Much Ado About Nothing – Review

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, written in the middle of his career, is of one of the bards better known comedies and therefore is a brave undertaking by any amateur dramatic company but I think it’s safe to say that the Cheadle Players certainly did it proud.

The play is essentially about some soldiers who have returned from war and about how they reacquaint with people, in particular two women, Beatrice and Hero.  The play involves deception, love and courtship and many secrets.

The play had so many wonderful actors that deserve a mention but I must say that the casting of Beatrice (Sarah Howsam) and Benedick (Chris Billington) in particular, was perfect. They both demonstrated their somewhat antagonistic, combative romance to the full, through their ‘merry war of words’. The audience warmed to Benedick and he must be commended for fluidity of role than never lacked substance from start to finish. One of his solo scenes that addressed the audience felt as if you were in on his secrets and nobody else was. This certainly represents the era well and demonstrates Shakespeare’s keenness for a relationship with an audience. Sarah Howsam’s part as Beatrice was simply perfect. She depicted Beatrice’s honesty and the fact she felt she had no wish to fall in love, with equal amounts of sincerity and humour. So many accolades could be directed at her but put simply, her acting was flawless throughout.

A special mention must go to Lottie Shepherd who played Margaret. Whether she was leading in a scene or not her presence could be felt. A wonderful actress with suitable charisma and comedic timing for the somewhat saucy role of Margaret. Another wonderful actor was Robert McGregor who played Claudio- he demonstrated a high quality of emotional content throughout his part and in particular his desperation could be felt on the day of his wedding to Hero when he demonstrated his anger, as he believed he had publicly been shamed.

Dogberry, the Constable of the Watch was hilarious. His role of the simple night watchman showed how he clearly wanted his leadership over the other watchmen to be noted. His larger than life character interacted particularly well with his partner Verges (Jim Whittaker).

It was pleasing to see the junior members of the Cheadle Players perform in the production also- again, their professionalism never faulted.

The stage management and set construction teams should be commended on a set that was simple yet very appropriate for the era. The background scenery of Messina was accurate and the stage set very appropriate. The changing of scenery was carried out without any interference of the play. For an amateur dramatic company the professionalism was outstanding. Music by Vivaldi, Corelli and Albinoni added to the richness of the entire production. I particularly liked the actors entering the stage from the back of the audience, the side door and also via the stage. For such a small theatre this added to the intimacy of this wonderful theatre.

It was my first visit to The Cheadle Players Theatre and I was extremely impressed. All in all, I would say that Much Ado about Nothing at The Cheadle Players was a wonderful representation of this infamous comedy and I would urge anyone in the vicinity of Cheadle and beyond to get a ticket.

Reviewer: Angela Kelly

Reviewed: 30th September 2017

See review HERE


Most Original Production Concept

Hobson’s Choice

Most Original Character Portrayal – Actor

Ian Wilkinson – Henry Hobson in Hobson’s Choice

Most Accomplished Actor

Ian Tyler – Willie Mossop in Hobson’s Choice

Most Accomplished Actress

Barbara Harris – Mum in The Anniversary

Sarah Howsam – Maggie Hobson in Hobson’s Choice

Most Original Comic Performance – Actress

Angela Dunn – Jessica in Touch and Go


Most Original Accomplished Actor

Harry Bailey – Jimmy James in Homefront Wedding

Paddy Bever – various characters in Homefront Wedding


Most Original Accomplished Actress

Daisy McDermott – Mole in Wind in the Willows


The Annual Christmas Party and Awards Evening is on Saturday 18 November 2017 at the Cresta Court hotel in Altrincham.

Drinks at 6pm and celebration dinner at 6.30pm.

Dance to the sound of Forbidden.

Black tie and posh frock event!

Tickets £32 per person for a four course meal and the entertainment.

Menu with vegetarian choice available – must be pre-ordered with payment

Please contact Angela Dunn on for full details.

Be quick if you would like to attend!

Over to ACT Member Day today and the Out of the Spotlight Awards. Another two for Players Theatre! Barbara picking up Secretary of the Year and Pam (for the second year in a row!) Excellence in Character Presentation for Hobson’s Choice!!! Oh yes, and we won the quiz (well two of our team really won it by themselves!). Great treat to hear Sophie Lord sing some songs from the musicals.


The Muriel Goodwin Trophy was won by Barbara Harris for her outstanding contribution to Youth Theatre.
Best Actor - Ian Wilkinson for Henry Hobson in Hobson’s Choice
Best Youth Performer Female- Lucy Thorburn for Alice in Hobson’s Choice
Best Director- David Burns for Hobson’s Choice
Adjudicator’s Award- Rob McGregor & Paddy Bever for Jay and Arty in Lost in Yonkers - Forming excellent acting partnership as the brothers Jay and Arty



And more nominations for Players Theatre in Cheadle Hulme!
ACT ‘Out of the Spotlight Awards’.
Congratulations to the staging team for ACT nomination for Hobson’s Choice.
Congratulations to Pam Lambert for ACT nomination for wardrobe etc for
Hobson’s Choice.
Very much looking forward to attending Members’ Day.


As usual it will be at the theatre starting at 6.30 . Even if the weather is bad, the show goes on inside. This is a great event with fab food and a great karaoke. £6 for members and only £8 pounds for guests. Burgers, sausages, pork, chicken, steaks etc and loads of salads. Sweets of ice cream, apple pie, gateaux.

Please let me know if you are coming, no later than Wednesday 21st. On 483 9796 or email

Rod Lambert

Wilmslow Guild’s One-Act Festival awards have been announced tonight and….YES, WE HAVE ANOTHER AWARD!!!!! Congratulations to Barbara and Margaret who have won the Adjudicator’s Award.
© Players Dramatic Society 2017
Affiliated to the Greater Manchester Drama Federation
Member of ACT (Association of Community Theatre)