Tuesday 16 October

‘A Bunch of Amateurs’ 

by Ian Hislop & Nick Newman

Directed by Colin Keir

Production dates: Monday 11 – Saturday 16 February 2019

Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood star Jefferson Steel arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford – only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, but a sleepy Suffolk village. And instead of Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench, the cast are a bunch of amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers. Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by the enthusiastic am-dram thespians. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself – along with his inner Lear.

There is an excellent mixture of characters, three men, four women including the excellent part of Jefferson’s teenage daughter who is definitely better than her father at Shakespeare.


Jefferson Steel – a fading Hollywood star who is arrogant, insecure, brash, gauche, demanding, vulnerable and ultimately aware of his own absurdity.

Dorothy Nettle – director of the Stratford Players and the moving force behind keeping the theatre alive. Her sweet and accommodating manner conceal an inner steel.

Jessica Steel – Jefferson’s teenage daughter, who has been neglected by her Hollywood star father and now wants to make him pay for it.

Nigel Dewsbury – solicitor and leading light of the Stratford Players. Pompous, stuck-up and self-regarding, he believes he is the star of the show, and should play all the leading roles. He also fancies his romantic chances with Dorothy.

Mary Plunkett – owner of the Rectory B & B. Jolly, generous and an unashamedly adoring Jefferson Steel fan – although somewhat confused about which roles he played in his films, and how keen he is on her.

Denis Dobbins – handyman and village Mr Fixit. Avuncular though slightly dull, Denis is star-struck by Jefferson and fancies heading up his entourage of one.

Lauren Bell – thirty-something marketing executive former physiotherapist and the sponsor’s wife. Passionate about the arts and smarter than her husband allows her to be, she’s treated as a bimbo because of her looks

Journalists – we only hear them off stage

 Venue: The Lymington Centre at 7.30 pm

 For more information contact: Colin Keir 01590 678311 or e-mail