Adapted by Nelson Bond from the book by George Orwell.

Director: Rob Whitfield

Dates: 5th – 7th October 2017 (3 nights)

Animal Farm is a fable with a sting. Much has been written about the threat of Communism, but it remained to the late George Orwell, farsighted author of the brilliant and frightening 1984, to expose the Russian experiment for what it really is; an idealist’s dream, converted by realists into a nightmare.

In a staged dramatic reading version of this timely allegory, you will meet beasts whose prototypes have dominated news headlines for many fearful years. Opening on a note of joyous triumph for the creatures who have emancipated themselves from the cruel mastery of a human owner, the reading mounts inexorably to a climax of disillusionment in which the other animals discover themselves now subject to the rule of even more ruthless autocrats: the greedy, cunning pigs.

Intermingling humour and drama, Animal Farm wrings the emotions of its listeners, leaving audiences shaken with the tale of a tragedy that happened in a mythical barnyard far away but could happen in our own back yard.

Tickets are £7 Concessions £6.00 (except Friday and Saturday.) Available from the Chelmsford Civic Theatre box office, by calling 01245 606505 or click HERE to book via the Chelmsford Theatres website.

THIS WEEK: Casa Valentina by Harvey Fierstein

25th – 29th July 2017  | 7.45pm

Tickets are £10 Concessions £9.00 (except Friday and Saturday.) Available from the Chelmsford Civic Theatre box office, by calling 01245 606505 or click HERE to book via the Chelmsford Theatres website.


Inspired by actual events, Casa Valentina takes place in a Catskill Mountain country resort in 1962. Back then men took a two-hour drive to escape the summer heat. But the gentlemen in this play are looking to escape something else entirely: being men. For them Casa Valentina is a paradise – somewhere they can temporarily leave their families behind and inhabit their chosen female alter egos in a safe and discreet way. But given the opportunity to share their secret lives with the world, the members of this sorority have to decide whether the freedom gained by openness is worth the risk of personal ruin.

Infused with Fierstein’s trademark wit and with a soundtrack to rival Dirty Dancing, this moving, insightful and delightfully entertaining play offers a glimpse into the lives of “self-made women” as they search for acceptance and happiness in their very own Garden of Eden.

Director's Note

“I saw Casa Valentina last summer at the Southwark Playhouse and absolutely loved it. I was immersed in a world I had very little knowledge of and knowing that the play was based on real events made watching the show all the more poignant. Gender-identity and the transgender movement are in the public eye now more than ever thanks to individuals and celebrities like Kaitlin Jenner and Kellie Maloney ‘going public’ and sharing their stories in the media. I thought this would be an opportune time to explore these topics and look at how attitudes have changed in 50 years.

Casa Valentina introduces a group of unforgettable characters all with their own very different stories and stances. I think this is a great chance and an exciting challenge for our male actors (if they have never acted a transgender role before!) I am hoping that our members, regular and new, will rise to this challenge – it will certainly be a lot of fun! Overall what appealed to me most was that it was funny. I love acting in comedies so it was only natural that I would be drawn to a comedic play. And like all the best comedies (I think) there are tones of tragedy and heartache, enriching the characters so that you care about them and their story, and I didn’t want CTW to miss out!”


Directed by Rebecca Segeth
Rita - Rachel Curren
Jonathon/Miranda - Jesse James Lamb
Albert/Bessie - Dave Hawkes
George/Valentina - Colin Smith
Isadore/Charlotte - Barry Taylor
Michael/Gloria - Ian Willingham 
Theodore/Terry - Terry Cramphorn
The Judge/Amy - Robin Winder
Eleanor - Catherine Kenton