Past Productions

History of Chandeliers

The White Horse, Bearsted

The first show staged was "Sailor Beware" in 1961. Rehearsals took place at the homes of the founder members and the scenery was constructed using floor boards purchased from the demolition huts at the barracks on Royal Engineers Road.

When it came to the performance, the venue was somewhat unusual in that it took place in the Maidstone Goal. The prisoners erected the set whilst the cast were entertained to a meal. When it came to the start of the play, being the days of miniskirts a noisy reaction came from some of the audience who had not been outside for a while. The prison officers ejected anyone making such exclamations which rather reduced the size of the audience.

By the time it came to put on the next show, the Municipal Theatre, now the Hazlitt became the usual venue. A home for rehearsals and scenery preparation had been established in a building at the back of the White Horse pub on Bearsted Green. Later a home was needed for costumes and these were stored in chicken huts situated in an orchard where Grove Green Tesco is now. Those premises eventually had to be abandoned when mice moved in.

Maidstone Prison
Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone

Around this time, a Hall was being built on the estate at Madginford and the Group was one of the first to move in and adopt it at their rehearsal venue and we have been there ever since. Meanwhile, the scenery and costume store has not been nearly so settled. A highly convenient home was found in Market Street which is now part of the Fremlins Walk. Not only was it centrally situated but it was almost on the doorstep of the Hazlitt Theatre. On the day a show moved in or out of the theatre, a steady stream of ants cold be seen carrying huge chunks of scenery and furniture through the streets between the two locations. With the impending development in the area, an alternative home needed to be found and this necessitated the use of a lorry to transport everything and required a team at each end to load and unload the set. When our tenure at that location came to an end,. It was replaced by a similarly remote location with the same problems.

Fremlin Brewery, Maidstone

In  2005, we embarked upon the adventure of touring one of our productions around village halls. This necessitated a rethink on how scenery was constructed as it had to be small enough, light enough and adaptable to fit various size stages and needed to be erected and completed within one hour rather than the day or two available at the theatre. The resultant design was so successful that our first attempt, the set was erected in just six minutes and was fully furnished within half an hour. Unfortunately, it took nearly an hour and a half to erect and wire up all the lighting, the final parts still being completed as the audience arrived. We learnt from that and subsequently have achieved it within the allocated time.

Also  in 2005, as one of the initial users, we were one of the groups invited to take part in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Hazlitt theatre in Maidstone.

Although the Group started by performing plays, within six years a variety show was staged in the form of a Good Old Days. This was successful enough for the group to stage a further twenty five before moving to a full musical with their production of "Blitz!" followed immediately by "Cabaret". This show featured two performances on Friday with a late night show at 10:15pm. It was quite a feat getting the first house audience out of the theatre and the new one in within fifteen minutes! The cast were so warmed up having just done one show that the second one fairly whizzed along.

The pattern of shows soon settled downs to be one serious play, one comedy, one musical, plus other single night of plays or music and has generally remained so giving members a wide choice of things the can get involved in.




Concert Party

The concert party was set up following "Blitz to Broadway" A lot of our members found that they enjoyed singing, and so it was decided to harness our singing talents and perform a couple of concerts a year as well as charity events. It also allows those members who are not currently in a play to keep in touch withj the group and work towards a performance. The concert party was the brain child of our then Chairperson, Maria Watson, who was also the Director for "Blitz to Broadway". Rehearsals usually take place on either a Tuesday or Wednesday evening at Otham Church or sometimes at Ringlestone Hall.

We have performed in variety of venues including the beautiful Otham church, Bearsted Memorial Hall, the Chequers Shopping Centre in Maidstone, the Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone (as part of the cast of "The Vicar of Dibley") and even Bearsted Co-op!

Membership for the concert party is free for all members of Chandelier's Drama Group. Some people are involved in only the concert party, whilst others are also involved in the theatrical part of the group.

The concert party has recently performed two concert's in memory of the late Dave Watson who unfortunately passed away earlier this year. Dave was an enthusiastic member of the concert party as well as being a loving husband to Maria.  

Past Productions and events

As Chandeliers has been producing good theatre since 1961, this page will be an ongoing exploration into the past, and it won't be possible to discover photos and posters from every production we've ever produced, however we do have a list all of our productions, and if you click on the information below each poster (if one is on display) you will be-able to see both rehearsal and or production photos associated with that show.



March  -  Sailor Beware by Philip King and Falkland Cary

October – Queen Elizabeth slept here By Talbot Rothwell


February – Random Harvest

May – With Vacant possession by Wilfred Massey


March – It’s a Job to Keep Married

May – See How They Run by Philip King


April – A Change of Air

December – Pools Paradise by Philip King


April – Letter for the General  by Maurice McLoughlin

November – Wanted, One Body by Charles Dyer


November – Mad About Men


May  - Good Old Day No.1

November – Aren’t Men Beasts! By Vernon Sylvaine


May – Good Old Days No. 2

November – Laughter in the Dark by Victor Lucas


February – Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon

May – Good Old Days No. 3

November – The Bride and the Bachelor by Ronald Millar



February – Madam Tic Tac by Philip Weathers and Falkland L Cary 

May – Good Old Days No.4

November – The Prime of Miss. Jean Brodie by Jay Presson Allen (adapted from the novel by Muriel Spark


February – All in Good Time by Bill Naughton

May – Good Old Days No.5

November – Rock a bye Sailor by Philip King and F L Cary


May- Good Old Days No. 6

November – I’ll Get My Man by Philip King


February – Hotel Paradiso by Georges Feydeau and Maurice Desvallieres

Translation by Peter Glenville

May – Good Old Days no.7


February – They Came to a City by J.B. Priestley

May – Good Old Days no.8

November – Uproar in the House by Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot


February – A Murder has been arranged by Emlyn Williams

May – Good Old Days no.9

November – Devil May Care


February – Brides of March by John Chapman

May – Good Old Days no.10

November - Dead Letter; The ruffian on the stair and Bermondsey by Joe Orton


February – Fitting for Ladies

May – Good Old Days No. 11

December – Off the Hook by Derek Benfield


February – Absurd Person Singular by Alan Ayckbourn

May – Good Old Days no. 12

November – Panic Station by Derek Benfield


February – I Love you Mrs. Patterson by John Bowen

May – Good Old Days No. 13

November – A Christmas Carol, adapted from the short story by Charles Dickens



February – The Anniversary by Bill Macilwraith

May – Good Old Days No. 14


February – Sparrers Can’t Sing by Stephen Lewis

May – Good Old Days no.15

October – Post Horn Gallop by Derek Benfield


February – The Restless Evil by Charlotte Hastings

May – Good Old Days No.16

October – The Creature Creeps by Jack Sharkey


February – Mystery at Greenfingers by J.B. Priestley

May – Good Old Days No.17

November – One for the Road by Willy Russell


February  - The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley

May – Good Old Days No.18

November – Joking Apart by Alan Ayckbourn


February – Who Goes Bare by Leslie Darbon and Richard Harris

May – Good Old Days No.19

November – Happy Birthday by Anita Loos


February – Tag Match

May – Good Old Days No.20

November - Sailor Beware by Philip King and Falkland Cary


February – Goodnight Mrs. Puffin by Arthur Lovegrove

May – Good Old Days No.21

October – All Things Bright and Beautiful  by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall


February – The Workout

May – Travelling Roadshow


February – Ted & Beryl and their Compost Heap

May – Good Old Days No. 22

September – Beyond a Joke by Derek Benfield



February – Boomers

May - Good Old Days No.23

November - Butterflies are Free by Leonard Gershe


February – The Maintenance Man by Richard Harris

May – Good Old Days No.24


February – Stepping Out by Richard Harris

May – Good Old Days No. 25

October – Noises Off by Michael Frayn


March – Outside Edge by Richard Harris

May – Good Old Days No.26

November – Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of A Christmas Carol by  David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Junior


February – The Anastasia File by Royce Ryton

May – Blitz by Lionel Bart

November – Cabaret by John Kander and Fred Ebb


February – Aunty Ivy Caused the Hurricane

May – Music and Mayhem

November – Season’s Greetings by Alan Ayckbourn


February - A Chorus of Disapproval by Alan Ayckbourn

May – Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's murder mystery by  David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Junior

November – The Pyjama Game by Richard Pike Bissell, George Abbott, Jerry Ross and Richard Adler. 


February – Home Before Dark

May – Move Over Mrs. Markham by Ray Cooney

October – A Christmas Carol, adapted from the short story by Charles Dickens


February – Man of the Moment by Alan Ayckbourn

May – Fur Coat and No Knickers by Mike Harding

October – Guys and Dolls by Frank Loesser


February – Cider with Rosie adapted by James Roose Evans from the book by Laurie Lee

May – Don’t Dress for Dinner Marc Camoletti Adapted by Robin Hawdon

November – Calamity Jane by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster

21st Century



February – Waters of the Moon by N.C. Hunter

May – The Opposite Sex by David Tristram

November - Hello Dolly! By Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart


February – Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon

May – Unoriginal Sin by David Tristram

October – Annie by Charles Strouse and Thomas Meehan


February – The Prime of Miss. Jean Brodie by Jay Presson Allen (adapted from the novel by Muriel Spark

June – Comfort and Joy by Mike Harding

November – High Society by Cole Porter and Arthur Kopit


February – The Corn is Green  by Emlyn Williams

May – Let’s Murder Marsha by Monk Ferris

November – Sweet Charity by Neil Simon, Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman


February – The Diary of Anne Frank Dramatized by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

May – Two and Two Together  by Derek Benfield

November – Oliver by Lionel Bart, adapted from the book by Charles Dickens


February - Hobson’s Choice by Harold Brighouse

May – Slaughterhouse by Norman Robbins

November – The Music Man by Meredith Wilson


February – Oh! What a Lovely War by Charles Chilton

May – Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's MacBeth by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Junior

November – Steaming by Nell Dunn


February – Blood Brothers (the play) by Willy Russell

June – Just the Ticket by Peter Quilter

November – That’s Entertainment


February – Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall

May – Mr. Wonderful by James Robson

November – Communicating Doors  by Alan Ayckbourn


February – Annie, Get Your Gun by Irving Berlin

May – The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

September – Chase Me Up Farndale Avenue, S'il Vous Plait! By David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Junior



March – Let’s Do It

June – The Cemetery Club by Ivan Menchell

September – Final Twist by Alfred Bradley and Ken Whitmore.


February – The Flint Street Nativity by Tim Firth


California Suite by Neil Simon

When We Are Married by J B Priestley



Allo Allo

Blitz to Broadway – a musical written and directed by Maria Watson


Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare


The Hollow by Agatha Christie

Valiant hearts – by Marie Quarman

The Vicar of Dibley

Robin Hood – A pantomime by Chris Lane