Manifest Theatre Group Manifest Theatre Group Manifest Theatre Group
2 Oxford Road
Essex CO11 1BP
Tel: 01206 391309

Talking Heads

Wednesday 1st - Saturday 4th November 2017
by Alan Bennett,

Directed by Kate Sheffield

This Autumn's production will be Talking Heads by Alan Bennett. It was written as a series of monologues performed originally by such as Maggie Smith and Patricia Routledge. We are to perform three from the first series.

Each one tells a story from the character's own point of view, of the people and situations which surrounds him or her. The story telling defines each personality and the opinions and attitudes each holds.
As observers, we can see both humour and tragedy and a distinct picture of both the speaker and those spoken of.

A Bunch of Amateurs

Tuesday 20th - Sat 24th February 2018
by Ian Hislop & Nick Newman,

Directed by Nigel Rowe

Jefferson arrives in Stratford to take the lead in “King Lear" to revive his flagging career dominated by 2nd rate action movies.

He thinks he is coming to the RSC in Stratford upon Avon but finds himself in sleepy Suffolk with a bunch of amateurs.

What ensues is an unravelling of his reputation leading to a reconciliation with his neglected daughter and a growing admiration for the professionalism of this happy band of amateurs.


Auditions will be held on Tuesday 16th October 2017 at the theatre at 7.30pm when there will also be a read-through.


4 Female, 3 Male
  • Jefferson Steel; Older age group must be able to hold an American accent.
    Portrayed as an arogant, egotistical actor, but insecure and vunerable.
  • Dorothy Nettle; Unflappable though somewhat shy yet with a steely determination.
    Younger than Jefferson though middle aged
  • Jessica Steele; Has to pass as Jefferson’s daughter so age group 16-25 ish.
    Able to hold American accent. Is not daddy’s sugar girl and has a very strong will
  • Nigel Dewberry; Middle aged though younger than Jefferson.
    Pompous and very self assured also sees himself as Dorothy’s suitor.
  • Mary Plunkett; Owner of the village B&B full of life and worships the ground Jefferson walks on.
    Requires local dialect
  • Dennis Dubbins; Middle aged village handyman, able to hold local dialect
  • Lauren Bell; Around 30ish former physiotherapist and smarter than she comes across. Well spoken

Past Productions


Jun 2017 - Glorious

Mar 2017 - Lady In The Van


Nov 2016 - Scrooge - The Musical

May 2016 - A Different Way to Die
May 2016 - Tagged

Apr 2016 - Accolade


Dec 2015 - The Christmas Fairy Tale

Oct 2015 - The Railway Children

May 2015 - Roleplay

Jan 2015 - Quartet


Oct 2014 - Jack The Ripper

Jun 2014 - Dead Reckoning

Mar 2014 - The Real Inspector Hound / Orca the Goldfish


Dec 2013 - Ali Baba and The Faulty Thieves

Oct 2013 - The Final Act (murder mystery)

May 2013 - The Heiress

Feb 2013 - Wife After Death


Oct 2012 - The Boyfriend

May 2012 - Dead Guilty

Feb 2012 - Are You Being Served?


Oct 2011 - Rebecca

May 2011 - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Feb 2011 - Duets


Oct 2010 - Pygmalion

Jul 2010 - A Blow to the Head (murder mystery)

Jun 2010 - Outside Edge

Mar 2010 - Blood Brothers


Nov 2009 - 70 Girls 70

Jun 2009 - ‘Allo ‘Allo

Mar 2009 - Barefoot in the Park


Dec 2008 - Aladdin

Oct 2008 - Pack of Lies

Jul 08 - Death by Radio (murder mystery)

May 2008 - 2 One Act Plays

Feb 2008 - Our Town


Oct 2007 - The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ years

Sep 2007 - A Hundred Years of Entertainment

May 2007 - Steel Magnolias

Jan 2007 - Snow White

2006 - 1979

Full details of these past performances can be viewed here.

Awards and Nominations

We were delighted to receive two very prestigious awards from the North Essex Theatre Guild at their 2015 awards evening in September.

The Doris Griffith Memorial Cup for Best Production, ‘RolePlay’, was collected by the director, Val Taylor and the Best Actress in a drama, award went to Alison Baker for her wonderful portrayal of Julie-Ann in that same production.

Previous Awards

The Manifest Theatre has been nominated and collected several awards during the history of the group. See the full list here -->

Our Productions

Although an amateur group we pride ourselves on our professional approach and are dedicated to achieving high standards in all our productions.

Our enthusiastic and talented cast and crew have won many awards over the years; most recently the  Noda Award for Technical Achievement for the set from the production of Dead Guilty, Glyn Hill’s first full Manifest production. Well done to all those involved.

We aim for three productions a year - usually a Comedy, a Straight Play and a Musical (although this can vary). We use different Directors/Producers for each production as well as a Stage Manager and a hard-working team of Lighting, Sound, Make-up and Wardrobe technicians.