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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

Directed by
Ray Hopper

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


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 DirectorNick Ryder

GuitarBob Ryder

Stage ManagerDave Comber

Assistant Stage ManagerDave Collis

Lighting & SoundAndy Chalk

Lighting & SoundMartin Bryant [instructed by Patrick Roberts]

PropertiesMargaret Davy

PropertiesSue Whittaker

Stage Management TeamBrian Box

Stage Management TeamDavid Comber

Stage Management TeamDave Collis

Stage Management TeamMichael Davy

Set Construction & PaintingRalph Dawes

Set Construction & PaintingMark Flower

Set Construction & PaintingSheila Neesham

Set Construction & PaintingFrances Thorne

Costumes & Character DesignJudith Berrill

Costumes & Character DesignMargaret Faggetter

PublicityJudith Williamson

Theatre & Publicity PhotographsGeorge Laye

Front of House ManagerFrank Child

Box OfficeAnna 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 rôle 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’ ”