Past Performances

As You Like It -- Summer 2012

tempest poster 2Directed by Simon Pell & Co-Directed by Mary Stastny

Summer 2012

The summer 2012 production of Shakespeare's popular comedy, As You Like It, was set in the 12th century. The Castle Players were invited to take this production to Stratford upon Avon to perform on the RSC's "Dell" open air stage as part of the Open Stages project. 

The evil Duchess Fredericka has usurped her elder sister, Duchess Senior, stolen the ducal crown and banished her to the Forest of Arden where she has been joined by rag-tag band of assorted followers. Duchess Senior's daughter, Rosalind, has been permitted to stay at court because she is the closest friend of Fredericka's only child, Celia. Orlando has fallen in love at first sight with Rosalind but is forced to flee his home after being persecuted by his older brother, Oliver. The evil Fredericka becomes angry and banishes Rosalind form court. So she and Celia decide to flee to the forest together. Unsurprisingly, everyone ends up in the forest! It is a truly comic tale of love, mistaken identity, political intrigue and rustic manners.

As last year, a live Elizabethan soundtrack was provided by world-famous lutist Jacob Heringman.


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Duchess Senior
a banished duchess

Sarah Fells


Simon Pell & Mary Stastny

A noblewoman

Josie Pollard

Designer Simon Pell & Christine Naseby

A melancholy nobleman

Andy Moorhouse

Music composed by Jacob Herringman 

Duchess Fredericka
the sister and usurper

Caroline Thornton

Songs taught by  Penny Randall-Davis 

Le Beau
a courtier

Trudi Dixon

Script adaptation  Mary Stastny 

a wrestler

Martin Foran

Stage manager 

Lez Woodhouse 

eldest son of Sir Roland de Boys

Angus Wheeler

Props  Sally Roberts, Marzia Aloisio, Claudia Jevons 

middle son of Sir Roland de Boys

Jake Williams

Technical design & installation  Bob Blyth & Harry Robinson


youngest son of Sir Roland de Boys

Matthew Jones

Stage management & technical team  Mike Elder, Marianne Dixon, Sam Fells, Vaughan Freeman, Ian Forster, Sally Roberts, Lynn Smith, Glen Wilson, Mark Banner 

a servant of Oliver

Keith Turner

Transport & logistics management   Peter Atkinson

a servant of Oliver

John Chadwick

Set construction & painting team 

Simon Pell, Graham Fewell, Matthew Heron, Andrew Heron, Lez Woodhouse, Sue Foulston, Harry French, Mary Stastny, Chiara Marty, Martin Foran) 

The Clown, alias Touchstone
in love with Audrey

Andrew Stainthorpe

Wardrobe  Lesley Cutting (with Christine Naseby, Marzia Aloisio, Charlotte Perkins, Janet Fowler, Chiara Marty, Samantha Tucker, Caroline Stanger, Sue Foulston) 

Sir Oliver Martext
a country vicar

Harry French

Publicity  Andrew Harrison


an old shepherd

Graham Fewell

Video & DVD production  Adrian Ball 

Sylvius, a young shepherd,

in love with Phoebe

Peter Cockerill

T-Shirts  Sarah Fells (With Susan Wheeler and Susan Littlefair Embroidery) 

William, a country youth
also in love with Audrey

Jake Williams

Overnight security  Winston 

Rosalind, daughter of Duchess Senior, later disguised as Ganymede

Susie Kitson

Car parking  Teesdale Lions 

Celia, daughter of Fredericka,

later disguised as Aliena

Laura Pennell

First aid  St John's Ambulance 


a shepherdess

Charlotte Perkins

Photography  Mark Fuller & David Williams 


a country wench

Katie Christensen



goddess of marriage

Chris Best

1st Forester

Christopher Evans

2nd Forester Sue Kelly
3rd Forester Nic Worsnop
1st Courtier John Chadwick
2nd Courtier Michael Taphouse
1st Page Sam Kitson
2nd Page Sue Kelly


Sue Foulston, Chiara Marty, Marzia Aloisio, Caroline Stanger, Ben Collins, Paula Collins, Janet Fowler, Chris Stead, Angela Chadwick-Green, Jane Mardon, Gill Ball, Samantha Tucker, Chris Tyler, William Freeman


Jacob Heringman (Lute), Alastair Fells (Guitar)

The Reduced Importance of Being Earnest -- Winter 2010

notextDirected by Simon Pell

Winter 2010

Whenever Jack Worthing gets bored of the country he secretly escapes back to town under the name of Ernest. This deceit leads to hilarious consequences in Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of late Victorian social manners, snobbery, courtship, cucumber sandwiches - and HANDBAGS??!!

A must see show for all the family! This production toured village halls and venues in Teesdale and beyond from December 2010.


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Cast Crew
John Worthing Matthew Jones   Abridged, scripted & directed by Jill Cole
Algernon Moncrieff Andrew Stainthorpe   Stage manager & sound Sally Roberts
Rev. Canon Doctor Chasuble Harry French   Lighting  Andrew Harrison 
Merriman Sue Foulston   Wardrobe  Lesley Cutting 
Lady Bracknell Trudi Dixon   Music John Lowles
Miss Prism Lynn Smith    
Lane Chris Best  
Gwendolen Fairfax Susie Kitson    
Cecily Cardew Laura Pennell  

Measure for Measure -- Summer 2008

2008M4MPosterDirected by Simon Pell

Summer 2008

The second Castle Players production of Measure for Measure saw a large cast of pimps and prostitutes incarcerated in an on-stage prison. 

Former regular Andrew Stainthorpe returned from London for his second cameo performance, this time playing the drunken Barnardine after his success as 'King of the Sandwich Board' in 'Two Gents'.

"The magnificent set, splendid costumes and hugely credible performances by the cast created an atmosphere of utter enjoyment for an audience of all ages. Bravo!"

Ursula Aggio, audience member

Reviews and Links

  • Coming soon!


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Cast Crew
Vincentio Andy Moorhouse   Designed and directed by Simon Pell
Escalus David Philbrick   Stage manager Jane Vafeas
Angelo Gordon Duffy-McGhie   Crowd direction   Bryony Bell
Lucio Adrian Mitchell   Assistant rehearsal director  Jill Cole 
1st Gentleman Sophie Philbrick   Props  Bryony Bell & Jessica Cole 
2nd Gentleman Amy Bowes   Wardrobe  Lesley Cutting (with Christine Naseby) 
Mistress Overdone Sarah Fells   Technical design & installation  Bob Blyth & Harry Robinson 
Pompey Ian Kirkbride   Site manager  William Barker 
Claudio Matthew Jones   Stage management & technical team  Mike Elder, Christopher Evans, Kathy Kerr, William Barker, David Kelly, Ralph Duffy-McGhie 
Provost Chris Best   Transport & logistics manager  Peter Atkinson 
Juliet Laura Heaviside   Set construction & painting  Simon Pell, Peter Cockerill, Andy Moorhouse, Graham Fewell, Bryony Bell, Edmund Purdy, Chris Best, Carolyn Naseby, Jane Mardon, Lewis Chapman, Rachel Smith
Friar Thomas Andrew Harrison   T-Shirt  Bryony Bell (design) 
Friar Peter Angus Wheeler   DVD  Oliver Smith 
Isabella Jill Cole   Photohgraphs  Mark Fuller 
Francisca Rhonda Hart-Davis   Stewards  Teesdale Lions 
Justice Edmund Purdy   Overnight security  Winston 
Elbow Peter Cockerill                 
Froth Graham Fewell  
Messenger John Beadle  
Abhorson Trudi Dixon  
Barnadine Andrew Stainthorpe  
Mariana Naomi Bartholomew  
Kate Keepdown Alexandra Fewell  
Juliet's Maid Pheobe Shaw  
Ragozine Peter Martin  
Copperspur Sue Kelly  
Half-can Janet Fowler  
Threepile Margie Marshall  
Drop-heir Josie Pollard  
Caper Nic Worsnop  
Deepvow Ellie Grassick  
Rash Bryony Bell  
Young Dizzy Marianne Dixon  
Forthright Sophie Philbrick  
Shoetie Amy Bowers  
Starve-lackey Rhonda Hart-Davis  
No-name Alice Byrne  
Officers Angus Wheeler, Andrew Harrison, Peter Martin  
Monks & Nuns Sue Kelly, Janet Fowler, Margie Marshall, Josie Pollard, Nic Worsnop, Ellie Grassick, Bryony Bell  

The Battle of the Sexes -- 1997

The Battle of the Sexes

The Battle of the Sexes was a fast-paced romp based on Aristophanes' Greek play, The Poet and the Women.  It was performed outdoors at Scar Top in Barnard Castle and at a number of indoor venues around the dale.


"(The audience) had been invited to the preview of The Castle Players' latest venture, innocently described as a Greek play, a one-act farce.  All they knew before the start was that it was outrageous, loud, and very bawdy.  They didn't know it was funny, energetic, and hugely entertaining."   The Darlington and Stockton Times 1 February 1997
Spring 1997

Written and directed by Simon Pell


Euripides Trevor Clarke
Mnesilochus Rob Reed
Agathon Rowan May
Professor Andy Moorhouse
Women of Thesmophoria Trudi Dixon
Alison Davies Chris Best
Rachel Herring Ellen
Nic Worsnop Mary Stastny
Bryony Bell  




Performance at Scar Top


The Tempest -- Summer 2009

2009 - The Tempest posterDirected by Jill Cole

Summer 2009

For its 20th anniversary The Castle Players performced The Tempest.

All aboard RMS King of Naples – a 1950s cruise ship heading for the eye of the storm!

Shakespeare’s classic tale was given a whole new twist in the Castle Players’ spectacular summer production, directed by Jill Cole.

As the good ship capsizes, audience and cast alike were transported to a world of magic, mayhem and mystery… Prospero’s Island – a colourful Burlesque nightclub complete with live music, dancers, singers, a mischievous chorus line and a dubious clientele – not forgetting Caliban (a very dodgy Janitor) and Prospero, The Illusionist and Master of Ceremonies, who uses his Art to ensure that nothing is quite what it seems…


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Cast Crew
Prospero Gordon Duffy-McGhie   Director Jill Cole
Miranda Amanda Lawson   Assistant director Marianne Dixon
Ariel Naomi Bartholomew, Bryony Bell, Sue Byrne, Alice Byrne, Trudi Dixon, Marianne Dixon, Sarah Fells, Alex Fewell, Ellie Grassick, Nic Worsnop   Designer & set construction   Simon Pell
Caliban Simon Pell   Construction team 

Peter Cockerill, Andy Moorhouse, Graham Fewell, Chris Best, Jill Cole, Sue Foulston, Edmund Purdy, Harry Robinson, Jane Mardon, Sarah Fells, Catherine Ronald 

Andy Moorhouse   Stage management   Mike Elder
Ferdinand Oliver Smith   Site manager & logistics  Will Barker & Peter Atkinson 
Sebastian Caroline Thornton   Stage management team  David Kelly, Tom Greaves, Sam Fells, Kathy Kerr 
Antonia Chris Best   Technical management & installation Bob Blyth & Harry Robinson 
Gonzalo Keith Turner   Lighting operation  Chris Smith 
Adrian Matthew Jones   Sound operation  Adrian Mitchell 
Francisco Yasmine Merriott   Original music composition  Ray Johns 
Trinculo Peter Cockerill   Choreography  Jon Lee Stock 
Stephano Ian Kirkbride   Wardrobe  Lesley Cutting (with Catherine Ronald) 
Master Fred Traice   Props  Laura Heaviside, Carole le Duc, Sarah Hughes 
Boatswain Angus Wheeler   Banquet created by  Bryony Bell 
Sailors Graham Fewell, William Freeman, Gergory Jagger   The Experience Christine Naseby 
Crew Christopher Evans & Sue Foulston   Hair & make-up  Dawn Hardy 

John Beadle, Jan Fowler, Sue kelley, Jane Mardon, Josie Pollard

  Marketing  Fred Traice (with Val Wilson, Chris Bell, Andrew Harrison, David Kelly, Teresa Wilcox, Chris Naseby, Chris Best) 
Ship's Photographer Carolyn Naseby   Box office & front of house  Teresa Wilcox, Penelope Randall-Davis, Anne Briggs, Mary Stastny, Jane Cockerill, Val Wilson, Ian Wilson, Annalisa Ward, Megan Bradley, Emily Collings, Shona Dixon, Laura Guy, Chris Belle, Becky Guy, John Purkiss, Emma Guy, Briana Scally, Anneliese Baxter, Libby Harding, Sarah Kearton, Katie Murtagh, Jake Williams, Catherine Ronald, Fred Tracie, Colleen Purkiss, Ashleigh Kirby, Phoepe Shaw
Iris Graham Fewell   Programme  Fred Traice & Christine Naseby (programme), Mike Brough (design), mtprint (printing)
Ceres Angus Wheeler   Poster  Jill Cole & Mike Brough (design), David Williams (photograph) 
Juno Steven Bainbridge         
Singer Josie Pollard  
Alonso Dog Doo Dah Band Ray Johns, Mick Nicholson, Jenny Poole, Shaun Martin, Danny Allan, Tim Hillsdon