Past Productions

Little Gem

Love, sex, birth, death and salsa classes. 

Three generations of women. One extraordinary year.

Amber – just out of school, enjoys life, double sambucas and boyfriend Paul. Then the “indigestion” starts.

Lorraine – attacks a customer at work and now sees a ‘head doctor’. She’s told to do one nice thing for herself each week – so salsa classes it is! 

Kay – finds life frustrating; her husband Gem is ailing and she’s missing more than his conversation! 


“LITTLE GEM” was the winner of the Fishamble New Writing Award and the Stewart Parker/BBC Drama Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2008. In 2009 it won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award.

“delightful... a play that, like its characters, gurgles and giggles with life even in the face of death” - Guardian

“a blazing authenticity” -The Times

“Made me laugh and cry with pleasure... It's a blast” - Time Out

Cast and Creative


Written by Elaine Murphy


Directed by Carolyn Csonka


Produced by Janet Adams


Sound / Lighting by Tony Robinson & Ben Robinson


Poster Design by Tony Robinson




Amber       Phoebe Mulcahy


Lorraine    Fay Greenhalgh


Kay            Janet Adams




The Cocktail Hour

Cast and Creative


Written by A R Gurney


Directed by Fay Greenhalgh


Produced by Janet Adams


Sound / Lighting by Tony Robinson & Ben Robinson


Poster Design by Lisa Wynne


Logo Design by Matt Stewart-Tribe


Bradley     Paul Simcox


John           David Cole


Ann            Janet Adams


Nina           Rosie Closs


John, middle son to a rich 1970s American family, has written a new play about his life growing up. His traditional, aging parents, Bradley and Ann, are horrified at their life being depicted for all to see - while his sister Nina is offended that she only has a minor role!

As the liquor flows - stifled resentments, deep secrets and hopeful dreams simmer under the surface, then bubble over during their daily, dearest ritual of  'The Cocktail Hour'. It soon becomes clear that John's writing may be closer to the truth than his family are willing to accept.

'The Cocktail Hour' won the Lucille Lortel Award as Best Off-Broadway Play and had long and successful run in New York.

Reviews and Feedback


Audience Comments


"If in Bristol tonight go see @TawdryLace production of Little Gem by Elaine Murphy @AlmaBristol three strong women portray love life and death with great depth. Engagingly and entertainingly presented, tickets available for tonight and Thursday, Fri and Sat a deserved sell outs."


"Really glad I got the chance to see Little Gem this evening @TawdryLace, it was awesome"


"Can't recommend this enough, saw it last night. A moving and funny show superbly performed by 3 talented actors. Make sure you see it!"


"Enjoyed @TawdryLace #LittleGem last night @AlmaBristol directed by #carolyncsonka. Personal, funny and moving - lovely performances. Last night tonight, catch it if you can. "


Industry/critical reviews


"Absolute stunner of a performance from these three talented and funny women who have done the playwright proud. Crisp and clean detailed direction that brought the best out in the script and great character portrayal to the forefront."

Kate Spencer (actor/writer/director)


"..."the performances which are in themselves little gems."

Stagetalk Magazine by Graham Wyles

Reviews and Feedback


Audience comment "A tight, savagely funny and superbly acted comedy of manners."


"For the price of a cocktail, a ticket to this production is excellent value entertainment from Bristol’s Tawdry Lace Theatre, returning to the Alma for a lucky third time."

Bristol 24/7 by Nicola Yeeles

The Night Before Christmas

Cast and Creative


Written by Anthony Neilson


Directed by Janet Adams


Produced by Janet Adams


Lighting Design & Stage Manager - Tony Robinson


Poster Design - Joshua Hibbert


Calum Anderson - Elf


Arthur Godden - Gary


Fay Greenhalgh - Cherry


Joshua Phillips - Simon


Reviews and Feedback


Audience Feedback:

'@tawdrylace @AlmaBristol interesting night at the theatre! Inspector Calls meets Fools & Horses with a few f**ks for good measure!'


'Fantastic performance by @TawdryLace at the @AlmaBristol tonight. Witty and thought provoking. Loved it.'


'Really glad to have caught the last performance by @TawdryLace @AlmaBristol - cracker of a show (pardon the pun)'


'The Night B4 Christmas by @TawdryLace was brilliant last nite!! A sharp comedy with thought provoking moments 😀 Only on for 2 more nights!!'


'Thanks @itsmejaypea @artiegodden, Calum, Faye and @TawdryLace, you made this cynical little atheist very happy.'


Industry/Critical Reviews:

'@TawdryLace #TheNightBeforeChristmas Razor-sharp & engaging + cracking mood changes.'

Brave Bold Drama


'. . . is the perfect antidote to all this Christmas madness that is inescapable at this time of the year . . . funny, edgy and a great antidote to some of the more saccharine shows around during the festive season . . . Tawdry Lace Theatre is definitely a company to look out for in the future!'

Weston-Super-Mum review (by Karen Blake)


'Well-acted by the members of Tawdry Lace Theatre Company . . . very amusing!'

Bradley Stoke FM Radio review (by Judith Summers)


'Tawdry Lace Theatre have a great time performing this foul-mouthed anti-pantomime . . . a gleeful dollop of furious comedy . . . well worth an hour of your time'

Clogs: A Comedy Blog review (by Jessi Tucker)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the warehouse - a creature was stirring -

one of Santa’s dear elves . . .

It’s Christmas Eve and Gary can’t believe his luck.


He’s managed to capture one of Santa’s little helpers.

Dazed, confused and eager to dash back to the sleigh

before its final ascent into the night sky, the elf pleads for his freedom. But in true Yuletide tradition - freedom comes at a

cost. Gary, his disillusioned colleague and a feisty hooker

bargain with the little man to fulfil all their Christmas wishes . . .

Travels With My Aunt

When the unassuming Henry Pulling meets his indomitable Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years they form an unlikely bond. Whisking him off on globe-trotting adventures, Henry is pulled further and further into his Aunt's lifestyle. Delving deeper into her past and unearthing family secrets which redefine him, Henry becomes embroiled in cryptic-clairvoyant readings, fortune smuggling and tending to dahlias... Their voyages take them from Paris to Istanbul on board the Orient Express, as the journey unravels and the stirring stories of Aunt Augusta are revealed...

Tawdry Lace Theatre are proud to present 'Travels With My Aunt' an adaptation of the Graham Greene novel by Giles Havergal, as their debut production. Seamlessly blending Comedy, multi-roling, live music and projection, 'Travels' is a visceral, sensory delight for fans of the West End show '39 Steps' and for those who simply wish to be entertained.

Cast and Creative


Book by Graham Greene


Adapted for the stage by Giles Havergal


Directed by Ben Games-Hughes


Produced by Janet Adams


Lighting Design & Stage Manager - Tony Robinson


Technical Advisor - Mike Bale


Poster Design - Katharine Agg


Janet Adams - Henry Pulling & Aunt Augusta


Fay Greenhalgh - Henry Pulling, Wordsworth, Tooley, Colonel Hakim, Miss Paterson, Hatty, Yolanda, Italian Girl, Spanish Gentleman, Policeman, Bodyguard & Wolf


Paul Lawless - Henry Pulling, Richard Pulling, Frau General Schmidt, O'Toole & Miss Keene


Joshua Phillips - Henry Pulling, Girl In Jodhpurs, Detective Sergeant Sparrow, Mr Visconti, Hotel Receptionist, Turkish Policeman & Vicar

Reviews and Feedback


Audience Feedback:

'Such a slick ensemble! Fabulous characters, imaginative and witty staging... Bravo!'


'Absolutely fab performance everyone! Well done, really enjoyed it, genius comedy.'


'Fantastic show this evening. Really enjoyed it. Just bought the book.'


'It was brilliant. Very entertaining and a great cast.'


'Lovely time at @AlmaBristol tonight courtesy of splendidly energetic and versatile @TawdryLace'


'Currently watching @PaulLawlessAct in travels with my aunt! Brilliant so far! #theatre'


'I booked for six friends - and all six of us thoroughly enjoyed the performance! We all came away saying ‘that was really something special’. Couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards! So wanted to say a big thank you. It says that was your first production (website) - if so then I hope - and would imagine - that you have a great future - and would love to see more of your future productions.'


Industry/Critical Reviews:

'Caught #TravelsWithMyAunt by @TawdryLace at @AlmaBristol last night and it was proper good fun.'

21st Century Actors Management


' . . . fast paced, laugh a minute show . . . The small ensemble comprising of Janet Adams, Paul Lawless, Fay Greenhalgh and Joshua Phillips are all supreme in their transformative abilities and comic timing. It is fitting to list each actors name as they, individually and together, are all deserving of praise.'

Theatre Bristol review of 'Travels With My Aunt' (by Bella Fortune)


'★★★★★ Greene's humourous advenutre, wittily well-performed . . . sheer exuberence in the performers carries this jolly tale through its challenges . . . the concentration with which these players perform so accurately to their characters is commendable in the extreme and all together, the show is great value entertainment.'

RemoteGoat review (by Arthur Duncan)