Mack & Mabel (2008)

Mack & Mabel (2008) Poster

Production Details


Mack and Mabel deals with the complex relationship between Max Sennet, a temperamental, workaholic film director and Mabel Normand, a waitress who became one of his biggest stars. In a series of flashbacks, Sennett recalls the time he discovered Mabel back in 1911, her rise to stardom, their love affair, when she leaves him to work for the “serious” director W.D. Taylor and finally, her tragic death from a heroine overdose.


The Company

Morven Adey, Alan Ball, Alison Banks, Denise Beckford, Rob Berry, Hazel Bone, Sarah Brennan, Liz Cairns, Peter Clapham, Liz Clapham, Doreen Cothey, John Cuckson, Brian Davison, Anthony Dixon, Janet Dixon, Mike Dixon, Rebecca Turner, Christine Dobbie, Catherine Finn, Rob Gair, Karen Gallagher, Keith Gallagher, Jonathon Gilderoy, Rebecca Grundy, Bill Harland, Hazel Harle, Stephanie Hitch, Michelle Hood, Geoff Knott, Mike Langthorne, Catherine Lawes, Kirsty Lunn, Carol Mahoney, Catherine Marsden, Heather McLoughlin, Zoe Neasham, Sue Robinson, Derek Smith, Graham Sneddon, Lauren Stones, Diane Sweeney, Bev Thompson, Emily Thompson,Kate Thompson, Pat Walker, Katy Walton, Ian Wells, Emily Wright


Abigail Bowman, Emily Bowman, Jess Colman, Rachael Hanby, Jennifer Harrison, Ashley Latham, Sara McDermott, Jessica Ohlson, Ashleigh Sawyer, Emma Thursby


Paige and Grace


  • Stage Manager – Alan Hogarth
  • Deputy Stage Manager – Christina Chapman
  • Stage Crew – Gareth Beddoes, Peter Bradshaw, Mark Calvert, Katie Duff, Jean Foster, Tim Heads, Rob Hutchinson, Ernie Russell, Jamie Sterling & Team
  • Set Hire – SLX Bristol
  • Properties Team – Denise Brooksbank, Melanie Spedding, Rachael Burnett & Team
  • Properties – Howarth Wrightson Manchester, SLX Northern Prop Hire Morpeth, Society Prop Store
  • Extra Scenery / Properties – Alan Hogarth
  • Painted by – Melanie Spedding, Olly Burton
  • Wardrobe – Jean Graham, Jane Flowers, Carolyn Knott, Judith Frisby
  • Costumes – W. A. Homburg Ltd. Leeds, Society Wardrobe
  • Make-Up – Brenda Mullen, Eunice Sneddon, Anne Thompson & Team
  • Wigs – Eileen Glenton, Natural Image Newcastle
  • Lighting Design – Brian Dunn
  • Sound Design – Graham Holder
  • Film Productions & Technical Support – Brian Dunn
  • Opening Credits – Paul Wood, Fred Wharton
  • Prompt – Jo Smart
  • Rehearsal Pianists – Steven Hood, Martin Dack, Mark Thompson, Robert Humes
  • Front of House – David Foxall, Margaret Sutton, Lawrences Jones, Frank Cure, Val Cure, Mary Robinson, Jackie Billinge, Jean Jones, Brenda Robson
  • Dressers – Louise Mills, Audrey Robson, Eunice Sneddon, Valenda Taylor & Team
  • Chaperones – Ruth Ball, Rachael Gunn, Maxine Hitch & Team


  • Violins – Julia Boulton, Vince Flemming & Erato Evans
  • Viola – Jonathan Rutter
  • Cello – Peter Richardson
  • Double Bass – Tony Abell
  • Reeds – Catherine Freeman, Julie Dorr, Norman Moore, & Jackie Catchpole
  • Horn – Chris Senior
  • Trumpets – Alex Lewis, Gordon Marshall & Dave Hignett
  • Percussion – Malcolm Dicks & Andy Booth
  • Trombones – John Flood & Alan Bravey
  • Keyboards – Steven Hood & Martin Dack
  • Guitar / Banjo – Matin Wright


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Michael Hinks – President of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association – Published in the Durham Times – 8th February 2008

THIS musical is based on the early history of the silent movie industry, and the love story between director Mack Stennett and his star, Mabel Normand.

The show has been around since 1972, and I have seen it many times. However, Durham Musical Theatre Company was privileged to present the UK amateur première of the 2002 version, revised by Francine Pascal, and it was just great in every respect.

First came a cracking overture by a very good orchestra, with Jerry Herman’s score splendidly directed by Paul Wood, and lovely dancing, well choreographed by Kathleen Knox and Janet Dixon. It was great to see tap introduced and even ballet en pointe – most unusual these days.

Sarah Jackson made a delightful Lottie. It was unbelievably her first role, making one certain we will see a great deal more of this young performer in future.

Graham Walton, as Fatty Arbuckle, gained most of the laughs, particularly in the Keystone Cops and custard pie-throwing scenes.

The strength of this production, directed by Fred Wharton, was in its covering of the minor roles.

However, the show depends on the strength of the leads, and Delia McNally, small in figure, huge in voice and projection, gave a very polished, sincere and totally credible performance as Mabel, while Anthony Smith was electric in style, personality and conviction – I have nothing but praise and admiration for the way he carried off the part of Mack.

In every aspect, this was a night of great theatre. The updated version is so very refreshing, concentrating as it does on a much kinder Mack.

The City of Durham should be proud of this excellent company, celebrating its 100th year, which I wish all success in the future.