Animal Farm is debut from new East Sussex theatre company

Animal Farm - Katina Thomas (contributed pic)
Animal Farm - Katina Thomas (contributed pic)

They are offering five dates on their first outing including Oct 3-5, Eastbourne, The Grove Theatre; Oct 7, Uckfield College Theatre; Oct 19, Brighton’ Lantern Theatre; Oct 20, Lewes’ All Saints Centre; and Oct 28, Rottingdean Village Hall. Tickets are now available from

The production features six actors with extensive experience of stage and screen: Abi Mcloughlin, Neil James, Sharon Drain, Katina Thomas, Michael Bucke and Jodie Kenison.

Rabbit in Headlights Productions has been set up by husband-and-wife team Jon and Sue Terry. Jon is producing; Sue is directing.

“I sold my business just before lockdown,” Jon explains, “but I had always done a lot of amateur theatre work. The idea was that I would sell my accountancy business and become a professional actor. I'm 55 and I decided it was a good time. I could see that accountancy was increasingly going online for a lot of the type of clients that I had and it just felt the right moment. I got a good offer and I was pleased to pass it over. I've been doing amateur productions for many, many years and it had always been a passion and a hobby. I just enjoy the whole process, the social side of working with other actors and the line learning and also delivering those lines in front of an audience and just the whole experience being so rewarding. So I started with the aim of becoming a professional actor and I'm lucky enough to have worked a lot. I did six plays last year and I've done a couple this year. A lot of it has been local theatre but it has been paid theatre. And so we decided to set up this company. The expression rabbit in the headlights is an expression that people use to describe terrified actors on stage. That won't be us! But it just seemed like a jokey name that would stick in people's minds. We're starting relatively small but our goals are to work to put theatre on stage and bring theatre into schools and education and also to work with businesses. We're starting off with a small tour of Animal Farm and we've got five venues this October and then going forward we would hope to get bigger.

“Animal Farm is a story that I've always loved and I was talking to a friend of mine who’s also very passionate about it. He is in fact writing a sequel to Animal Farm at the moment and he persuaded me that it would be a good idea to do it. It is on the GCSE syllabus and that's give us an opportunity to work in schools as well which is great. The performance promises not only to entertain but also to challenge and provoke thought. Drawing parallels between Orwell's masterpiece and contemporary society, our production serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring relevance of the tale.” The aim is perhaps to do three or four productions a year.