Past Performances

Twelfth Night -- Summer 1994

Twelfth Night

This year's return to the Bowes Museum was to be permanent, as the ever-increasing scale of the production proved too much for the castle setting.  A simple set shifted the action to the 1920s, beginning a new Castle Players tradition of Shakespearian dialogue matched to the changing styles of the 20th century.

Summer 1994

Designed and directed by Simon Pell


Orsino, Duke of Illyria John Worsnop
Valentine, gentleman/attendant David Philbrick
Curio Matthew Davies
First Officer Tom Moorhouse
Second Officer Brian Wheeler
Viola, later disguised as Cesario Jill Cole
Sebastian, her twin brother Gerry Robertson
Captain of the wrecked ship Brian Wheeler
Antonio, a sea-captain John Stead
Olivia, a countess Mary Stastny
Maria, her waiting gentlewoman Nicola Worsnop
Sir Toby Belch, Olivia's uncle Trevor Clarke
Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Toby's protege Michael Harris
Malvolio, Olivia's steward Stephen Roberts
Fabian, of Olivia's household Andrew Moorhouse
Feste, Olivia's jester Robert Reed
A Priest Brian Wheeler
Servants June Mouncey
  Ronnie Parkin


Assistant director and best boy Iris Hillery
Stage management Mike Elder
Jane Vafeas Iris Hillery
Assisted by Kirsteen Cook
Lynn Morton Judith Nash
Anne Briggs  
Lighting and sound Harry Robinson
Neil McCarthy Allan Jones
Assisted by Bob Blythe
  Ian Cook
Wardrobe mistress Lesley Cutting
Costumes Lesley Cutting
  Kirsteen Cook
Properties Jane Vafeas
Assisted by Iris Hillery
Set construction and painting Simon Pell
Jane Vafeas Mary Stastny
Tom Moorhouse  
Poster design Melody Harris
Choreography Andy Moorhouse
Production manager Jane Vafeas







Shakespeare Country -- Summer 1993

Shakespeare Country

Shakespeare Country by Peter Whelan was performed as part of the BT Biennial, in which amateur groups from across the country premiere the same play on the same weekend.  The Castle Players received good luck notes from Kenneth Branagh and Derek Jacobi - although unfortunately, neither was able to make it to Barnard Castle!

The play is set in modern day Stratford-on-Avon, where the comedy unfolds over a period of twenty four, very hectic and very extraordinary hours, one Midsummer Eve and  beyond.  Together an ill-matched group of characters form an uneasy alliance and, in the dead of night, venture into the woods in search of a mythical oak tree. There follows a string of weird and spooky events in which the courses of everyone's lives are turned upside down as we discover that nothing is quite what it seems - and nobody quite what they seem to be??!!

 "A vibrant production of Peter Whelan's new play Shakespeare Country wove a web of magic over Barnard Castle this week."  Darlington and Stockton Times 23 October 1993


Winter 1993

Designed and directed by Simon Pell


Rafe Duke, an actor with the RSC Trevor Clarke
Zana Ferris, an actor with the RSC Mary Stastny
Billy Shake, a Country & Western singer Robert Reed
Bonny Lee, Billy's manager Claire Tressider
Koichi Bando, a Japanese businessman Tom Moorhouse
Dan Howard, an embittered playwright Adrian Mitchell
Mira Edge, an aspiring actress Lynn Morton
Gunter Kaufman, a Shakespeare expert Stephen Roberts
Dame Aurelia Ward, an academic Ronnie Parkin
Webbo, a new age traveller Jill Cole
Sgt 405 John Stead
Soldiers Michael Harris
Andy Moorhouse Michelle Franklin
Amanda Redfearn Nic Worsnop
A Director Iris Hillery
Barman John Mulley


Stage management

Kirsteen Cook

  Iris Hillery
Lighting and sound design Harry Robinson
Lighting and sound team

Jane Vafeas

  Michael Roberts
Wardrobe Lesley Cutting
  Kirsteen Cook
Properties Kirsteen Cook
  Jane Vafeas
Set construction Simon Pell
Stephen Roberts Mary Stastny
Tom Moorhouse Iris Hillery
Andy Moorhouse Michael Roberts
Jane Vafeas  
Poster design Michael and Melody Harris
Press and publicity Claire Tressider
Musician Stephen Roberts
Production manager Jane Vafeas
Production team Robert Reed
Nic Worsnop Iris Hillery
Jill Cole Stephen Roberts
Harry Robinson Jane Vafeas
Michael Harris  



Rafe Duke



The Merry Wives of Windsor -- Summer 1993

The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Players made their home in the castle ruins for the last time in the summer of 1993, as Falstaff pursued his mischief in a story of deceit, jealousy and eventual humiliation for the drunken knight.

"The set, comprising three houses and the Garter Inn, sits comfortably among the ruined castle walls, while the costumes help create a realistic feel with grubby urchins mingling with the players." Darlington and Stockton Times 10 July 1993



Summer 1993

Designed and directed by Simon Pell


George Page, a respected citizen of Windsor Stan Walinets
Mistress Page, his wife Sue Humphrey
Anne Page, their daughter Georgina Kinghorn
Frank Ford, a wealthy citizen of Windsor David Blackie
Mistress Ford, his wife Lyn Morton
John, their servant Nic Worsnop
Robert, their servant Kate Stead
Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson Andrew Moorhouse
Doctor Caius,  a French physician and suitor for the hand of Anne Page Stephen Roberts
Mistress Quickly, Caius' housekeeper Judith Nash
John Rugby, Caius' servant Iris Hillery
The Host of the Garter Inn Robert Reed
The Hostess of the Garter Inn Alison Davies
Fenton, a young gentleman, suitor for the hand of Anne Page Angus Wheeler
Sir John Falstaff, a Knight of the Garter John Mulley
Pistol, a follower of Falstaff Trevor Clarke
Nym, a follower of Falstaff Simon Strefford
Bardolph, a follower of Falstaff John Stead
Robin, Falstaff's page Matthew Davies
Robert Shallow, a Justice of the Peace John Worsnop
Abraham Slender his nephew and suitor for the hand of Anne Page Mike Harris
Peter Simple, Slender's servant Jill Cole
The Crowd Val Makings
Bradley Makings Michelle Franklin
Liz Franklin Harry Worsnop
Rachael Morrow Katherine Hall
Alison Bowman Caroline Thorne
Melanie Hetherington Sarah Worsnop
Jo Morrow Sarah Pybus
Charlotte Whelan June Mouncey
Jodie Makings Daniel Lever
Children of Windsor Kimberly Aldrich
Katherine Beagle Bryony Bell
Jenny Brandham Lucy Charlesworth
Sonia Ellyson Claire Ewart
Alice White Alison Hammock
Jenny Jordan Luke Jordan
Holly McGhie Joanna Platt
Clemmie Stastny Katie Yeadon
Victoria Burgess  


Stage management team Kirsteen Cook
Anne Briggs Chris Coates
Mike Elder Mike Roberts
Lighting and sound team Harry Robinson
Bob Blyth Ian Cook
Wardrobe mistress Kirsteen Cook
Costume makers Sheila Brookes
Kirsteen Cook Lesley Cutting
Melody Harris Jo Morrow
Ronnie Parkin Bridget Westamacott
Make-up team Charlotte Whelan
Sarah Pybus Louise Chippendale
Properties and masks Jane Vafeas
Set construction team Ian Cook
Jane Vafeas Adrian Mitchell
Simon Occomore Mary Stastny
Andy Moorhouse Stephen Roberts
Tom Moorhouse Simon Pell
Rebecca Vafeas Lyn Morton
Angus Wheeler Robert Reed
Scenic artist Simon Pell
Design assistant Jane Vafeas

Fenton and Anne Page

Falstaff and Pistol

The  Garter Inn

A Mediaeval Christmas Entertainment -- Winter 1993

A Mediaeval Christmas Entertainment

A Mediaeval Christmas Entertainment was a rumbustious evening of drama and music giving a feel of popular street theatre of the mediaeval period. Three traditional plays were performed, interspersed with carols, chants, dancing and puppet shows.


"Not distracted by the sheer diversity of the entertainment on offer, the audience remained compelled throughout - a tribute both to the innovative direction of Simon Pell and the exuberant talent of the cast."
Darlington & Stockton Times
30 January 1993



Winter 1993

Directed by Simon Pell


Noel Nouvelet a 14th century Carol sung by the company
12th century line dance probably introduced by the Crusaders
A Pilgrim's Chant

sung by John Worsnop

'The Wandering Scholar from Paradise'

a German play by Hans Sachs

A domestic farce set on a prosperous farm

A Carole Carol were originally sung to a Carole, or Circle Dance.  We present a Breton folk tune with words from English mediaeval sources
'The Pie and the Tart'

anon (French)

A domestic farce set in a baker's shop

'Bring us Good Ale' a 14th century lyric sung by Liz Franklin to the tune Spielmann's Lied
A Puppet Play - King John and the Abbot of Canterbury Puppet plays were very popular and were often used as a mouthpiece for social and political comment which people would not otherwise dare to mention
'Quand de Voy' a 16th century Trouvere ballad sung by Adrian Mitchell
'The Blessed Apple Tree'

anon (Dutch)

A moral fable set on a peasant farm

Rufty Tufty our final dance appeared in a 1651 collection, but probably predates that time by two centuries.  We accompany the dance by pipe and tabor
The Sans Day Carol an ancient carol from St Day, Cornwall, sung by the company and audience


The Wandering Scholar from Paradise

Hans Adrian Mitchell
Anna Lynn Morton
A Wandering Scholar John Worsnop

The Pie and the Tart

First Rascal Adrian Mitchell
Second Rascal Angus Wheeler
A Baker David Blackie
The Baker's Wife Liz Franklin

 The Blessed Apple Tree 

Staunch Goodfellow Stephen Roberts
Staunch Faith Nic Worsnop
Our Lord God Jane Vafeas
Insatiability Mike Harris
Riotous Living Tom Moorhouse
Loose Wanton Alison Davies
Death Michelle Franklin
The Devil Jill Cole
The Apple Tree Georgina Kinghorn


Songs and dances The Company with Judith Nash and Val Makings

Val Jones

  Stephen Roberts
Stage manager Kirsteen Cook
Lighting Ian Cook
  Michael Roberts
Wardrobe Kirsteen Cook
Set Students from the Btech Theatre Crafts course at Cleveland College of Art and Design (with Simon Pell)
Puppets Jane Vafeas
Props Ian Cook
  Simon Pell
Choreography Gillian Sewell
  Stephen Roberts
Production manager Ian Cook
Musical director Stephen Roberts







A performer meets with a sticky end

The Devil

Anna and the Wandering Scholar

The Importance of Being Iago -- Winter 1992

The Importance of Being Iago

The Castle Players performed Glenn Sewell's half hour skit on Shakespeare's Othello at a garden party to help raise money for Save the Children.


"Stephen Roberts ... with his black hair was a fetching Desdemona"

Autumn 1992

Directed by Adrian Mitchell


Jane Vafeas Adrian Mitchell
Angus Wheeler Lynn Morton
Sarah Roberts Kirsteen Cook
Sarah Eastwood Stephen Roberts


Stage manager Ian Cook