2018 Production

2018 Production

About the Plays

Past Productions

The CMP Blog

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Deborah McAndrew
Deborah McAndrew

Writer

Peter Leslie Wild
Peter Leslie Wild

Artistic Director

Matt Baker
Matt Baker

Musical Director

Dawn Allsopp
Dawn Allsopp

Set & Costume Designer

Yorkshire born Deborah studied Drama at Manchester University before embarking on a successful career as a writer and actor. She now lives and works in North Staffordshire, where she is co-founder and Creative Director of Claybody Theatre Company, based in Stoke-on-Trent.

Deborah’s performed and published plays include original work and adaptations of classic novels and foreign language plays for various theatres and companies. Her moving WW1 drama An August Bank Holiday Lark won both the UK Theatre Award and Manchester Theatre Award for Best New Play 2014.

Deborah’s most recent work in 2017 included adaptations: Cyrano for Northern Broadsides; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall for Bolton Octagon Theatre; Anna of the Five Towns for New Vic Theatre; and A Christmas Carol for Hull Truck Theatre. Also an original play: Dirty Laundry for Claybody Theatre.

Deborah’s new adaptation of Hard Times is currently touring with Northern Broadsides. Upcoming work in 2018: Deborah’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol will be produced by the West Yorkshire Playhouse in December, and her adaptation of Oliver Twist will be this year’s Christmas show at Hull Truck Theatre. There will be a reading of Deborah’s play Dirty Laundry at the Festival in a Factory, at the Emma Bridgewater Factory in June.

Deborah began her acting career on the cobbles of Coronation Street where she played Weatherfield regular, Angie Freeman, in the early 1990s. In the years following ‘Corrie’ Deborah enjoyed a varied career in the theatre and television, playing everything from Shakespeare to Music Hall, and has appeared in countless dramas for BBC Radio.
Peter is a freelance producer and director working in theatre, radio and television drama. He is delighted to be returning to Chester as Artistic Director of The Chester Mystery Plays, five years after directing the 2013 version.

His theatre work includes The Wizard of Oz (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, 2017); Dial M for Murder (New Vic, 2017); Seeing the Lights (New Vic, 2016); Inherit the Wind (New Vic, 2014); Alice (Theatre in the Quarter, 2015); A Fine Bright Day Today (New Vic, 2012); Passion (West Country Tour, 2014); Dealing With Dreams (Birmingham Rep at Walsall Art Gallery); The Worcester Pilgrim (Artworcs in Worcester Cathedral); Upside Down and Back to Front (Number 8, Pershore); Electra (BOVTS); Someone Waiting; The Return of the Prodigal; How He Lied to Her Husband; Romeo and Juliet; The Magic Island; The Children’s Mysteries; The Bell (all Orange Tree Theatre); The Real Long John Silver (Battersea Arts Centre); White Liars (Edinburgh Fringe).

Radio includes more than 150 dramas and drama-documentaries for BBC Radio 4, Radio 3, Radio 2 and Radio 4 Extra. He produced and directed all five series of the detective series set in Ancient Rome, Falco, starring Anton Lesser; plays by Stephanie Dale, David Edgar, Arnold Wesker, Stephen Poliakoff, Lucy Gough, Nicholas McInerny, Sarah Woods, Colin Shindler, Louise Page, and many more. For Radio 2, he directed a version of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus starring Oscar-winner F Murray Abraham. He is a regular guest director on Radio 4’s The Archers, a programme he is been associated with for more than 20 years. He is a twice winner of the prestigious Prix Marulic for his drama-documentary work in collaboration with producer Rosie Boulton and writer Tim Jackson.

On television he was a producer on series 17, 18 and 19 of BBC One’s daytime drama series Doctors.

He recently produced a major online project bringing together artists, writers and performers with hundreds of community members across Worcestershire to create an audio map of the county - Lending an Ear. Peter regularly teaches at drama schools and universities across the country including Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Bournemouth University, Aberystwyth University, the University of Birmingham and Lincoln University.
Matt Baker was composer and musical director for the 2003, 2008 and 2013 cycles of Chester Mystery Plays. He has also directed several of the other performance projects in the years in between, including the hugely successful Chester City Passion in 2016 and 2017, Creation in 2011 and Noah in 2010. Matt is artistic director for the city’s Theatre in the Quarter, a Chester-based professional theatre company which creates exciting theatre with music in a range of settings.

He is also musical director for the vivacious and successful all women’s choir A Handbag of Harmonies, and is musical director of the brand new LGBT choir for Chester called Proud Mary’s. He is also director of music for the University of Chester Choir this year.

Matt’s work as musical director takes him to all corners of the world including Australia, India, Malaysia and Germany. He is also widely sought to bring people from all backgrounds together in singing, whether it is hundreds of children in a park, or thousands of bank workers in a stadium.

He was awarded the Cheshire Community and Voluntary Arts award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in 2016. Matt is looking forward to being composer for this year’s Christmas production Wind in the Willows at the New Vic Theatre, Stoke.

For more about Matt’s amazing work visit his website mattbakermusic.co.uk.
Since graduating in 1989, Dawn has worked as both a Resident Designer at The Swan Theatre in Worcester and more recently as a freelance designer.

Recent design credits include:

Hard Times, The Winter’s Tale (Northern Broadsides); Votes for Women, Anna of The Five Towns, Beryl (New Vic Theatre, Stoke); Murder, Margaret and Me (Salisbury Playhouse/York Theatre Royal); Dick Whittington, Northanger Abbey (Bury St Edmunds and national tour); Dirty Laundry, Ugly Duck (Claybody Theatre); The Lost Boy (Theatre in the Quarter); Our Country’s Good, Treasure Island (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School); Giants On The Hill (Centric Theatre and rural tour); Kiss Me Quickstep (New Vic, Oldham Coliseum and The Winter garden Ballroom, Eastbourne); Dancing Through The Shadows (Hull Truck); Much Ado About Nothing (Stafford Festival Shakespeare); Mrs Warren’s Profession (Cheltenham Everyman Theatre and national tour); Noises Off (Mercury Theatre Colchester); The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice (Derby Theatre); Midsummer Songs (New Wolsey Theatre); Drummer Hodge (Dorchester’s 6th community play); Brassed Off (York Theatre Royal, Bolton Octagon and The Touring Consortium); Dangerous Corner (Salisbury Playhouse); Private Lives, The League Of Youth (Nottingham Playhouse).

Television includes set designs for Cbeebies; Tortoise and The Hare, The Ugly Duckling, Jack and The Beanstalk.
Paula Cain
Paula Cain

Costume Supervisor

Sam Cheadle
Sam Cheadle

Project and Stage Manager

Chris Davey
Chris Davey

Lighting Director

Vickie Duckett
Vickie Duckett

Assistant Director

Paula has worked for over 15 years in theatre as a freelance costume and wardrobe supervisor and also as a costume designer. Her many credits include Inkheart for HOMEMcr, Alice for Theatre in the Quarter and the MEN award winning Slave at the Salford Lowry. As a costume maker, she has produced theatrical and period costume for many North West theatres including the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and the Bolton Octagon, and is regularly commissioned to design and create period costumes and corsetry for arts education workshops in various museums and National Trust heritage sites.

In 2013, Paula opened Chester Costume House, a theatrical costume hire and costume making business, which she runs alongside her freelance work.
Sam is a freelance Stage, Production and Project Manager, with a particular enthusiasm and experience in site-specific community work. Sam has both national and international credits, and is excited to return to her home town of Chester following the success of the 2013 CMP cycle, where Sam worked as the Deputy Stage Manager. Sam is looking forward to working with the company and the talented and dedicated people of Chester again.

Theatre credits include: Treasured, Aspire Trust/Cut to the Chase Productions (The Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool); LHK Productions Ltd – multiple productions both UK and internationally; Hope St Ltd; Theatre in the Quarter; European City of Sport Opening Ceremony, Northwood Stadium; Café Missing, Fittings Multimedia Ltd, regional tour; Love on the Dole, Salford; Celtic The Musical, Alterean Media Ltd, Scotland and Ireland Tour.

Forthcoming projects include: You’ll Never Walk Alone, Royal Court, Liverpool (2017); Peter Pan, LHK Productions Ltd, The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool.

Sam also works as a part-time lecturer in the Technical Theatre Dept. at Cheshire College South and West.
In Chester Chris has lit The Crucible, A Little Night Music and The Secret Seven for Storyhouse.

He has designed extensively for the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shared Experience Theatre, Royal Court, Royal Exchange Manchester, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, Citizens’s Theatre Glasgow, Manchester International Festival, Opera North, and Welsh National Opera.

Recent designs include Witness for the Prosecution (County Hall London); The Best Man (Playhouse Theatre London); Rhinoceros (Edinburgh International Festival); Vamos Cuba! (Sadler’s Wells); Sweeney Todd (La Monnaie, Brussels); 42nd Street (Chatelet Theatre, Paris); 1984 (Northern Ballet); Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies, The Car Man (national and international tours); Carlos Acosta’s Classical Selection (Coliseum, Royal Albert Hall and world tour); The Driver’s Seat (National Theatre of Scotland); The Shawshank Redemption, The Graduate, History Boys, Dial M for Murder, High Society and Wonderful Town (national tours); Eventual Progress (Ekaterinburgh Russia).


Working alongside Chris is John Slevin, associate lighting designer and production electrician.
Vicki Duckett is a freelance director, playwright and producer who works in Cheshire and the West Midlands. Last year she produced Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury’s first in-house production whilst also assisting Loveday Ingram in her adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Vicki spend last summer being part of the premiere REP season at Storyhouse, Chester as Community Chorus Director for Julius Caesar. Last Christmas her play Jesus, Mary & Jacob’s Crackers was selected by Encompass Productions to be performed as part of their new writing showcase at the Arts Theatre, Covent Garden.

Vicki has extensive experience working with performers of all ages backgrounds and she deeply thrilled to be assisting Peter and be part of the creative team for Chester Mystery Plays 2018.
Julie Elston
Julie Elston

Company Manager
Children’s Officer

Jo Henwood
Jo Henwood

Press and Marketing

Peter Herbert
Peter Herbert

Production Manager

John Hulse
John Hulse

Sound Designer

Julie has been company manager and children’s officer with Chester’s professional music theatre company, Theatre in the Quarter since it was formed in 2005 and has also worked with Jigsaw Children’s Music Theatre Company for over 20 years , Julie also works with Quartz Youth Theatre and Rewind youth Theatre.

She has also co-directed productions as part of her role as a specialist teaching assistant at Dee Banks Special School for children with additional educational needs, a role
she has held for more than 20 years.

She has also worked with Cheshire Youth Theatre, Gateway Youth Theatre, and for Merseyside TV on Hollyoaks and Grange Hill, and had her first experience of Chester Mystery Plays in 2003.
Jo is a freelance journalist and PR. As the Bloomsbury Theatre's first press officer in London, Jo handled press relations for the sell-out premiere of Vivian Stanshall's comic opera Stinkfoot, the first visit to the UK of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and a full house for a concert of the 'healing music' band Magma, promoted by the champion snooker player Steve Davis.

A switch to radio at LBC changed Jo's focus to news as she handled PR for the breakfast show with Donald Trelford and Angela Rippon before braving a move to the Isle of Dogs to join The Telegraph's PR and marketing team. There she worked on the launch of Young Telegraph and Electronic Telegraph, the first 'digital' newspaper in the UK and helped mastermind the building of a TV and radio studio allowing journalists to hold live interviews with national and local programmes around the UK.

A career break to raise a family and a move to the North West eventually led Jo to the Chester Chronicle, where she was Head of Communities and Digital Editor until 2017. Jo appeared in the Chester Mystery Plays in 2003 as a devil, a gawper and a mime. Finding herself typecast, she returned to Hell in 2008 before taking on the role of PR for the critically acclaimed 2013 production.

In other news, Jo has danced for the Prince and Princess of Wales and was once the only passenger in a jet airliner crossing the Pacific Ocean. Follow Jo on Twitter and Instagram @johenwood.
Peter has worked in a variety of technical management roles in the arts and entertainment sector for over 30 years including producing and touring theatres, the conference and theme park industries and for the past 18 years as Director of PH Production Services Ltd. The team have concentrated on delivering solutions for site specific projects. This means that he enjoys many days staging shows in unusual spaces like cathedrals, castles, stately homes, Industrial spaces and green field sites.

An enjoyable and satisfying area of his work involves projects that build new audiences for the creative industries and have a number of Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations and Creative People and Places programmes amongst their client list.

Now based at King Street Studios in Newcastle under Lyme Peter’s team have also concentrated on the emerging digital culture and are at the forefront of live streaming technology solutions within the theatre, music and conference industries.

This is the second Chester Mystery Plays that they have been involved in and are very much looking forward to helping deliver another successful production.


Working alongside Peter is Russell Coppock, associate sound designer and assistant production manager.
From a very early age John has ’done sound’. In the mid 60s and early 70s he was involved with anything to do with sound at his grammar school. “Please Sir I need to set up the projector in the hall” was an excellent way of avoiding muddy cross country runs!

After school he worked for a year with the Royal National Institute for the Blind’s talking book service. In 1972 he joined the BBC as a television sound assistant and was lucky enough to be at Television Centre in London when some of the now classic BBC programmes were in production such as Morecombe & Wise, The Two Ronnies, Dad’s Army, the list is endless.

After a spell at Alexandra Palace (the home of the birth of TV) working on Open University programmes, John moved in 1979 to BBC Manchester and worked on numerous radio and TV productions. For the next 2 decades he travelled the length and breadth of this country and the world recording and mixing sound for a huge variety of programmes for TV and Radio in studios and on location. Credits during that period include The Travel Show, Rough Guides to the World, Blue Peter, The Clothes Show, Panorama, Tomorrow’s World, Why Don’t You?, Activate, Question Time, Top Gear, The Heaven & Earth Show, Songs of Praise, The Organist Entertains, Test Match Special, plus dozens of others.

In 2001 he moved to Granada Television and credits there included Coronation Street, My Favourite Hymns, Carol Vorderman’s Better Homes, Countdown, Mastermind, University Challenge, The Jeremy Kyle Show and the special Christmas Eve services from Norwich, Manchester and Liverpool Anglican Cathedrals.

Since 2008 John has been a freelance TV sound supervisor mainly working on ITV daytime programmes. He also gives guest lectures at The School of Sound Recording in Manchester and Salford University

In his ‘spare’ time he is a qualified railway guard at 2 heritage steam railways and drives trains at a miniature railway at a garden centre.
Joe Mann
Joe Mann

Assistant Musical Director

Cariad Morgan
Cariad Morgan

Movement Director

A sustainably, home-grown Cestrian, Joseph trained as an actor-musician at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. He is a multi-skilled performer, composer and arranger.

His musical theatre credits include: Return to the Forbidden Planet 25th Anniversary UK Tour; Return to the Forbidden Planet (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch); Little Shop Of Horrors; Hello Dolly! (Pitlochry Festival Theatre); Oh, What A Lovely War (Blackeyed Theatre).

He musically directs a number of ensembles of all ages, as well as Theatre In The Quarter's teenage cohort Quartz, and the Wrexham-based choir, The Bitesize Singers.

This will be his third cycle of the Chester Mystery Plays and is very excited to be joining the production team.
Cariad is a performer and choreographer specialises in bringing productions to life through movement, dance and physical language.

Her experience and expertise in multiple dance and theatre genres has allowed her to work as a choreographer with a variety of companies including The Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre Liverpool, Theatre In The Quarter, Lodestar Theatre Company, The Harmonettes, The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, A Handbag of Harmonies, CADU, and on a range of corporate and private events across the country.

Cariad’s performance credits include Vintage Vocals (The Harmonettes); Dorothy’s War (The Harmonettes); Alice (Theatre in the Quarter), Ragz (ExTensions Dance Theatre), Spring Rain (China Pearl), Live and Interactive (Make Happen) and A Touch of Magic (Mello Mello).

For full biographies see the desktop version of the website

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Deborah McAndrew

Writer

Peter Leslie Wild
Peter Leslie Wild

Artistic Director

Matt Baker
Matt Baker

Musical Director

Dawn Allsopp
Dawn Allsopp

Designer

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Paula Cain

Costume Supervisor

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Sam Cheadle

Project and Stage Manager

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Chris Davey

Lighting Director

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Vickie Duckett

Assistant Director

Julie Elston
Julie Elston

Company Manager
Children’s Officer

Jo Henwood
Jo Henwood

Press & Marketing

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Peter Herbert

Production Manager

John Hulse
John Hulse

Sound Designer

Joe Mann
Joe Mann

Assistant Musical Director

Cariad Morgan
Cariad Morgan

Movement Director

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