Spring play season at Chesterfield Pomegranate

Published: 10 January 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Juliette Strobel (Gloria) and Anna Mitcham (Susy Henderson) in Wait Until Dark
David Gilbrook as Roat in Wait Until Dark

Two Derbyshire theatre companies are to join forces for a spring play season of four plays at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield.

Tabs Productions and Rumpus Theatre Company will stage two thrillers, an Ayckbourn comedy and an adaptation of a fantasy drama film.

Tabs starts the season with Wait Until Dark by Frederick Knott. The play was part of the 2019 Classic Thriller Season at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal. It has a complex plot with endless twists, ensuring the audience does not know the outcome right until the end.

Karen Henson from Tabs directs. She said, “we couldn't wait to revive the production in Chesterfield. Chris Sheridan who plays Mike realised he’d actually broken a rib a few days after throwing himself down the stairs every night.

“It's a terrific and challenging part for Anna Mitcham who plays Susy. I assume all the bruises were worth it in the end. There's dedication for you.”

Wait Until Dark will run from Tuesday 21 until Saturday 25 January.

Rumpus Theatre Company will then take over with John Buchan and Patrick Barlow’s comedy thriller The 39 Steps. Chris Sheridan will play dashing hero Richard Hannay as he has a succession of encounters with beautiful heroines, again played by Anna Mitcham, and a music-hall memory man. It runs from Tuesday 28 January until Saturday 1 February.

John Goodrum from Rumpus commented, “we’re really looking forward to presenting this one—in the same, madcap style as the West End hit. It’s ideally suited to the Pomegranate and Rumpus’s two specialities of thrillers and farce.”

Rumpus first produced Alan Ayckbourn’s Time and Time Again at the Pomegranate Theatre in 1997 and will bring back the “hilarious comedy with the garden gnome” from Tuesday until Saturday, 4 to 8 February.

The season concludes with Tabs’ presentation of Mary Elliott Nelson’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

Henson said, “I'd seen a lovely production by New Perspectives, who I believe first commissioned this adaptation, several years ago. Four actors play all the parts, within a simple small-scale touring set.

“I hope to include some live music in our production, much carol singing and a little boogie woogie from Company B!” It will run from Tuesday 11 until Saturday 15 February.