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Natural Causes

December 2018

About Natural Causes

A black comedy ensues when Vincent, a professional suicide merchant, is contracted by Walter Bryce and arrives at his country house. He mistakenly assumes that the potion is intended for Walter - or maybe for Walter's wife Celia? If so, then why are all her suicide notes left unsigned?

After several failed attempts at poisoning various characters (resulting in multiple poisoning of a rubber plant!) will Vincent finally succeed in killing anyone?

December 2018

  • Genre: Drama

  • Playwright: Eric Chappell

  • Director: Peter Nethercote

About the Director

Peter Nethercote

Peter has been part of BNT for 50 of its 80 years, playing his first role in For Better, For Worse in 1968. Since then he has directed and designed often for the company, including several of his own plays and musicals – Trifle in he early 70s and Barchester in 2009.
Other productions for BNT include The Mousetrap, The Staffroom, The Best Man, Falling from Grace, Penelope, Sylvia’s Wedding, Improbable Fiction and Theft, also written by Eric Chappell.

Peter has also worked as an actor, singer, director, designer and script writer with BLOC, Lyric and BNT and played the patter roles in the Begonia Festival’s Iolanthe, Mikado and Pirates. While teaching he directed and designed 12 musicals for Ballarat Grammar, beginning with Camelot and finishing with The Good Companions.


Chappell was born in 1933 in Grantham, Lincolnshire and worked as an auditor for the East Midlands Electricity Board for 22 years. He wrote several novels which were rejected by publishers, before deciding to become a playwright.

Chappell wrote the play The Banana Box, which was staged at the Hampstead Theatre Club in 1970 and was later moved to the West End in 1973. This play later became the hit sitcom Rising Damp, which aired on television and won the 1978 BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy. Other television successes include The Squirrels, The Bounder, Home to Roost, all won awards.

Eric Chappell has written over 200 television comedy scripts and more than 20 stage plays which are performed worldwide.

With thanks to Wikipedia


Mark Kuntsi


Peter Nethercote


Alice Bullock


Jane Gaylor


Michael Zala



  • Director and Designer

    Peter Nethercote

  • Production Manager

    Doug Bennett

  • Stage Manager

    Beth Foyster

  • Special Set Construction

    David Dusting

  • Set Construction

    Doug Bennett, Mick Bull, Simon Carroll, Trevor Day, Alec Dean, Beth Foyster, Jane Gaylor, Peter Nethercote, Robin Philip, Ted Varvel and Michael Zala

  • Lighting Design

    Liam Mudge

  • Lighting Assistant

    Braydon McKinnon

  • Lighting Operator

    Mia Danko

  • Sound Design and Operation

    Michael Zala

  • Photographer

    Gary Hunt

  • Poster Design

    Ben Tovey

  • Programme

    Jon Harris

  • Front of House

    Doug Bennett and BNT members