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About Us

The Chatsworth Players were formed in 2007 by Sylvia Jackson, a professional actor and director who moved to live in Bakewell. Sylvia was asked to consult on making the private theatre at Chatsworth House fit for purpose and, and we have been performing there ever since.

We’ve built a wonderfully loyal following of hundreds of patrons from all over the country. We even have patrons from abroad (from as far as Canada, the USA and Japan) who make sure that their visits to the UK coincide with our productions. Now that’s true dedication!

We began with Arthur Miller’s shocking play ‘The Crucible’, touring the village halls of the Peak District, culminating in a performance at Chatsworth House. Since then, we’ve been playing to sold-out houses. We choose plays that complement the beautiful theatre, usually historic or classical: from ‘Jane Eyre’, to ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ to ‘A Man for all Seasons’. We have a talented group of players and crew from as far afield as Sheffield and Mansfield. We’re a mix of former professionals and amateurs, from a variety of walks of life, with an age range from 15 to 86!

You would be very welcome to come and join us if you love theatre and have enthusiasm and time. We would love to meet you if you fancy acting, hairdressing, designing, painting, hunting for props, organising, prompting, welcoming our guests, book-keeping and many other things!

We’re a bunch of ordinary folk who love the theatre and come together to do something extra-ordinary twice a year. We would be very happy to welcome you to our merry band. Come and be part of our success – or failing that, join our mailing list and come along to enjoy the performance. It’s the kind of community endeavour that makes life worth living – even though we’re simply players on a stage…………..



Sylvia founded the Chatsworth Players in 2007. The theatre was her lifelong passion. After training at the Albert Hall in the Central School of Speech and Drama in the 50s, she performed in and directed almost 200 plays and musicals, and taught drama for over 60 years. Sylvia directed all of the Players' productions until 2017. Her focus was always on quality and a desire for the best. Her direction was meticulous and her pre-show chats with the audience were the stuff of legend! Sylvia died of Covid in 2020. She is very sadly missed. 

Linsday Jackson


Lindsay is the Chair of the Players and a founding member. After performing in our first production, she moved abroad and was only able to help from afar. But after returning home in 2017, she assisted Sylvia and has directed our plays since 2018. 

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