Preston Drama Club to perform amateur premiere of play by local lad turned West End star

Posted on - 2nd July, 2024 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Proud Preston, What's On in Preston
L-R: Carol Caine, Dermot Canavan and Tara Kennedy
L-R: Carol Caine, Dermot Canavan and Tara Kennedy

Preston Drama Club will take to the stage in its 90th year for an extra special performance of a play by local lad turned West End star Dermot Canavan.

Third Finger, Left Hand is on from tomorrow (Wednesday 3 July) until Saturday (6 July) at Preston Playhouse, in what is the UK amateur premiere of the show.

A talented actor, Dermot has starred in numerous plays for the Drama Club and has gone on to have a distinguished stage career in the West End.

Dermot followed in his father’s footsteps on to the stage. His Dad, Chris, had acted and directed many plays at the Playhouse – and was often seen in the Rovers Return having a pint as the longest TV extra from 1962 until his death in 2013.¬†

Dermot worked for many years in a 9 to 5 job, only acting as a hobby, but then decided to follow his dreams. He set off to stage school in London and started what was to become a fantastic career on the West End stage.

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With appearances in West End productions including Fiddler on the Roof, Elf, The Tempest, Peter Pan, The 39 Steps, Christmas Carol and Hairspray, Dermot has also been on our TV screens and in a couple of films. He is currently rehearsing for the touring version of Hairspray.

Third¬†Finger, Left Hand¬†is Dermot’s first play, written in 2003. It was first performed at The Edinburgh Fringe in 2004, transferring to The Theatre Royal York and then to London. In 2013 a new production of the play was performed at the Trafalgar Studios in the West End starring Imogen Stubbs and Amanda Daniels. The play has also enjoyed a very successful run in Prague since 2017.¬†

The award-winning play is about sisters Niamh and Grace, played by Carol Caine and Tara Kennedy. Estranged when their mother dies, the sisters reunite and reminisce over a box of old family photographs.

Carol Caine and Tara Kennedy in rehearsals for Third Finger, Left Hand
Carol Caine and Tara Kennedy in rehearsals for Third Finger, Left Hand

Dipping back and forth from present day to childhood, the sisters piece their childhoods together like a jigsaw, from the harshness and violence of their upbringing, growing up in Preston during the 1970s, to the exhilarating escape of the dance clubs of the emerging Northern Soul scene.

Nick Lowe is part of the production team putting on Third Finger, Left Hand at the Playhouse.

Nick told Blog Preston:¬†“This year is the 90th year of Preston Drama Club, the very club Dermot joined as a child and where his Dad acted and directed. As such, it’s fitting that the last play in the season is to be Dermot’s¬†Third¬†Finger,¬†Left Hand.¬†Maybe more fitting is that this is the first time the play has ever been allowed to be carried out by an amateur group.

“The director, Christine Odlum, is a close friend of Dermot’s, and they both started on the stage at similar times. Christine is an amazing director who has wanted to put on this production for many years.

“Third¬†Finger,¬†Left Hand is a fantastic play and what a background to it. I am one of Dermot’s friends, but the play has had me in tears of laughter and sadness – it is such a good play.”

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Tickets for Third Finger, Left Hand at Preston Playhouse are available from TicketSource.

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This story was made possible by support from you, our readers, and a host of organisations in the city, through our Crowdfund Lancashire appeal, which unlocked support from the Lancashire Culture and Sport Fund provided by Lancashire County Council. You can see all our coverage and, if you know of an arts project or event in the city we should be covering, send details to

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