Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Compact Theatre Company to Shaydes.

Compact Theatre Company.

1984 - 85  Compact Theatre was founded by John Connolly and Bernadine Turner when John was directed in ‘Ring of Laughter’  a one man show written by Paul Hurt and directed by Bernadine Turner. Ring of laughter premiered at Matlock College and toured small scale venues around Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

Ring of Laughter by Paul Hurt.

In 1986 John Directed, Wendy Allin, Sarah Jones, Julie Walker and Deborah Burns in Shakers by John Godber.  This premiered at Derby Playhouse and toured small scale venues around the North of England. It was during this production that John met  and started working with Steve Dolton who went on to become  long standing friend and co Director of Compact Theatre.  

1987 - 88  Wendy Allin directed John Connolly, Steve Dolton, Robert Smith, Stephen Cox, Chris Ward Brown and Robert Clifford in One Big Blow by John Burrows. This play toured small scale venues around Derbyshire and the mining areas of South Yorkshire.

1989 Pete Holdway directed School For Clowns  by Ken Campbell. Cast was John Connolly, Steve Dolton, Stephen Cox Chris Ward Brown and Wendy Allin. This premiered at Derby playhouse and then toured small scale venues and schools around the North of England.

1990 Steve Dolton directed john Connolly and Peter Jones  in The Morticians Tea Party by Hugh Ellis. This play was performed in small scale venues around the North of England and Midlands.

The Morticians Tea Party by Hugh Ellis

1991-93  John directed Bouncers by John Godber. Cast was John Connolly, Steve Dolton, Stephen Cox and Peter Jones. This was toured  in small and Mid scale venues in Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. 

Bouncers by John Godber

Bouncers by John Godber

1994 - 95 John directed and performed with Wendy Allin in Two  by Jim Cartwright. This was toured in small and mid scale venues around the North of England.

Two by Jim Cartwright


Two by Jim Cartwright


1995 Compact Theatre recruited 5 young actors who had recently graduated from Dartmouth College to perform a new play, Bandits by Richard King and Adam Law. Steve Dolton directed and Bandits toured small and mid scale venues in the North of England.

Bandits by Richard King and Adam Law.
Directed by Steve Dolton

1996  Muscle by Harry Connolly and Steve Dolton.

Directed by Harry Connolly (who changed his name due to Equity regulations) 
Cast was Harry Connolly, Steve Dolton, Stephen Cox, Sandra , Wendy Allin and ‘Kat’ 
Kat was later replaced by Phil Brodie Brown who went on to do much TV and film work including Dream Team, 3 Musketeers and is currently seeking work in Hollywood.    Muscle was toured to Mid scale venues throughout the UK performing to over a Half a  Million audience in the three years that it was toured. 

Muscle by Harry Connolly and Steve Dolton

 1999   One Big Blow  by John Burrows. This Acapella musical about a miners brass band,  was directed by Harry Connolly. Cast was Harry Connolly, Steve Dolton, Phil Hurst, Graham Seaton, Merv Allcock Ian Jones who was later replaced by Terry Smith. One Big Blow was performed throughout the UK in mid scale theatres and then transferred to the UAE where it was performed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to sell out audiences.

One Big Blow by John Burrows.

The six voices sounded so good together that  Harry Connolly wrote Three Steps to Heaven a musical play which  saw the formation of the oldest boyband in the world ‘Old Spice’. This was extremely successful so he wrote the sequel  Old Spice on the Road to Hell  which also contained ’ live ‘rockapella’ singing and over 30 songs from the past 4 decades.

Old Spice

Old Spice from 3 Steps to Heaven

From September 2002 , Old Spice went on the Road once again, but this time  in Old Spice Just Alive and Acoustic  tour which saw the company performing in the UAE over a 4 year period until 2005.

Old Spice

The lads went into the recording studio to produce their first album.

Album cover for Just Alive and Acoustic

Old Spice

Old Spice

Old Spice

Venues  we have  performed in since 1999.  

Aberdere Coliseum South Wales
Barrow in Furness Forum 28 Cumbria
Barnsley Lamproom Theatre Yorkshire
Bedworth Civic Theatre Warwick shire
Brecon Theatre Brycheiniog Wales
Billingham Forum Teeside
Burton On Trent Brewhouse  Arts Derbyshire
Belper Arts Derbyshire
Burnley Mechanics Lancashire
Boston Blackfriars Lincs
Bridlington Spa Theatre Yorkshire
Blythe Phoenix Theatre Northumberland
Cannock Prince of Wales Centre Midlands
Chesterfield Pomegranate Theatre Derbyshire
Chesterfield Arts Centre Derbyshire
Colne Municipal Hall Lancashire
Consett Empire Theatre Durham
Darlington Arts centre Teeside
Doncaster Civic Yorkshire
Dumfries  Langholme Theatre Scotland
Ebbwvale Beaufort Theatre South Wales
Gainsborough Trinity Arts Lincs
Hartlepool Town Hall Durham
Harlow  Playhouse Theatre Essex
Hereford Courtyard Theatre Herefordshire
Hunstanton The Princess Theatre Norfolk
Hull New Theatre Humberside
Kendal The Brewhouse Cumbria
Keswick Theatre by the Lake  Cumbria
Lowry Centre Salford Manchester
Loughborough Town hall Leicestershire
Lancaster The Dukes Theatre Lancashire
Milford haven Torch Theatre South Wales
Mansfield Palace Theatre Notts
Macclesfield Theatre Cheshire
Middlesborough Theatre North Yorkshire
Northwich Theatre Cheshire
Oldham Coliseum Manchester
Pontardawe Arts South Wales 
Preston Charter Theatre Lancashire
Redditch Palace Theatre Worcestershire
Retford  Majestic Theatre Lincs
Rotherham Civic Theatre Yorkshire
Rotherham Arts Centre Yorkshire
Spalding South Holland Centre Lincs
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre Staffordshire
Scunthorpe Powright Theatre Yorkshire
Stanley Civic  Theatre Durham
Sutton In Ashfield Centre Notts
Shrewsbury Music Hall Shropshire
Tewksbury Roses Theatre Gloucestershire
Wakefield opera House Yorkshire
Wellingborough Castle Theatre Northants
Worksop Regal Arts Notts
Whitley Bay Playhouse Tyne and Wear
Crown Plaza Dubai
Crown Plaza  Abu Dhabi
The Club Abu Dhabi

Since 2005 the lads have been performing  together in music venues, private functions, weddings , The Y Not Music Festival . Changing there names from Old Spice to Six Men in Black to Old Peculiar  to Men in Black and finally 


The Shaydes.

Phil Hurst

Steve Dolton

Phil and John

Terry Phil and John

Terry Smith

John Terry and Phil

John and Terry

Merv Allcock

When there were six.

Y Not Festival. 

Steve Dolton

Terry Smith and Steve

Steve plays the Blues.

1 comment:

  1. Several friends on FB have asked about what I did before I became an artist. So here's a few photos of my work in the theatre.:-)