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The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.

December 28, 29 [+ mat.], 30 [+ mat.], 31 [+ mat.] 1995 – January 01 [+mat.] 1996.

The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner

by David Wood

“Pantomime set in a country garden”
– Shoreham Herald –


Directed by
Ray Hopper


Derek Fraser – Glow Worm

Beth Bryant – Ladybird

Jane Porter – Ant

John Garland – Slug

Charles Porter – Red Admiral

Katalin Szeless – Greenfly

Joanna Chalk – Maggot

Rebecca Faggetter – Bumble Bee

Joan Braddock – The Great Mushroom

Joan Bearman – Spider

Ralph Dawes – The Big Ones [Voices off]

Betty Dawes – The Big Ones [Voices off]


Production Crew

Musical Director – Nick Ryder

Guitar – Bob Ryder

Stage Manager – Dave Comber

Assistant Stage Manager – Dave Collis

Lighting & Sound – Andy Chalk

Lighting & Sound – Martin Bryant [instructed by Patrick Roberts]

Properties – Margaret Davy

Properties – Sue Whittaker

Stage Management Team – Brian Box

Stage Management Team – David Comber

Stage Management Team – Dave Collis

Stage Management Team – Michael Davy

Set Construction & Painting – Ralph Dawes

Set Construction & Painting – Mark Flower

Set Construction & Painting – Sheila Neesham

Set Construction & Painting – Frances Thorne

Costumes & Character Design – Judith Berrill

Costumes & Character Design – Margaret Faggetter

Publicity – Judith Williamson

Theatre & Publicity Photographs – George Laye

Front of House Manager – Frank Child

Box Office – Anna Barden


Programme Note #1: The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner

RH wrote: “I first met the author, David Wood, at the end of the fifties, when we were both members of the West Sussex Youth Theatre. His talents as an actor / musician / performer were obvious then, and it was no surprise to see his rise to success at Oxford in the Burton / Taylor production of Dr Faustus continuing with his leading rĂ´le in Lindsay Anderson’s film If. He was also a nominee for the Plays and Players Newcomers Award.
As an aside to this, we appeared together at the Barn Theatre, in 1961 – I think, in a revue which I produced and I seem to remember that I never paid him his 2/6d train fare expenses. Perhaps this production might ease that debt, although I have kept a spare half-crown by – just in case!

However, I was not aware of his writing talents until much later, when taking my delighted daughters to see most of his Christmas plays for children, which enjoyed great popularity in the seventies.

It was of course my eldest daughter Jo [out very own Maggot!], who persuaded me to direct for the Wick again after many years absence. And what fun it’s been! How delightful to work on a play that appeals to those of us who think Winnie the Pooh and The Railway Children are the height of English literature.

I do hope we are able to convey to you our delight in the charm, innocence and humour of this ideal Christmas treat for our children, and … their grandparents!”


Programme Note #2: The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner

Ray and David Wood corresponded ahead of this production and David sent this message: December 1995

“I was delighted to hear that the Wick Theatre Company had decided to present Plotters. Of my 40 or so musical plays for children, Plotters has a special relevance. It was my first ‘original’ play as opposed to an adaptation from a well-known children’s book, and as such taught me a lot about storytelling as well as the craft of playwriting!
The play was commissioned by The Swan Theatre, Worcester. Alison Steadman, who had only recently left drama school, played Greenfly, and the play was directed by Mick Hughes, who later became [as he still is ] one of the country’s top theatre lighting designers. The premiere in 1970 was followed by a London production at the Shaw Theatre in 1971. Jonathan Lynn, later to write Yes, Minister for television directed splendidly and Julia McKenzie played Ladybird. Intriguingly, ‘Whispering’ Paul McDowell, the original singer with the Temperance seven, played the Great Mushroom!

I’m happy to say that the play has been in the amateur and professional repertoire ever since. It’s ‘green’ theme helped it take off in Germany in the late eighties. And a recent professional production at Leeds Playhouse was hailed as a ‘splendidly topical new play’ by a young reporter on the local paper! Needless to say I was delighted!
Delighted, too, that Ray Hopper, with whom I shared many happy times on youth drama courses in Sussex, is directing this production. I wish him and his Company and audiences all the very best – ‘may your garden grow’ ”