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(Publicity material used to venues)

The Wessex Actors Company has pioneered The Community Chest - a portfolio of performances for community venues such as village halls, community centres, schools, libraries and so on, all available at low cost.

The Community Chest programme is listed below. These are small-scale productions, which are technically self-contained and can in principle play anywhere and any date.

A reduction in the minimum guarantee required can result from District Council support. However, in cases of potential or actual hardship, our terms can be negotiated if there is good reason.

We hope that organizing committees will respond to this innovative programme of live drama.


(TEL 01278 733100 OR 07906 364189)



A portfolio of low-cost, small-scale productions tailored to the needs of small community venues (rural and urban) and available at any time of the year by arrangement. Some have narrated as well as dramatised sections.

The Warden *

The first part of Anthony Trollope's magnificent 6 volume epic "The Barchester Chronicles" has received a tremendous reception to date.

("The magic began - under the sure direction of Michael Barry")


Jane Austen's delightful views on romance and marriage presented by actress Kim Hicks in the most successful, long-running show from Bristol, Bath and the Edinburgh Festival.

("What a delight! A truly accomplished performance")


The abrasive American wit of Dorothy Parker - 1930s arsenic, tenderness and pathos, shaken not stirred, in another winning show from the talented Kim Hicks.

("Vastly entertaining evening - a real treat!")

The Indiscretion of an Heiress *

A popular Thomas Hardy novella telling the story of forbidden young love between a teacher and aspiring writer and the wealthy daughter of the squire - across the social divide. A poignant and tragic tale.

("Michael Barry has a strong track record for Hardy adaptations and he has come up trumps again")

Dickens at Christmas

Unashamedly popular and heart-warming fare with a very strong "feel-good" factor. Perfect for venues wishing to fund-raise with seasonal catering.

("Beautifully delivered... intimate and evocative feeling. Charming night out!")

Christmas Through the Ages

A festive gallimaufry of poems and prose, drama and diaristic intimacy, with some musical accompaniment, celebrating both the Sacred and the Mundane at this special time of the year.

("What a splendid evening. We loved it!")

Man of the Minute

John Aubrey - 17th Century author, antiquarian and irrepressible gossip - entertains with his brilliant character sketches and witty anecdotes, well served in the hands of actor David Weller.

("A tour de force both of acting and of memory")

A Father for My Son

Kathleen Scott, sculptor, student of Rodin, and wild spirit, was wife to Captain Robert Scott (of the Antarctic) and mother to Peter Scott, the naturalist. Actress Jenny Coverack presents the story of this enthralling woman in a new one-woman show.

("A riveting production" - "A great success")

East Lynne - the Victorian Story

At last - a straight-forward, non-melodramatic, version of Mrs Henry Wood's famous and powerful novel of the 1860s. David Weller, and wife actress Vera Hughes present their play in a condensed 1 hour version or as a full evening with interval.

("Drawn with uncanny realism")

The Snow Queen *

A retelling of this timeless classic for young children - for school or holiday bookings. A story promoting the values of friendship, loyalty and courage.

("It was the best show I've ever seen in my life... It was terrific")


These are available independently of the above productions, or (at reduced cost) on the afternoon of a production. Normally lasting 2-3 hours, workshops can blend theatre exercises and games with text-based work to suit any group. Playwrights workshops are also on offer. Normally two of our staff will be involved.


* For logistical reasons, the 3 productions marked * need about 5 performances at a time within a period of about a month. Therefore we will note your interest and get back to you at a later date over a proposed touring period.



Our normal terms for the Community Chest (as at 1999) are 75% of box office with a minimum guarantee of 150. For schools, this is a straight fee of 150. Workshops 100 (but 80 on day of performance).

Where District Councils finance us directly, we offer subsidized discounts to the guarantee for a certain number of performances in the District: to 100 where a venue has experience of acting as an Arts Promoter (sharing risk and reward with us); and to 75 where there is no experience of this, or where maximum sensible seating is around 40.

Please note that a number of District Councils prefer to finance our performances to their venues directly to the venue in question. We can advise you on this and inform you on whom to contact.


"Professional Drama for the South West"

The Counting House, Dodington, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 1LE

01278 733100

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