Volunteer’s hard graft is bringing new life to historic town theatre

With just one month to go until the new season of plays at Chorley Little Theatre, rehearsals are in full swing for the opening play, Shakers.
With just one month to go until the new season of plays at Chorley Little Theatre, rehearsals are in full swing for the opening play, Shakers.

A dedicated group of volunteers are the life-blood of Chorley Little Theatre.

Chorley Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society (CADOS) took over the building in 1960, and have been running eight productions a season ever since.

Recently, as a need for funds increased, CADOS chairman Ian Robinson began approaching comedians to appear at the venue in Dole Lane, and he has landed the likes of Jenny Eclair, Jack Dee and Sean Lock.

Ian said: “It’s changed in that we only used to put CADOS plays on, but we needed to raise some more money, and comedians seemed to fit the bill.

“We only have a limited amount of wing space for productions, and comedians don’t need a lot of space.”

There are around 30 regular volunteers who dedicate between eight to 15 hours a week to the theatre, with up to 100 people involved at times of production.

Jobs include set designing, fundraising, box office and performing.

Ian added: “It can get a bit stressful a week before a production starts, but generally it’s a very laid-back, welcoming society, and everyone gets on.”

Most of the volunteers are from the Chorley area, but some come from further afield.

The next production is called Shakers, a comedy drama set in a northern nightclub, based on the stories of four waitresses.

It will run from September 9 to 14.

Ian added: “The last time we ran this production it went down very well, and it starred Jodie Prenger before she became famous.

“So we do have our performers going on to great things - we must be doing something right!”

For more information on getting involved in CADOS, visit the website: www.chorleylittletheatre.com