2000 +

World Premiere


November – Wick News – edited by Judith Berrill

“Our first production for the new season will be a completely new play, written by well-known professional director Nic Young. We are delighted that Nic has invited Wick Theatre Company to stage the furst production.He will also be directing it – bringing great benefits to us in terms of fresh appraoches and professional experience.

The play is a fascinating account of the life and times of Francis Bacon. His lif and works surouned by mystery. Love child of Queen Elizabeth l? The real author of all of “Shakespeare’s” plays? Spy? Lover of the rich and famous? Victim of fatal plots, or the ultimate survivor?

Nic Young has woven the secrets and mystery into a kaleidoscopic drama in which nothing is quite what it seems. What other title, then, than Ciphers ? – where disguises, codes, masks and subterfuge abound. And, of course, great frocks too.

Audition will be on 15 and 17 December. You will need to do some preparation beforehand, so do please get in touch first with Tony Brownings or Bob Ryder who are supporting Nick with the production.

This is going to be an exciting project, which will offer us new challenges and will extend our skills. Nic Young will need plenty of support for the production – and we can look forward to learning a lot from him in return!”


March 18 – Shoreham Herald – the Scene section

Judith Berill [Eizabeth – Queen of England] & Bob Ryder [Francis Bacon]
March 31, April 1, 2 & 3 – performances

April 3 – ‘Gala Night’

Nick paid particuar tribute to Richard Porter, the production’s designer. Saying “This is a happy reunion for me, as Richard and I worked together years ago and he has been a constant support throughout the creatio of this epic.”

Nick Young
Richard Porter

April 8 – Shoreham Herald – page 21 – Adur District Council Chairman – Liza McKinney

Liza McKinney

“I was honoured to be invited to the first night and the first performance of Ciphers, a new play written and directed by Nic Young , much of whose professional life had been spent directing Shakepeare’s plays.

All the more interesting, therefore, that Mr Young should chose as his storyline the oft made claim that Will’s plays were really written by Sir Francis Bacon.

It was a fascinanting evening and I woud certainly join Mr Young’s tribute to the enthusiasm and creativity of the Wick Theatre Company. Southwick is, indeed, very fortunate in having such a wealth of theatrical talent.

The play required most of the cast to learn immense scripts and the pace was fast-moving. There was a lot to take in and I felt that future directors will be tempted to some editing. However, it was a highly entertaining evening and the acting was excellent. I was particularly impressed by Bob Ryder’s Francis Bacon, Judith Berrill’s Queen Elizabeth l and Will Shakepeare played with a Brummy accent, by Ham Rols-Riche.

Southwick today, London tomorrow – I wish Nic Young all the best, both as a playwright and director.”

Many of the costumes were hired from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

#1 Diane Robinson [Anne Bacon – lady-in-waiting]

& Judith Berrill [Queen Elizabeth l]

#2 Jan King [Lady Compton]

#3 Kate Brownings [Frances Hatton]

#4 David Creedon [James l]

April 8 – Shoreham Herald – Jamie Hailstone

“The red carpet was rolled out in Southwick last week for the world premiere of Nick Young’s new play Ciphers.

Performed by Wick Theatre Company at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, Ciphers told the story of one of the more enigmatic characters in English history, Sir Francis Bacon. Both written and directed by Nick, it was also a crash course in Elizabethan life, with appearances from Elizabeth I, Ben Jonson and James I.

Without wishing to state the painfully obvious, the hardest job on the night fell to Bob Ryder, who played Bacon himself. Bob made the most of the meaty part and his performance was nothing short of staggering, as he took us through the highs and lows of Bacon’s life. The production was highly ambitious, and although a little bit on the long side, a brave attempt at bringing our nations’ history to life.”