wicktheatre > Archive > Performances > The Liver Birds

The Liver Birds

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre

September 14, 15, 16, 17 [+Mat] 1988

The Liver Birds

by Carla Lane  &  John Chapman

Directed by
Gary Brighton

1988 BHAC Full Length Drama Competition

– Special Commendation – Trudy Nash for Beryl Hennessey
– Specia Verbal Commendation – VicGough for the Vicar

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“Another hit for Wick”
– Shoreham Herald –


Karen Butcher – Sandra Hutchinson

Philip O’Brien – Paul

Trudy Nash – Beryl Hennessey

George Illman – Desmond Duval

Joan Bearman – Mrs. Hennessey

Judith Atkinson – Mrs. Hutchinson

Vic Gough – The Vicar

Peter Joyce – Robert

David Le Page – Mr. Hutchinson


Production Crew

Stage ManagerDave Collis

AssistantJill Redman

AssistantSue Whittaker

Lighting & SoundBarrie Bowen

Lighting & SoundFrances Thorne

Lighting & SoundJamie Boath

Set Design & ConstructionRalph Dawes

Set Design & ConstructionDave Collis

Set Design & ConstructionDave Comber

Set Design & ConstructionMark Flower

Set Design & ConstructionBrian Box

Set Design & ConstructionMike Davy

Scenery & DecorMargaret Davy

Scenery & DecorSue Whittaker

Scenery & DecorFrances Thorne

Scenery & DecorMargaret Faggetter

PropsSue Whittaker

PropsMargaret Davy

ContinuityPhilippa Downs

Front of House ManagerWin Heselden

Foyer FlowersRosemary Biggs

Box OfficeJill Redman


Programme Note #1: The Liver Birds

GB wrote: “For the start of our 40th Season, The Liver Birds is an excellent choice. An amusing play bordering on farce, well known to T.V. viewers as a popular series.

John Chapman has sent his best wishes together with the original 1974 Play Poster and Mollie Sugden has kindly loaned us photographs from the Blackpool production along with her good wishes.

This is my first time as Director for Wick Theatre company and I should like to thank all the cast for their hard work and all others who have assisted in making this production possible.

May you all have a ‘fun’ evening and please keep supporting the ‘BARN’ Productions.
Thank you”

Programme Note #2: The Liver Birds

” WICK THEATRE COMPANY has reached its 40th year and now has a membership of over 100. The expertise developed over the years and the many successes are matters of which to be justly proud and as we celebrate our 40th Season it seems appropriate to indulge in a nostalgic recall of our early days.

Wick Beginning

In 1948 a group of young people attended a lecture on the theatre given at Fishersgate by Mrs. Elizabeth Penney. The interest created was so great that a company was formed called the Unity Players with ‘Molly’ Penney as President. After 18 months of training only one dramatic work was performed before the company changed its name to the Young Wick Players. The Young Wick met weekly for many years at the home of its foundress in Church Lane, Southwick and their activities alternated between their two homes – the ‘Penneys’ and the Community Centre. The Barn Theatre was opened in 1951 and the group performed at the opening and have presented their plays there ever since. Of the original members only Ralph and Betty Dawes are still active in the company which again changed its name to the Wick Theatre Company during the 1962/3 season, when it was becoming evident the description ‘young’ was hardly appropriate when the age range stretched from 13 – 50.

Early days – Wick technical

In the fifties sets were made and stored in Penney’s yard. Coal dust was a problem but we got by. Sunday mornings painting the set in the yard were great occasions, followed by tea and wads in the local cafe. In 1960 John Perrett was making ‘flats’ in his own garage. Captain Carvallo had a magnificent set and this led to a whole series of settings of the highest quality. By 1967 Vincent Joyce was designing and constructing sets for such plays as The Crucible and The Poker Session. His most memorable set was for The Night of the Iguana, but by this time we had acquired the workshop attached to the Community Centre which we share with Southwick Opera.

Not only did our expertise in settings improve but also the quality of the wardrobe and properties, particularly for costume plays. This was due in no small part to Bess Blagden who directed such memorable plays as The Queen and the Welshman and The Queen and the Rebels and made properties of authentic style to add to the effect.

Music and the Widening Range

As we became more experienced in drama so we felt competent to spread our wings and try the wider range of musical plays. Having presented revues under Ian Elliott’s direction in 1962 and 1963 we finally launched ourselves into the musical field in 1970 with George Porter’s production of Oh! What a Lovely War and there-after successfully presented Salad Days, The Boy Friend directed by Barrie Bowen and My Fair Lady directed by Jean Porter.

These musicals have been a great boost to the company and are immensely popular with Wick and the public alike.

Encouragement of New Members

The Company has always recognised the need of growth through handing down of practical experience. Outside of dramatic productions Wick have clung to a tradition of meeting on Monday evenings. If a production wasn’t in rehearsal these meetings would follow the lines of lectures, discussions on make-up, movement, mime, lighting, scenery and all the hundred and one paraphernalia connected with stage craft. Over the years social activities have been organised, visits to theatres, beach parties, barbecues, dinners and dances.”

The journey continued in Night Watch’s programme below. ”