Westhoughton Community Network

group for and run by community groups in Westhoughton

Cornerstone A.D.S. (formerly Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society)

About Us

Reheasal photo from recent Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society production'The Man in the Iron Pantomime Mask' Based at Cornerstone Church (formerly Westhoughton Methodist Church), Wigan Road (BL5 3QD). Rehearsal nights are Mondays from 7:30pm until 10pm.

The group's first production, the One-Act Play 'April Dawn' was in 1979. Two years later they put on their first Pantomime, 'Aladdin'. Apart from 1992 when the Church Hall was being refurbished, there has been a Pantomime every year since.

The group puts on three productions each year: the Pantomime, for which it writes or adapts its own scripts, scheduled for the two middle weekends in February; a Comedy Play is on the third weekend in May. Since 2013 a Murder Mystery has been added to the roster - these quickly became a particular favourite with audiences and have expanded from a one-off presentation to weekend runs. Thanks to involvement with Westhoughton Community Network the group produced a serialised radio play in seven parts for the 2014 Washacre FM broadcast; a second radio play - Robin Hood and His Merrie Men - was produced for the 2015 broadcast. Participate at the regular WCN Community Fayres - one such performance was an open air amateur dramatic taster involving our young actors at the 2014 'Big Fun Day'.

in 2018/19 Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society celebrated 40 years of entertaining the local people of Westhoughton. Since the first production in 1979 the Society have produced February pantomimes such as 'Aladdin', 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and 'Cinderella' in traditional fashion with others a more esoteric and frankly whacky! Local references aplenty!

Over the 40 years of performing Westhoughton Methodist ADS has raised over £35,000 for good causes.

Washacre FM 2014 radio play 'Old King Cole's Treasure Hunt' as broadcast June 16th to 22nd available to listen to online at Washacre FM - Audioboom - first instalment is '1a' (info).

The 2015 Washacre FM Radio play - Robin Hood and his Merrie Men - is available to listen to on YouTube in seven parts: E1 | E2 | E3 | E4 | E5 | E6 | E7.

New members are most welcome.

Anyone wishing to join our backstage crew to help with such items as: publicity, ticket sales, sound effects, scene changes, costumes or props, will be very welcome.

For further details: telephone - 07808 841631 or email: WMADS | Facebook.

Current Productions

Coming Soon!

Comedy Plays: 'Friday Night Radio Play' / 'Right On Cue'

Cornerstone ADS presents an evening with two comedy plays - 'Friday Night Radio Play' / 'Right On Cue' - September 2023.The latest offering for Cornerstone ADS is an evening of two short plays giving all the ensemble a chance to tread the boards and entertain.

The first is 'Friday Night Radio Play' - Grandma is looking forward to listening to her regular Friday afternoon play as her son, Geoff, has written this week's play. But it all goes wrong! The second is 'Right On Cue' - the police are trying to find the 'Battersea Batterer', but need a couple of profilers to help them. Not so much Cracker but a cracker!

Performances: Friday 15th and Saturday 16th September at 7:30pm (doors 7pm). Tickets cost £7 and include a pie and peas supper (ice-cream will be on sale).

Contact Anna on 07500 907896 to order tickets for the two comedy plays or call into Church Hall on a Monday evening between 7:00pm and 7:30pm.

Cornerstone Church, Wigan Road, Westhoughton BL5 3RQ.

With the formal merger of the former Bethel Church and Methodist Church congregations as a LEP (Local Ecumenical Partnership) on 5/6/22, the church has been rebranded Cornerstone Church (so-named after the famous stone from which John Wesley first preached). The ADS will be taking on the new name and calling itself Cornerstone ADS.


2007 Panto: Sleeping Beauty
Comedy-Thriller: It was a Dark and Stormy Night  by Tim Kelly
2008 Panto: Mother Goose - the Pirate Version
Comedy-Thriller: Laughter in the Dark  by Victor Lucas
2009 Panto: Sinbad the Sailor
Comedy-Thriller: A Tomb with a View  by Norman Robbins
2010 Panto: Babes in the Wood
Farce: Off the Hook!  by Derek Benfield
2011 Panto: Old King Cole's Treasure Hunt
Comedy-Horror: The House of Frankenstein!  by Martin Downing
2012 Panto: The Man in the Iron Pantomime Mask
Comedy-Mystery: Wanted-One Body!  by Charles Dyer
2013 Panto: Hansel & Gretel  by The Brothers Grimm
Comedy-Horror: The House of Dracula  by Martin Downing
Murder Mystery: Who Killed The Hotel Manager?  by Chris Martin
2014 Panto: Puss in Boots  by Charles Perault
Comedy: The Ferndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery  by David McGillivray & Walter Zerlin Jnr
Murder Mystery: Who Killed The Caretaker?  by Chris Martin
2015 Panto: Ali Baba & the Four Thieves
Comedy: The Titfield Thunderbolt
Murder Mystery: Who Killed The Football Manager?  by Chris Martin
2016 Panto: The Princess, the Penguin and the Potting Shed
Comedy Play: Inspector Drake's Last Case  by David Tristram
Murder Mystery: Who Killed The Headmaster?  by Chris Martin
2017 Panto: Cinderella
Comedy Play: A Fish Out Of Water  by Derek Benfield
Murder Mystery: Who Killed The Ship's Captain?
2018 Panto: Jack and the Beanstalk
Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Secret Agent?  by Chris Martin
Comedy Plays (2): The Miasma in Mostyn Mews  by Alan Ogden
Easy Stages  by N J Warburton
2019 Panto: Aladdin
Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Farmer?  by Chris Martin
Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Vicar?  by Chris Martin
2021 Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Holiday Rep?  by Chris Martin
2022 Panto: Sleeping Beauty
Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Soap Star?  by Chris Martin
Short Plays (2): Rhyme for Reason
Alright on the Night
  by WMADS
Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Pop Star?  by Chris Martin
2023 Panto: Hansel & Gretel  by Brothers Grimm
2023 Murder Mystery: Who Killed the Mad Scientist?  by Chris Martin

Bill Greenhalgh

Bill Greenhalgh with Colin Gradwell at Westhoughton Community Network Fayre 2nd June 2013 - Westhoughton Methodist ADS stall Sadly Bill Greenhalgh passed away on the 19th January 2017 after a battle with bowel cancer. Bill was the face of Westhoughton Methodist ADS at WCN meetings, and was enthusiastic about the community getting involved in events. A true local character, distinctive in looks, and with a passion for amateur dramatics; as well as directing and having parts in WMADS productions, he would both adapt and write scripts for the group for players to perform - this he had done for many, many years, sending in detailed summaries and synopsis of productions to WCN for this website.

He had a sense of fun and was eager to work with other groups helping to involve Westhoughton Methodist ADS in wider projects such as the excellent Washacre FM radio plays, specially adapting pantos for the 7-part 15-minute episodes; the Big Fun Day, where WMADS performed in the open air, as well as being part of other community events.

Bill Greenhalgh - Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society actor and script-writer. Bill's Funeral took place at Overdale Crematorium on Friday, 3rd February, followed by a time of 'Celebration' of Bill's colourful, varied and full life with friends and family in the Hall at Westhoughton Methodist Church. His sister Helena, asks if people could share something of their connection with Bill - often the family is unaware of the busyness of theses community stalwarts and how they touch people's lives.

Bill of course will be greatly missed within the WCN family, and particularly amongst his friends at Westhoughton Methodist ADS and Church. RIP Bill.

Now uploaded: interview with Bill talking about the ADS group, theatre and amateur dramatics from the 2013 Washacre FM broadcast available on Soundcloud (25 minutes).

Over at Daisy Hill Station celebrating an epic journey by Bill's from China to Westhoughton by train, Friends of Daisy Hill Station with support from the family has commissioned a bench with planters, put in place summer 2018. The story of the journey told here: Shanghai to Daisy Hill.

Previous Performances

Like many community and social groups the years 2021 and 2021 (and even into 2022) saw much distruption with Covid Lockdowns and restrictions with the group being unable to perform or new suitable material not being available. Some personnel changes too seeing old faces go and new people arrive once performances restarted. Adapted Murder Mysteries being a good standby (Who Killed the Holiday Rep? and Who Killed the Pop Star?) to fill the schedule. There was a welcome return to action with the February 2022 Panto, 'Sleeping Beauty', the year then proceeding as normal for the schedule, with a new name for the drama group - Cornerstone ADS - reflecting the church's merger with the closed down Bethel.

Westhoughton Methodist ADS presents a Murder Mystery Premier - Who Killed The Farmer? - May. Murder Mystery: 'Who Killed the Mad Scientist?' - April 2023

Another of Cornerstone's popular Murder Mystery evenings, again written by local playwright Chris Martin. A fun evening's entertainment with the audience working in teams to solve the Whodunnit?, with a quiz and raffle; a pie and peas supper included in the ticket price (£8).

Performances on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd April. The troup then took the murder mystery 'on tour' to Over Hulton Conservative Club (26/4/23) and St. Augustine’s Bolton (29/4/23).

Panto! 'Hansel & Gretel' - February 2023

A little over 200 years ago, in the German town of Kassel, the Brothers Grimm first published their collection of folk tales. Little did they realise that one of their stories - Hansel and Gretel - really took place in Hall Lee Bank Forest, which in those days was a very dark, scary place and part of a much bigger forest. The folk tales were not new, but were collected from tales passed down generation to generation. This Cornerstone ADS performance takes you back to those dark, eerie days… the story is based (loosely) on the Brothers Grimm tale, but also embracing some of the plot from our previous panto creator, Bill Greenhalgh - fondly remembered.

Westhoughton Methodist ADS performed its first pantomime Aladdin in 1981. Apart from 1992, when the church hall was being refurbished and 2021 when the dreaded COVID restrictions prevented any theatre performances, this drama group has put on a pantomime every year since so - this performance of Hansel and Gretel being the 41st pantomime.

Photo Selection - Cornerstone ADS 2023 Panto - Hansel & Gretel

Performances took place on on the weekends of 10th/11th and 17th/18th February including a matinee on the final Saturday, and were a great success and best attended for some time.

'Rhyme for Reason' and 'Alright on the Night' - September 2022

Autumn 2022 saw the drama group take on two new short plays, giving all the players are chance to perform that evening. The group's first new comedy dramas since the interruptions of Lockdowns. Performances took place Friday 9th and Saturday 10th September.

A Murder Mystery, 'Who Killed the Pop Star?', supplimented the schedule (21st & 22nd October) providing a fun Whodunnit? evening whilst rehearsals were ongoing for the 2023 panto, 'Hansel & Gretel'.

'Who Killed The Vicar?' - July 2019

Westhoughton Methodist ADS presents a Murder Mystery Premier - Who Killed The Farmer? - May. Special Performance: with vicar Rev'd Lesley Dinham leaving the Church for pastures new, WMADS is putting on a special show for her with a performance of 'Who Killed The Vicar?', a Murder Mystery asking the audience to figure out who is responsible for this horrendous crime!

Over the last 5 years Lesley has given great service to Church, community and this Amateur Dramatic group itself with some fine performances; this will be a fitting and heartfelt send-off to a good friend.

Performances took place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th July (7:15pm). Tickets £7 including supper. Available from the usual sources.

After a summer break, during which some of the team will be helping Westhoughton Local History Group recreated the Peterloo Uprising, the dramatists will re-group for their next productions.

Who Killed The Farmer? (Murder Mystery) - May 2019

Westhoughton Methodist ADS presents a Murder Mystery Premier - Who Killed The Farmer? - May. After the success of last year's world première of 'Who killed the Secret Agent?' by Adlington based playwright Chris Martin, Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society was doubly proud to have been approached to première the latest of Chris' works; 'Who Killed the Farmer?'.

"After a continuously successful 40th anniversary season Westhoughton Methodist ADS are overjoyed to be involved in a second première with Chris Martin" said David Fensome, Chairman of the local church drama group. "The opportunity to produce and perform a new piece is a real honour, however to be asked to do a second means we must be doing something right as a group and is a fitting finale to our 40th Anniversary season".

Chris Martin who attended last year's première with his wife June said "I thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife knew very little about the show and thought it was wonderful. Great cast. Great staging." Chris went on to say "Westhoughton Methodist ADS did such a good job that they were always in my mind when writing this new piece."

The première last year was attended by the Mayors of Chorley and Westhoughton and raised over £600 for charity.

The première of the new murder mystery play 'Who Killed the Farmer?' took place on the weekend of May 10th and 11th at Westhoughton Methodist Church.

Westhoughton Methodist ADS Murder Mystery rehearsal - Who Killed The Farmer?. The action this time moves away from the covert conspiratorial corridors of Whitehall into the more picturesque but no less deadly setting of a remote farm in rural Scarsdale. Someone has been up to no good and soon a murder results from the scheming. With lots of back-stabbing, infidelity and double dealing the audience will enjoy unravelling the clues to decide Whodunit and who committed the foul deed? Quizzes with prizes for most correct answers and best answers.

Always a fun and interactive evening… Shows took place on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th May (Curtain up 7:15pm). Tickets £7, with pasty and peas supper and refreshments.

Westhoughton Methodist ADS presents their 2019 Panto - Aladdin - February.Aladdin (Panto) - February 2019

Continuing its 40th Anniversary celebrations Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society put on Aladdin for its February 2019 Panto.

One of the oldest stories used in Pantoland, the original story is set in China, where Aladdin lives with his mother, Widow Twankey. Abanazar tells Aladdin to go deep into a cave and bring him an old lamp. Abanazar, however, will try to trick Aladdin by telling him to pass up the lamp, while plotting to leave Aladdin in the cave…!

Performances were the weekends of 8th/9th and 15th/16th February. This year there was a special matinee on Saturday 16th February offering a panto and Chinese meal ticket - a tie-in with Man's Palace.

Two One Act Comedy Plays - September 2018

Westhoughton Methodist ADS presents an evening of 2 comedy plays late September. Continuing the drama group's 40th anniversary celebrations, the hard working actors and production team of Westhoughton Methodist ADS autumn offerings were two short plays over each evening: 'The Miasma in Mostyn Mews' by Alan Ogden, and 'Easy Stages' by N J Warburton. Fun and farce, and double the entertainment - took place Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September.

The drama group have been busy with some of the productions being toured locally (Murder Mysteries being a popular booking), and actors are to feature in end of World War One Remembrance Events.

Who Killed The Secret Agent? (Murder Mystery) - April 2018

Murder Mystery - Westhoughton Methodist ADS, 21 and 27/28 April 2018 (7:15pm). A very special event from Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society in this their 40th year, as it presented the topically entitled 'Who Killed the Secret Agent?'. These the first performances anywhere of this new Murder Mystery by Adlington-based scriptwriter and playwright, Chris Martin, whose works the drama group has often performed, and with whom it has stuck up a good rapport. WMADS is particularly delighted to have the honour of performing the 'Première'.

'Who killed the Secret Agent?' is based in the office of Spy Master 'P' during the height of the Cold War, and just days after Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. The plot revolves around the death of Super-spy, Marcus Moult-Lightly, and introduces a number of suspicious, but oh, so secret characters! A performance in three parts, as the audience tries to solve the mystery and discover the murderer and accomplice from the clues within? There are general knowledge and play-related questions, as well as a fun answer. Most marks and best answers win prizes.

An entertaining evening. This year supporting Church projects and Atherton-based charity 'Guide Dogs'. In addition, a separate 'Silent Auction' encouraged bids for items and gifts donated by local businesses.

Performances took place Saturday, 21st April (The Official 'Gala Première'), with subsequent performances on Friday, 27th and Saturday, 28th April.

Panto! Jack and the Beanstalk - February 2018

Getting the year off to a great start, a traditional pantomime! Family fun, peril, big performances, much laughter and plenty of audience participation. It took place 2nd/3rd and 9th/10th February.

Cantata - March 2018

Westhoughton Methodist Church embarked on a musical project for Easter. Performed in Bolton on 30th (Good Friday) and 31st March (Easter Saturday), a choir was formed, with rehearsals starting in mid-January and led by the Reverend Lesley Dinham, the Cantata - a presentation of the life of Christ in music, drama and narration - was a great success.

Performances - 2017

Murder Mystery - Westhoughton Methodist ADS 27-28 October 2017 (7:30pm).Murder Mystery: Who Killed The Ship's Captain? - October 2017

With some new faces joining the ensemble, and taking place on board ship, this quirky and humorous tale of scheming and murder was great fun, and played to engaged and entertained audiences on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th October.

Audience participation with quiz, and many fooled as to the perpetrator! An extra dose of dramatic fun whilst Westhoughton Methodist ADS prepared for its 2018 panto.

'Fish Out Of Water' - Comedy Play, May 2017

May 2017 saw the WMADS putting on an hilarious Comedy Play 'A Fish Out of Water' by Derek Benfield over the weekend of Friday 19th and Saturday 20th May. Seven British holiday makers are booked into the same hotel on the Italian Riviera in the early 1960s… A poignant and well-received first production since the death of Bill Greenhalgh, as they re-group and take on new roles to continue the long legacy of Westhoughton Methodist ADS.

'Cinderella' - Panto, February 2017

Cinderella - 2017 Pantomime from Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society.For this year's family pantomime Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society have recently presented 'Cinderella'…

It's the group's 35th Pantomime; the traditional tale of down-trodden maid and mean and vain ugly sisters…, a ball, a dress, a handsome Prince and some slippery goings on.

Performance took place on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th, Friday 17th and Saturday 18th February, at the Westhoughton Methodist Church Hall, Wigan Road, Westhoughton, BL5 3QD. Contact

For tickets and enquiries about being involved pop along to the Church Hall Monday or Tuesday evening (7.30-8.30pm) or Saturday morning (10:00am to noon). Email or call Colin on 07808 841631.

Previous Performances

'Inspector Drake's Last Case' - Comedy Play, May 2016

Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society present a spoof whodunit? Wealthy Mrs Gagarin has been shot in the grounds of the extensive mansion situated in a remote part of the English countryside, where she lived with her son, Victor Gagarin. Scotland Yard's finest detective, Inspector Drake, is on the case within the hour, helped by his inept assistant, Sergeant Plod. As well as Victor Gagarin, everyone else in the house is a potential suspect; Miss Duck (Mrs Gagarin's fashion business partner), Mr Butler (a guest), Mr Guest (the decrepit butler), Mr Cook (the gardener) and Mrs Gardner (the cook).

Inspector Drake ruthlessly interrogates them all, despite his total inability to remember anyone's name. What is the significance of the low- hanging warming pan? Why has the grandfather clock stopped at 10:03? What is hidden in the mysterious depths of the coal cellar? Will Inspector Drake's lie detector identify the murderer?

No goldfish, bananas or dead rats were harmed in this production. The plot twists and turns until eventually Inspector Drake is able to reveal the identity of who shot Mrs Gagarin. But as Sgt Plod says, "don't believe everything you see, don't always expect a murderer to tell the truth and make sure you know who's who". Has Inspector Drake got it right? Or will this prove to be Inspector Drake's Last Case?

Performances took place on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th May 2016. Synopsis.

The Princess, the Penguin and the Potting Shed - Panto, February 2016

Jack, Mrs Clarks, Mindthedoors, the Queen, Jack Sprat, Princess Bobbie, Roy Rover, Mrs Sprat, Jill and the Grand Old Duke of York are delighted by the arrival of Patty the Pie-Person.  But where is the mysterious Penguin, not to mention the invisible Potting Shed? In February, Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society presented their 35th Pantomime set in the Nursery Rhyme part of Pantoland. The wicked Queen of the Underground, her evil henchman, Mindthedoors, and the Queen's hordes of evil minions are invading Pantoland through her newly completed CrossPanto tunnel. The Queen is keen to create chaos and mayhem using spells from Granny Pop-out-of-bed, the wicked witch of Pantoland. The ancient scrolls foretell that in such a dire emergency, a Princess and a Hero must be found to save the Nursery Rhyme part of Pantoland. Jack and Jill, who run a water carrying business, decide to use the magic Portal for this quest, even though the Portal has been unreliable in the past. Is this a wise move, or will it end in tears?

Jill has a new pair of tights, much to the amusement of Roy Rover, Mrs Clarks, Jack Sprat, the Queen, Patty the Pie-Person, Jack, Princess Bobbie, Mrs Sprat, Mindthedoors and the Grand Old Duke of York.  But will the map of the Underground that Jack has found lead to the mysterious Penguin, not to mention the invisible Potting Shed? Meanwhile, in Hart Common, the eccentric scientist Professor Quatermess and his housekeeper Mrs Danvers, are expecting a visitor and the delivery of the evening paper. It is highly unlikely that Bobbie and Roy Rover, the paperboy, are a princess and a hero but stranger things have happened in the past. Either way, the Professor is determined to keep his invisible potting shed and its contents a closely guarded secret. Life in Pantoland will soon become difficult for the Nursery Rhyme folk. How will Jack Sprat, Little Jack Horner and the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe cope with the invasion? Will the Council of Jacks ever make a decision, or are they only interested in eating lunch and playing endless games of 'Fish'? Who is the mysterious Penguin who keeps appearing? Is it related to Jack the Jackass Penguin on the Council of Jacks? The Grand Old Duke of York and his men might save the day, or they might not. Will everything rest on Jack and Jill actually finding the Princess and the Hero?

'The Princess, the Penguin & the Potting Shed' is a fast moving story bringing together several Nursery Rhymes and their characters, similar but quite different to Narnia and Yonderland. It contains scenes of mild peril involving an invisible potting shed, a house building kit, WonTon TaiChi, impractical first aid, pies, buckets, sing-a-long songs, audience participation and traditional pantomime jokes. No fish, frogs, three-headed monkeys, spiders or penguins have been harmed in this production.

Performances took place Friday 12th, Saturday 13th, Friday 19th and Saturday 20th February.

Download synopsis.

Who Killed the Football Manager? - Murder Mystery, November 2015

Murder Mystery evening 'Who Killed the Football Manager?' by Chris Martin. Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society present a murder mystery evening set in the Willow-Garth Boarding School for Young Gentlemen in Bledgeworth. Bob the Hatchet Slayer was the captain of the England team managed by the great Sir Eric Garner. But his football career took a downward slide and he has been forced to take a job as a Football Tutor.

His forthcoming biography penned by celebrity biographer, Steve Swift, might improve his fortunes, but only if certain information stays buried. May 21st 1974 is Bob's birthday but it is hardly a day for celebration, even with a birthday cake. The school football team has been thrashed 6-0 by their local rivals. He has substituted his star goalkeeper, Matt Dorr, who is not best pleased. The headmistress, Eileen Armstrong-Payne and Matt Dorr's mother, Patricia O Dorr want to kick Bob into touch. His PE assistant, Daisy Chain, is enthusiastic but hopeless. To make matters worse, two people from Bob's past who he would prefer not to meet, football agent Terry Towling and ex- Miss England Trudy Goodnight, are on their way to see him…

What could possibly go wrong in such a renown seat of learning? By late evening, a murder will be committed in the PE room that is Bob the Hatchet Slayer's office and everyone in the school will be a suspect. Detective Inspector Spence and Trainee Inspector Watkins are in the area and will soon be on the case. Tensions will rapidly rise as Inspector Spence ruthlessly interrogates the suspects. There will be more football references than a whole season of Match of the Day. Potential motives will fly in all directions as the truth about the intrigue, double-dealing and deception is gradually revealed.


Several people would like to see the back of Bob The Hatchet Slayer.  Eileen Armstrong-Payne and Terry Towling try some football scarves for a close fit round Bob's neck, whilst Trainee Inspector Watkins tries to work out if the scarves are potential murder weapons.  But Who Killed the Football Manager? Before long all the evidence will be uncovered and Inspector Spence will know who committed the murder. The question is: do the audience know 'Whodunnit'? Over a pastie and peas supper, the audience will have the opportunity to decide who carried out the murder and to answer a 'Murder Mystery Quiz' based on what they have seen and heard. Inspector Spence will then reveal the true identity of who committed the murder. Prizes will be awarded for the best answer to 'Whodunnit', the funniest 'Comedy Answer' and the highest score in the 'Murder Mystery Quiz'.

Performance took place on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th November. Curtain Up is 7.30pm prompt. Synopsis.

This amateur production presented by arrangement with 'Murder Plays'.

The Titfield Thunderbolt - Comedy Play, May 2015

Miss Joan Weech and Rev. Sam Weech are waiting patiently for 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' to arrive.  Will they have long to wait?   Mr Burbridge, Mr Vernon Crump, Mr Harry Crump, Miss  Coggett and Squire Chesterford are waiting too. Westhoughton Methodist ADS present a comedy based on the original Ealing Comedy screenplay by T.E.B. Clarke. The Titfield to Mallingford branch line is being axed, and the Vicar and the Squire form a group to buy and run the line. The town clerk is concerned about safety but more serious opposition is likely from ruthless Vernon Crump and his replacement bus service. The arguments for and against drive a wedge between Harry Crump, a steamroller owner, and his sweetheart Joan, the vicar's niece. Romance and other aspects of village life are put on hold until the results of the public inquiry and inspection by the Ministry of Transport officials are known. The rivalry between the railway and the bus factions involves the audience during three journeys to Mallingford by train or bus. 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' features large special effects such as two steam locomotives, a steamroller and a Bedford bus, so it will be steam up for an entertaining evening of comedy, romance and nostalgia.

Mr Harry Crump is having problems with his steamroller and needs help to repair it.  However his father, Mr Vernon Crump, is more interested in promoting his new omnibus service which will rival 'The Titfield Thunderbolt.' 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' is suitable for all.

Performances took place Friday 15th May and Saturday 16th May.

'The Titfield Thunderbolt' presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD

Directed by Bill Greenhalgh. Download synopsis.

Westhoughton Methodist ADS followed this with 'Robin Hood and his Merrie Men', a fun, 7-part serialised play for Washacre FM (87.7) 2015 broadcast daily 1st to 7th June.

Ali Baba & the Four Thieves - Panto, February 2015

Morgiana, Lady Baba and Sultana Pepper have travelled to the desert with Ali Baba and his camel. But do they know that Kentucky Smith and the Wicked Step Mummy have joined them? The latest Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society production is the annual panto, 'Ali Baba & the Four Thieves,' our 34th Pantomime. The story of Ali Baba and his encounter with the Forty Thieves is well-known from the 1001 Arabian Nights collection of folk stories. The story of what happened when Ali Baba met the Four Thieves is less familiar, but even more exciting and mysterious.

The Four Thieves, led by Abu Ben Hadem, hide out in a secret cave in Sesame Mountain, on the far side of Hunger Hill. This is no ordinary cave, it is The Cave, with its own personality. Not only does it provide the hiding place for the ill-gotten gains of the Four Thieves, but The Cave has hidden depths and multiple levels including Level Four Special. Times are hard in Sesame Mountain, and the former Forty Thieves are down to the last four. But Abu Ben Hadem has a cunning plan!

Can Ali Baba discover the secret password to enter The Cave and explore it's many levels before the Four Thieves catch up with him? His camel is essential, but who will he meet in The Cave?

Kentucky Smith, Morgiana, Ali Baba and his camel are trapped in the depths of The Cave.  Do they have any ideas on how to find the way out? He is only a simple woodcutter, but Ali Baba will need all his skills to decipher hieroglyphics, solve riddles, wrangle penguins and fly a magic carpet. What will be on sale in the Bazaar today to interest Ali Baba's wife, Lady Baba? What is in the Ali Baba basket? Will Kentucky Smith ever sell one of his fine leather jackets? Will Ali Baba's greedy brother, Rum Baba, also want to explore The Cave, or will he send his faithful servant, Morgiana, instead? Does the Zookeeper, or indeed anyone else, understand the true significance of Lord Elgin's marbles?

'Ali Baba & the Four Thieves' is a fast moving story, loosely based on the 1001 Arabian Nights tale, containing scenes of mild peril involving priceless artefacts, passwords, marbles, unlucky charms, Egyptian mummies, snake pits and traditional pantomime jokes. No tigers, camels, snakes, spiders or penguins have been harmed in this production.

Directed by Bill Greenhalgh. Script written by Bill Greenhalgh. Download synopsis.

Who Killed The Caretaker? - Murder Mystery, November 2014

Bob, Rosemary Gardener, William Knott, Trunk Scaffold and Miss Clarissa Apprehension all have the motivation (and the weapons) to murder Jasper Ricketts as he sits at his desk. But Who Killed the Caretaker? Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society most recent production was a murder mystery evening. Set in Blinkton- on-Sea Comprehensive School. Jasper Ricketts is the caretaker of the school but his assistant Bob does all the work whilst Jasper schemes with local builder Trunk Scaffold and flirts with Shirley Knott the school librarian and wife of William Knott the drama teacher. Headmistress Miss Clarissa Apprehension has her suspicions and carefully monitors the CCTV cameras she has had installed in strategic parts of the school. It is Friday 13th May, a school training day so only a few of the teachers have come in, including Rosemary Gardener the art teacher who is helping Bob prepare the set for the forthcoming production of 'The Threepenny Opera' under the direction of William Knott.

What could possibly go wrong in such a quiet seat of learning? Surprisingly, shortly before 12 noon, a murder will be committed in the basement room that caretaker Jasper Ricketts calls 'his office' and everyone in the school will be a suspect. Detective Inspector Swann of Scotland Yard is already in the area and by late afternoon will be on the case. Tensions will rapidly rise as Inspector Swann ruthlessly interrogates the suspects. Potential motives will fly in all directions as the truth about the intrigue, double-dealing and deception is gradually uncovered.

Bob, Rosemary Gardener, William Knott, the Narrator, Trunk Scaffold and Miss Clarissa Apprehension all have the motivation (and the weapons) to murder Jasper Ricketts as he sits at his desk. But Who Killed the Caretaker? Before long all the evidence will be uncovered and Inspector Swann will know who committed the murder! The question is: do the audience know 'Whodunnit?' Over a pastie and peas supper, the audience will have the opportunity to decide who carried out the murder and to answer a 'Murder Mystery Quiz' based on what they have seen and heard. Inspector Swann will then reveal the true identity of who committed the murder. Prizes will be awarded for the best answer to 'Whodunnit,' the funniest 'Comedy Answer' and the highest score in the 'Murder Mystery Quiz.'

Download synopsis. Directed by Bill Greenhalgh, this amateur production is presented by arrangement with 'Murder Plays'.

Performance took place on Saturday, 15th November 2014.

Puss In Boots - Panto, February 2014

Josselin Grigg, the miller's youngest son, has inherited a cat. Fairy Bluebell, Old Mother Hubbard, Prince Bruce, Princess Petunia, King Basil, Fairy Belladonna, Little Bo Peep, Lucy Locket and Lawyer Scarlett have come to admire Tiddles.This 2014 traditional family panto was Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society's 33rd Pantomime, loosely based on the French folk tale published over three hundred years ago in the collection by Charles Perrault, 'Contes du temps passés.' The folk tales were not new, they had been passed on orally from one storyteller to the next for many generations.

King Basil has three problems; the bills with the Royal Dressmakers that his wife Queen Amaryllis is running up, the lack of an acceptable suitor for the hand of his hard-to-please daughter Princess Petunia, and the large debt that he owes to Hernando Gargantuan, the local Ogre.

Josselin Grigg also has a problem. His father Jeremy Grigg the Miller has died and most likely will have left his mill and his donkeys to Josselin's older brothers. When Lawyer Scarlett reads the will, what will be left over for Josselin to help him earn a living?

Josselin Grigg, the miller's youngest son, has inherited Tiddles the cat.  Will Tiddles help Josselin achieve fame and fortune?Will Little Bo Peep ever find her sheep? What exactly is in the pockets of Lucy Locket? Has Little Miss Muffet overcome her fear of spiders and extreme heights? What are the secrets of the bones in Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard? Which is more powerful; Fairy Belladonna's evil potions, or Fairy Bluebell's magic wand? What extraordinary items will Hernando Gargantuan and his Uncle Albert acquire for their vast collection of valuable antiques? Above all, who is the mysterious Marquis of Carabas and will a talking cat with a sword, a pouch and designer boots help Josselin achieve fame and fortune?

'Puss in Boots' is a fast moving story containing scenes of mild peril involving designer boots, swashbuckling, holograms, bizarre antiques, shape-shifting, deckchairs, talent contests and traditional pantomime jokes. No mice, snakes, spiders, penguins or parrots have been harmed as part of this production.

Directed by and with a script written by Bill Greenhalgh, 'Puss in Boots' is suitable for all ages. Download synopsis

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society - Murder Mystery, May 2014

Audrey playing Letitia, Brian playing Rose, Felicity playing Pawn the Butler and Thelma playing Daphne discuss the significance of the king chess piece to the Murder at Checkmate Manor. Performed on the 16th and 17th May, a comedy where the Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatists portray the ladies of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society putting on a murder mystery play 'Murder at Checkmate Manor.' Most amateur dramatic societies live in fear of things going wrong. The Farndale Ladies have no such fears, although their productions are full of missed cues, collapsing scenery, misbehaving props and faulty sound effects. Led in her own indomitable style by Mrs Reece, the chairman of the Farndale Avenue Dramatic Society, with the assistance of prima-donna Thelma Greenwood, sheer enthusiasm carries them through to the fall of the final curtain with time for a film show, fashion parade and quiz as well. In 'Murder at Checkmate Manor' the family members are gathering for the reading of Sir Reginald Bishop's will.

Brian playing Rose, Thelma playing Daphne, Audrey playing Letitia and Felicity playing Pawn the Butler look for possible clues as to who might have committed the Murder at Checkmate Manor. A startling codicil makes them all potential murder victims, signalled on a sinister chess board. Will Inspector O'Reilly, one of Scotland Yard's finest detectives, solve the murders, discover delicious recipes and maybe even find romance? An entertaining evening of chaos, murder and unexpected happenings is inevitable.

Directed by Bill Greenhalgh, 'The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery' was presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Ltd. Download synopsis

Who Killed the Hotel Manager? - Murder Mystery, November 2013

Detective Inspector Currie checks into the Primrose Glade Hotel, helped by Delphinium Wilts, Cherry Blossom and Rex Wilts. Our most recent production was the Murder Mystery evening on Saturday 16th November 2013. A short murder mystery play, "Who Killed the Hotel Manager?" by Chris Martin, performed, with members of the audience having the opportunity to work out who carried out the murder. There was also a short quiz about details mentioned in the play and a prize for the most amusing solution to the murder.

Set in the 'Primrose Glade Hotel', situated in a quiet northern seaside town. Rex Wilts is the manager and proud owner of the hotel and his vivacious wife, Delphinium, helps him to run it, assisted by their friendly but inefficient maid, Cherry Blossom, and greasy-spoon chef, Toby Jugg. The 'Primrose Glade' attracts few guests due to its location slightly off the beaten track. At the moment Susan Perslooth and Charles Cusspet are the only two guests, even though it is the middle of June. However, Sid Whittle, the lead singer of the rock-covers band 'Cherokee' is about to check-in, with the rest of the band expected later in the afternoon. What could possibly go wrong in such a quiet location?

'Who Killed the Hotel Manager?' - Detective Inspector Currie , Cherry Blossom and Delphinium Wilts examine Rex Wilts.Surprisingly, shortly after 12 noon, a murder will be committed and everyone at the hotel will be a suspect. Detective Inspector Currie of Scotland Yard is already in the area and by late afternoon will be on the case. His investigations will quickly reveal that all those present have dark secrets and some of them may not be precisely who they appear to be. Tensions will rapidly rise as Inspector Currie ruthlessly interrogates the suspects. Potential motives will fly in all directions as the truth about the intrigue, double-dealing and deception is gradually uncovered. Before long all the evidence will be uncovered and Inspector Currie will know who committed the murder.


The question is: do the audience know 'Whodunnit'? Over a pastie and peas supper, the audience will have the opportunity to decide who carried out the murder and to answer a 'Murder Mystery Quiz' based on what they have seen and heard. After the break, Inspector Currie will reveal the true identity of who committed the murder. Prizes will be awarded for the best answer to 'Whodunnit', the funniest 'Comedy Answer' and the highest score in the 'Murder Mystery Quiz'.


This amateur production presented by arrangement with 'Murder Plays'.

The House of Dracula - Comedy-Horror, May 2013

In their last offering the Westhoughton Methodist Amateur Dramatic Society presented the comedy-horror 'The House of Dracula' by Martin Downing, performed Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May.

Harry Talbot, the Countess and Baron Frankenstein don't know who is more frightening, the Count who wants a quick bite, or Frau Lurker and her whip.

Set in a grim and macabre castle in Transylvania. Baron Victor Von Frankenstein and his attractive wife Elizabeth ought to know better than to accept an invitation for a few days away from a stranger, who merely signs himself CD. Much worse, the Frankensteins' two faithful servants, the unsavoury hunchback Ygor and the Valkyrian housekeeper Frau Lurker, have been left behind on the journey along with the Frankensteins' luggage.

After an eventful journey, arriving in a howling gale gets the holiday off to a bad start for the Frankensteins. Things go downhill rapidly for not only is the castle surrounded by monsters, fiends, ghouls, ghosts and long-leggerty beasties, but some of them are inside as well. Harry Talbot was harmless once but his werewolf tendencies have almost become permanent rather than only at full moon. The previously delightful Isabelle Channing is now not just assertive but downright aggressive. And to cap it all, CD's servant Groat, is a decaying zombie.

Frau Lurker demonstrates her whip to Harry Talbot, the Countess, the Count and Baron Frankenstein. Can the Frankensteins and their fellow guests rise to the challenge of the gruelling test that their mysterious hosts, the Count and Countess, have in store for them? Who is the fiendish Doctor, the final guest to arrive? What is inside the strange box that has been propped against the wall and covered with a sheet? As darkness begins to fall the visitors all arrive and the wolves begin to howl to celebrate the start of Walpurgisnacht. In Castles in Transylvania, no-one can hear you scream!

Download synopsis

Hansel and Gretel - Panto, February 2013

Hansel & Gretel. Hansel and Esau are trying hard to help the Famous Bushman Left - Right.  Hansel, the Famous Bushman & Esau. For their 32nd pantomime, WMADS production is loosely based on the traditional folk story published exactly two hundred years ago by the Brothers Grimm. Times are hard for Esau, a humble wood-fuel technician, and his new wife Brigitte. They must make an important decision concerning Esau's two children, Hansel and Gretel. Could a family outing to the forest provide a solution, or create even more problems? The forest is the home of many strange and amazing people and creatures, not all of them friendly. A house made of gingerbread might seem a delicious option but appearances can be deceptive and there will be a price to pay. Witches and their bizarre cooking habits must be avoided at all costs, but what about vampires, the beautiful Lady Eleanor, the mysterious Wizard, Peter Piper, Crisp Pacquet, Dora Itos and the famous Bushman? Synopsis.


Hansel & Gretel. The Witch, Countess Dracula and Brigitte certainly don't have Hansel & Gretel's best interests at heart.
Left - Right.  The Witch, Countess Dracula and Brigitte.Well done all! Hard work for the amateur thespians pays off. A performance that engaged and enthralled the audience showing off local talent in abundance. The leads, Colin Gradwell (Hansel) and Martin Wharmby (Gretel), provided the tomfoolery and humour; Sue Ashcroft gave a strong performance as the cackling, evil witch. The Purple People Eater (Chantelle Ashcroft) - who didn't actually eat people - was charming. It was good to see children involved with singing and dancing routines - with the obligatory audience involvement. 3-D glasses were handed out for a special, you've guessed it, 3-D scene - a nice touch!

A performance that was fun; with the traditional battle of good and evil. Special mention to Pam Peddler as Elvira who stood in last minute when illness struck. Stage-sets, music and witty, adapted script belie the effort involved.

Contact: Colin Gradwell on 07808 841631 or email: WMADS.

Facebook: Cornerstone ADS (formarly Westhoughton Methodist ADS) Cornerstone ADS

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