A clean Bill of health for Front Door group’s debut production

A GROUP of local actors who met while performing in community theatre at the Crucible have formed their own professional company and will present their first production, a brand new play with a Sheffield setting, at the Lantern Theatre, Nether Edge, this weekend.

Bill is the result of a collaboration between writer Janice Sampson and actors Ray Castleton, David Chafer, Caroline Cooper and Jenny Derbyshire who together have formed Front Door Theatre.

It tells of how five seemingly unconnected tales of life, love, death and dodgy knees converge in a Sheffield doctor’s surgery one fateful afternoon.

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Bill is left waiting for Dr Carruthers whilst his past comes back to haunt him and his chickens well and truly come home to roost.

In the rich tradition of John Godber, Alan Bennett and Victoria Wood, Bill is by turns comic, scathing and true to life.

Front Row’s first offering is a joint production with the Lantern Theatre, with plans to take the play on to other venues in the future.

While Janice and Jenny knew each other for some time through the Lantern Theatre, the five all met through their performances at Sheffield Theatres in Confessions of a City and Enemy of the People.

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Janice Sampson is a phlebotomist and healthcare assistant in Sheffield and over recent years has developed a passion for writing and performance. Her work has been shown at the Bootleggers & Baptists quarterly original theatre nights and the Lantern Theatre’s new writing festival in July.

Jenny Derbyshire is a retired teacher with many years’ performing experience at the Lantern Theatre and other venues in the city.

Ray Castleton from Chesterfield has just graduated from Leeds University with a BA (Hons) in Theatre and Performance where earlier this year he played King Lear. He now regularly performs historical characters at the Mining Museum near Wakefield.

David Chafer runs his own business in Rotherham and is a member of the Dilys Guite Players and the Rotherham Rep, as well as being a student at the Carney Academy of Performing Arts.

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Caroline Cooper is a Sheffield drama teacher and voice coach who trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Caroline has professional stage and TV appearance credits and is a CAPA student.

Bill is at the Lantern Theatre on Friday and Saturday. tickets via 2551776, www.lanterntheatre.org.uk

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