Delightful, dynamic and relevant.

We are Claybody Theatre Company, crafting high quality live drama in non-theatre spaces for the people of the Potteries.

Con & Deb – photo by Darren Washington

Deborah McAndrew Creative Director

Playwright and Actress, Deborah McAndrew, studied Drama at Manchester University. In her acting career she has worked extensively in television, theatre and radio. She is best known for her role as Coronation Street regular, Angie Freeman, in the 1990s.

Deborah’s many play writing credits include work for Northern Broadsides Theatre Company, Hull Truck Theatre, Mikron Theatre Company, Octagon Theatre, Bolton, Esk Valley Theatre and New Vic Theatre.

Deborah’s critically acclaimed play An August Bank Holiday Lark recently won awards for Best New Play 2014 at the UK Theatre Awards and Manchester Theatre Awards. First produced by Northern Broadsides and the New Vic Theatre, directed by Barrie Rutter, this play is published by Methuen Drama.

Conrad Nelson Artistic Director

Conrad is a critically acclaimed director, actor and composer with a vast body of work in theatre, television, film and radio. As an actor his work has included roles such as Richard III, Henry V, and Iago with Lenny Henry as Othello.

Conrad’s directing work includes productions for Hull Truck Theatre, Three Stones Media, Bolton Octagon, and New Vic Theatre. Conrad has recently been appointed Artistic Director at Northern Broadsides Theatre Company, and his production of Hard Times, adapted by Deborah McAndrew, is touring now.

Helen Slevin Producer


With a background in Stage Management and producing, Helen came to produce our highly successful site specific play Dirty Laundry.  Prior to that, Helen spent seven years working for the New Vic Theatre, where she produced their Hoard Festival. This large-scale event was made up of 21 new pieces of work, all taking the Staffordshire Hoard as their inspiration.


13 Replies to “About”

  1. Dear Deborah, Conrad and Helen,
    I came to see ‘Dirty Laundry’ on last weds 11th and was deeply moved and impressed. I was gobsmacked at the promenade walk and adored every moment – it was so beautiful and evocative of the 1950s. I’m a 1980s baby so no idea what it was like. I have difficulty with accessing ‘history’ through study – but you made the 1950s relatable to me like nothing before, and I indeed put two and two together my dad was born in 1946 so he was once one of those children creating the 70 year old I know today. Superb acting, writing, humour, directing, setting, everything. I’d love to connect more if possible (see my website to see where I’m at). Congratulations on an amazing and special event that I won’t forget. It’s great the judges for city of culture are getting to see it on their informal visit next week. Wishing you joy and magical fairy dust, Hannah X

    1. Dear Hannah

      Wow! Thanks for your lovely response to our play. We’re thrilled with how people have reacted to DIRTY LAUNDRY. We will be looking for people to get involved with our company in the future. Keep an eye on our website, newsletter, and social media for news of projects, big and small.

      Best wishes

      Debbie, Conrad and Helen

  2. We saw Saturday night performance of Dirty Laundry what a brilliant time we had .We Loved the outside bits, added character .didnt know what to expect given the location congratulations to everyone concerned all your hard work paid off we loved all of it and listening to people talking as we left a lot of happy people were leaving looking forward to the next one .

    1. Thanks Marion.

      We’re thrilled that you enjoyed DIRTY LAUNDRY so much, and we look forward to welcoming you to our productions in the future.

      Best wishes
      Debbie, Conrad and Helen

  3. Hi Deb, and everyone at Claybody.

    Just a quick one to say how much my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Dirty Laundry on Saturday the 14th. Being proud Stokie’s, it left us wanting to see more non-theatre space plays set in the Potteries.

    With this in mind, does the THE MIDDLEPORT MURDERS production have any dates yet? We visit Burgess & Leigh regularly, its a fantastic site, very atmospheric indeed.

    Bets wishes
    Jon Burgess

    1. Hello Jon

      Thanks for your lovely comments about DIRTY LAUNDRY. We’ve been delighted by the response of local people in particular. It really makes the hard work worthwhile.

      THE MIDDLEPORT MURDERS is still on our list of shows to do, though it’s a very big and expensive project and everything we do depends on funding from the Arts Council. We’ve learned a lot from working on site at Spode, and hope we can apply this in our future work – perhaps at Middleport Pottery.

      Watch out for news of projects big and small on our website and newsletters.

      Very best wishes

      Debbie, Conrad and Helen

    1. Dear Mrs Goodwin. We’re very sorry that you were unable to get through on the phone. Unfortunately, Spode Visitors Centre where we located part of our box office has limited opening hours. We appreciate that not all our audience can buy tickets online and so we tried as far as possible to enable people to purchase tickets in person – either at Spode itself, or at Barewall Gallery, Burslem. Claybody Theatre Company doesn’t have a permanent office or theatre space, or enough funding to run a full time telephone box office. We can only apologise, and say that we will try to do better next time.

  4. Hello, Having lived in Macclesfield for many years, and explored the silk and other textile industries around us, we wanted to find out about The Potteries. On friday we spent over 3 hours visiting the Gladstone Museum. We were overwhelmed by the history and very humbled by the stories of the families who worked in the industry. Such a hard life with no prospect of anything better. Life was too short for that.
    Today we came back and visited the museum and again learned a lot. It was a great ending to our exploration to see Dirty Laundry. It sort of summarised what we’d learned over the 2 days. The play and performance were excellent.
    Thank you.

  5. Thought the play was sooo good. Really good drama with brilliant actors. A slice of social history too, well sourced and still relevant in modern times. Thought provoking funny and enjoyable. Roll on the next one.

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