Centenary Theatre Company was established in Warrington, Cheshire in 1901 and has been active in the area for over a century. For many years 'Centenary' was known as 'Crosfields Operatic and Dramatic Society' and in 1983 changed its name to Centenary Operatic and Dramatic Society.
A further name change launched in June 2005 better reflects the nature of the entertainment we provide:
CENTENARY THEATRE COMPANY
The company now performs at the acclaimed Brindley Theatre in Runcorn and with the membership being drawn from across Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester the Company is proud to serve both the boroughs of Warrington and Halton.
Centenary produce two musicals and two plays each year at the Brindley and we also give regular concert performances in aid of charitable causes.
Our recent musicals include classics such as 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' and 'Fiddler on the Roof' to more modern musicals such as our critically acclaimed 'Titanic' in 2010 and 'The Producers' in 2012.
The company has a long history of staging award winning drama productions with the 2008 production of 'Hobson’s Choice' having received 6 NODA award nominations. The recent sell-out productions of 'Brassed Off' and 'The Liver Birds' demonstrate that the performing arts are alive and well in Cheshire.
The Company has been nominated for – and won – many awards for the quality of productions, awards covering: Direction; Musical Direction; Choreography; Acting; Staging; Set Design; Production and Programmes.
Centenary is a registered charity and is proud of the work completed in the community to educate the public in the performing arts. We also actively develops the talents of our members within the company.
In recognition of a great friend and supporter of Centenary Theatre Company the Alan Thomas Award is awarded by the committee on an annual basis to a company member who has made an outstanding contribution to the company during the previous 12 months and beyond.
- 2011 - Marilyn Baxter
- 2012 - Mark Murphy
- 2013 - Audrey Flint
- 2014 - Sheila Cummins
- 2015 - Pat Jackson
- 2016 - Danielle Segar
In remembrance of former Chairman, Life Member and devoted supporter of the Company, the Roy Western Performers award was inaugrated on 2013 and is awarded to the company member who the general membership votes as the best all round performance of the previous 12 months.
- 2013 - Dan Grimes (Max Bialystock in The Producers)
- 2014 - Anita Warburton (Letitia Blacklock in A Murder Is Announced)
- 2015 - Kelly Herridge (Nellie in South Pacific)
- 2016 - Mark Murphy (Frank in Educating Rita)
Centenary are delighted to have won many NODA awards throughout the years.
Best supporting actress in a drama:
Sara Worton for 'Mother Basil' in Once a Catholic
NODA North West Drama Festival
Best supporting actress in a muscial:
Danielle Segar for 'Sister Mary Martin of Tours' in Sister Act
Best Muscial Direction:
Malcolm Fallows for 'South Pacific'
Best supporting actor in a drama Malcolm Wallace 'Stanley' Run For Your Wife
Best Actor in a drama Michael Mullan 'Sherlock' Hound of Baskervilles
NODA publishes reviews of all of Centenary's productions. Some of the recent reviews are included below.
Director Barbara Worrall
Frank Mark Murphy
Rita Ria Hughes
Reviewed by Christine Hunter-Hughes
This classic play is loosely based on Willy Russell's own experience of failing at school, which still has relevance today. Rita, tired of her humdrum life goes in search of education. Frank her middle aged OU tutor is a drunken professor and failed poet who is equally disillusioned with his lot. Rita invigorates him with her energy and changes the way he views the world. However, Rita also changes and becomes trapped by a different set of behavioural rules.
The set and appeared to work well for the cast and the 'view' from the window worked really well in adding to the overall setting of the piece. Lighting was very good - I loved the dim to black at the scene endings - so well done - and really added to the overall atmosphere. Costumes all looked appropriate - I liked the change in Rita enhanced by costume. Stage crew were excellent, they were efficient, quiet and unobtrusive - thank you.
Direction was very good - all the various elements had been drawn together to produce a cohesive whole. All of the debates at the heart of the piece were brought out well, while still hitting all of the humorous notes at the exactly right pitch.
It perhaps bears saying that this play has a total cast of 2 and the acting was quite simply excellent. The play demands and delivered excellent chemistry and a totally believable relationship, as without this the play fails totally. Both Frank and Rita were believable, focussed, compelling to watch and vocally good. Many congratulations also on maintaining your characters throughout. I cannot move without mentioning 'the lines' - just brilliant how you both did it I don't know how but do it you did - the lines appeared to be absolutely secure and were delivered with absolute confidence.
In conclusion, this was a well-acted, very moving and thought provoking piece, it is a marvellous play, painfully funny and passionately serious with quizzical ending and you brought every nuance of it to life so well. It ran for around two and a half hours but with all credit to you, it didn't seem anywhere near that long, I was amazed when I saw the time - as I had become so caught up in the lives of Frank and Rita - which is exactly how it should be so thank you so much and congratulations!