often not with all the cast

October Monday/Wednesday rehearsals, including three Sundays (including technical)

Sunday 23rd October Technical

Monday 24th October Dress rehearsal

Wednesday 26th October Run through (Morgan)

Thursday to Saturday Performances 27-29 October

We are always looking for people who are interested in working backstage, set/prop building, costuming, front-of-house volunteers or making the tea for rehearsal breaks.

Click here to find out more about becoming a member



Copthorne Players Open Evening 18th May 2016

We are excited to announce that

Copthorne Players will be having an

Open Evening

on Wednesday 18th May, 8pm at the Copthorne Village Hall

Come along to find out more about the following productions from their directors and to register your interest in taking part:

There will be some optional dancing and singing to introduce one of the numbers Jacquie will be putting together for the upcoming Cabaret show.  Please wear suitable clothing and shoes if you would like to take part in the dancing.

For more information email Nicki or call on the number shown below.


October production ‘Gas Light’ auditions announced

Jeremy Tafler will be directing this mystery/thriller by Patrick Hamilton at the Copthorne Village Hall 27th-29th October 2o17.

Auditions will be held at the Copthorne Village Hall on May 23rd, with a Open/Launch Evening on May 18th.

For more information visit the Gas Light page

Copthorne Players present ‘Aladdin’

Copthorne Players will bring the pantomime, Aladdin, to the Copthorne Village Hall from the 28th to the 31st January 2016.

Tickets are available via the link at the bottom of the post


Thursday 28th January 2016 at 7.30pm

Friday 29th January 2016 at 7.30pm

Saturday 30th January 2016 at 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Sunday 31st January 2016 at 2.30pm

Keep up to date with the production on our Facebook page or on Twitter @CopthornePlayer

Aladdin poster A4 & A5

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Billy Liar Tickets Selling Fast – Book now!

Keith Waterhouse’s Billy Liar opens on Thursday 29th October at the Copthorne Village Hall for three nights, and then (in a first for The Players) moves to The Studio at The Capitol, Horsham for two performances on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th November.

Directed by Chris Dale and performed by a vibrant, talented cast it is a Copthorne Players production not to be missed.

Copthorne Village Hall:  Thursday 29th October: SOLD OUT to book for Friday 30th and Saturday 31st CLICK HERE

The Capitol Studio, Horsham:  Friday 6th November and Saturday 5th November (not many tickets remaining!):  CLICK HERE

For cast info CLICK HERE

Rehearsals for ‘Billy Liar’

We recently snuck into the ‘Billy Liar’ rehearsals at The Copthorne Village Hall.  It looks like it’s going to be a brilliant production.

Tickets available here

Billy Liar – Booking Details

BILLY POSTER landscape

The Copthorne Players will be performing the stage adaption of Keith Waterhouse’s ‘Billy Liar’ at the Copthorne Village Hall on the 29th, 30th and 31st October and at the Capitol Theatre, Horsham on 6 & 7 November.

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      or phone box office on 01342 713139


or phone box office on 01403 750220

The Cast


Nicola Bergot

Originally from Solihull, Nicola was a member of the local theatre arts group and played a number of roles including, Nancy in ‘Oliver’, Eva in Peter Whelan’s ‘Accrington Pals’, the challenging part of Miranda in John Fowles’ play ‘The Collector’; as well as Principal Girl in various Christmas Pantos. Nicola moved to Sussex in 1991 and joined the Henfield Players before joining the Copthorne Players in ‘93.  She has performed many leading roles with us including Julie in Carousel, Bianca / Lois in Kiss me Kate, Sally in ‘Me and My Girl’ and Sylvia in Stepping Out. Nicola hadn’t done a show for over 6 years and was persuaded out of ‘retirement’ for ‘Showstoppers’ performed at Chequer Mead earlier this year. The performing bug was back and she decided to take on the role of Billy’s Mother, Alice in Billy Liar.


Connor Windmill

Connor, who takes on the role of Billy, first performed with the Copthorne Players last year in ‘An Inspector Calls’. Since then he has also appeared in various murder mysteries with the group. Connor has studied theatre throughout school and college but is currently performing as a hobby and to gain experience.

anne mug shotAnne Strickley

Billy Liar is the 4th production directed by Christine Dale Anne has appeared in, including Allo Allo, playing Edith, Dads Army playing Mrs Fox and the formidable Mrs Sybil Burling in An Inspector Calls,  Anne is looking forward to playing Florence Bothroyd a feisty, no nonsense character in this latest Players production.


Megan Birch

Megan was a tiny thing of seven years old when she joined the Copthorne Players for a pantomime in which her father played the Panto Dame. Thankfully, this didn’t put her off performing, and she spent her adolescence happily flitting between shows: she was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Fizzy in Bugsy Malone, and has also appeared in plays such as Ayckbourn’s Confusions and Harris’s Stepping Out. Now in her twenties, and having spent four years betraying amateur dramatics for the sake of university, she’s hoping acting is somewhat like riding a bicycle, although seeing as she can’t do that either, she should probably concentrate on breaking a leg!


John Bennett

Despite this being John’s first production with the players he is raring to show what he can do. While his command for accents is not quite as good as some, he looks to more than make up for it in enthusiasm and if he’s lucky, work with the Players again in future.


Emma Atfield

Emma is extremely excited to be joining the players again, this time for a play! Emma has a massive passion for performing arts and is currently studying at college to gain a 90 degree diploma in musical theatre. She started performing at a young age and has found performing with the Copthorne Players a fantastic experience. Emma is really enjoying rehearsing for this show and can’t wait to perform with the players again!


Jon Birch

Jon is enjoying his 15th year with the Players, having started with being a Dame in a pantomime; then doing a lot of singing and now in his second play with no singing involved but lots of regional accents! He says “It’s been great rehearsing with lots of talented young actors (including his daughter!) and we’re all looking forward to the performances”.

DSC_9373Susannah Creasey

Susannah is very excited to be joining such a wonderful cast and crew for her first performance with Copthorne Players! She has followed her love of drama and theatre throughout her school years and hopes to soon follow it into further education. This has been a wonderful new experience for Susannah rehearsing for Billy Liar, and she cannot wait to start performances and feel the buzz of the audience!