Headgate Theatre Productions

Headgate sign

2019 programme

Darker Shores

Roles and Audition Notes

About Headgate Theatre Productions

Headgate Theatre Productions was established to ensure that the theatre's programme included a wide range of drama productions alongside those produced by our hirers, as well as a means of generating further revenue to help run the building. It is rightly proud of its growing reputation, reflected in positive audience feedback, the extensive nominations and awards received each year from the local press critic and the North Essex Theatre Guild, and the fact that our actors and creative team have fun in putting on a range of challenging and interesting drama. "Grow Up Grandad" was awarded Best Drama Production 2017-18 by North Essex Theatre Guild, whilst in the Evening Gazette "Paulies" awards, Kel Ashton was awarded Best Actress for her role in "Be My Baby", and two of our stage managers builders (Stephen Peeling and Phil Ager) received a special award for set design and build.

Headgate Theatre Productions welcome expressions of interest from new and experienced directors, or those who might volunteer for technical support (lighting, sound, stage management). Further information can be found below.

Headgate Theatre Productions Presents

Darker Shores

A Ghost Story by Michael Punter

Audition Notice:

September 9th at 8pm at the Headgate Theatre, Colchester.

Rehearsals will start end of September (days and times to be confirmed)

Performances - Wednesday 22nd January - Saturday 25th January 2020 (including a Saturday matinée) There will be a technical and dress rehearsal on 20th and 21st Jan.

Director - Amy Feeley

This is an amateur production

The Story:

Professor Gabriel Stokes takes lodgings at The Sea House, on a desolate stretch of the East Sussex coast. No sooner has he arrived than the troubled history of the house comes to the fore with unexplained and mysterious happenings. Having enlisted the help of Tom Beauregard, an American spiritualist, the two embark on a terrifying journey to discover the truth. Following the traditions of the finest ghost stories, Darker Shores is a gripping and shadowy tale of suspense: playfully intelligent, emotionally resonant and genuinely chilling. Directed by Amy Feeley, we will be using both modern and historical special effects to give out audience a night of fright they will never forget. Originally performed at the Hampstead Theatre in London in 2009, starring Mark Gatiss and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

The Parts, with indicative playing ages

Gabriel Stokes (Male, mid-forties): A man of reason and science, a naturalist. Lost his wife and child in a tragic accident, this event effects every part of his life now. He is a classic Victorian gentleman with a world view and manners to match. He develops romantic feelings for Florence Kennedy. A risk taker when pushed to the absolute limit.

Florence Kennedy (Female, mid-twenties, mixed race (white afro-Caribbean)): A house maid at the mysterious Sea House. A kind and loving woman with an inner strength that comes out when those she cares about are in danger. She is a spiritual person and mother to a small boy who she would protect with her life. She is fiercely intelligent and curious. She develops romantic feelings for Gabriel Stokes.

Agnes Hinchcliffe (Female, fifties (could be older)): The housekeeper of the Sea House. She is a deeply religious woman who keeps many secrets. Often cold towards Florence and the others, she is fiercely protective of the house and its mysteries. She has a typical Victorian way of seeing the world and is a stickler for doing things properly. There is a tired sadness about her.

Tom Beauregard (Male, thirties (could be younger)): An American spiritualist medium. Brave and driven, he wants to know the truth at any cost. Can be hot headed and reckless. Is a bit of a philosopher and amateur psychologist and enjoys doing sleight of hand magic (there is a moment in the play where this happens on stage). Is a published author and is always look for subject matter for his next book.


Amy Feeley (Director) at amythedirector@gmail.com or 07794 818742

Directing for Headgate Theatre Productions

We welcome expressions of interest from new and experienced directors. Our programme of plays is usually developed from May - October of each year.

We put on a pantomime each year, and then aim for 4 or 5 other drama productions. Ideally these should help to fill gaps in the year when other groups are not performing, but inevitably the availability of directors influences our programme. We would look to have an annual programme which included a “classic” play, a play with “popular” appeal, a challenging or topical play, and possibly a play with appeal to a specific audience segment (including any text from school syllabus selections). However, the over-riding requirement is that we maintain excellence in our production values and deliver top quality productions to be enjoyed by our patrons– whether that be a well-known piece or something new.

Following consideration of proposals by a small sub-committee, directors are allocated a “champion” to ensure that there is good communication, a budget is developed (over which the director exercises significant control) a rehearsal programme is agreed, and technical support is identified.

Technical support for Headgate Theatre Productions

The technical support for Headgate Theatre Productions is drawn from our team of volunteers, and we always welcome new people with an interest or skills in lighting, sound, scenic design/painting , costume making or stage management (including making or sourcing props).


To express an interest or find out more about directing or providing technical support for Headgate Theatre Productions, please contact David or Dawn King on 01206 530257 or email dawn66king@gmail.com


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