A dramatic comedy full of twists, turns, strained relationships, scandal, gossip, secrets and dark humour opens in Stevenage next week.


Rehearsals are well under way for the Gordon Craig Theatre’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Neighbourhood Watch.

The comedy opens in Stevenage on Wednesday, May 9 and runs until Saturday, May 12.

Directed by the GCT’s artistic director Catherine Lomax, cast members got together for the first time last week.

On Tuesday, Catherine tweeted: “Only day 2 of rehearsals and the cast are utterly brilliant!

The Comet: Paul Lavers returns to the Gordon Craig Theatre in StevenagePaul Lavers returns to the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage (Image: Archant)

“I am having a lovely old time, you won’t want to miss this show!”

Neighbourhood Watch will feature a few faces familiar to audiences at the theatre in Lytton Way.

Paul Lavers returns to Stevenage to play the role of Rod Trusser.

You may recognise stage and screen veteran Paul from the cast of Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce, the theatre’s best-selling play to date.

The Comet: Paul Lavers playing Ernest in Bedroom Farce at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage in 2016 [Picture: Dave Nott]Paul Lavers playing Ernest in Bedroom Farce at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage in 2016 [Picture: Dave Nott] (Image: Copyright: Dave Nott 2013)

Paul has impeccable comic timing and was a huge hit with Gordon Craig audiences back in 2016.

Gordon Craig regular Adam Shorey, who appeared in Rapunzel The Musical, The Producers and Up ‘N’ Under last year and Singin’ in the Rain in 2016, also returns to the Stevenage stage.

Among the newcomers is Catherine McDonough, who will be playing the role of Hilda Massie.

Catherine joins the cast having just finished filming the role of Mrs Levine in a new TV pilot Hangman.


Her TV credits also include Morag McNichol in BBC series The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

The Neighbourhood Watch cast also features Victoria Fitz-Gerald, who has appeared on TV in The Royals, which stars Elizabeth Hurley, and Alan Carr’s New Year Specstacular.

An ex-gymnast and a trained soprano on the stage, she also presents on various Sky and online channels.

In Neighbourhood Watch, siblings Martin and Hilda Massie live their quiet Christian lives together and have moved within the boundaries of the Bluebell Hill Development.

The Comet: Neighbourhood Watch at the Gordon Craig Theatre in StevenageNeighbourhood Watch at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage (Image: Gordon Craig Theatre)

Whilst preparing for a housewarming party, a trespasser is caught in their back garden.

With this in mind, a neighbourhood watch group is soon set up, hoping it will prevent any further incidents.

However, what begins as a well-intentioned plan for a safer community ends in violence and bad blood.

Watch and see what happens when a startling set of events unfold as the Bluebell Hill residents really do take the law into their own hands.

Performances are at 7.30pm each night, with 2.30pm matinees on the Thursday and Saturday.

Adult evening tickets cost from £17.50 to £23, with concessions £2 off. Matinee performances cost £18.

There is also a student offer available for all performances with tickets priced £12.50 with a valid student ID card.

• To book, call the Gordon Craig Theatre box office on 01438 363200 or book online at www.gordon-craig.co.uk/play-neighbourhood-watch-i1948