CVP is an energetic and ambitious non-professional drama company based in a rural area on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border.
We try to be different from most other ‘am dram’ groups. We often write or commission our shows and many of them involve the community. We won a major Arts Council grant to stage The Crowns of Cradley - a play that brought to life events in our village over 100 years - in a purpose-built, 250-seat ‘tented theatre’. Evacuees and Elephants combined words and music with the recorded memories of local people to explore the impact of WW2 on rural England. And we removed the pews from Cradley Church to stage Mystery and Merriment - writer/director Peter Diamond’s take on the medieval mystery play - as a ‘promenade’ production where audience members followed the action on foot.
When we can afford to, we involve outside professionals to enhance the quality of our work and improve our own skills. For Alice! - our version of the Lewis Carroll stories - we commissioned original masks for the non-human characters. We asked composer Katie Bennett to create a score and choreographer Paul Milton to help us with dance and movement for Mystery and Merriment. And when local author Christopher Lowder - who writes professionally as Jack Adrian - created The House of Horrible Horrors it was both a world premiere and our first ever ghost story.
But we also do ‘published’ work and showed we could hoof with the best with our production of the tap dance spectacular Stepping Out.
Most of our shows are staged at Cradley CofE Primary School where we’ve created a well-equipped theatre which the school also uses for its own productions.
CVP is run by a management committee. The current members are:
- Joanne Eldridge (Treasurer)
- Richard Brandon
- Bill Chadney
- Sandra Dudley
- Cressida Dunnett
- Poppy Stanley
- Meg Monk
- Jill Salmons
- Julia Woolley