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A runaway summertime smash inside Cornwall’s car raceway

We blazed a trail this summer by staging the rip-roaring show The Kneebone Cadillac bang in the middle of Cornwall’s legendary stock car racetrack.

The hilarious comedy-drama, written by Carl Grose and directed by Kyla Goodey, ran from July 4th-14th at United Downs Raceway near St Day in the heart of Cornwall’s mining country.

Created within the rim of the stock car and banger racing circuit for the first-ever Cornwall-based production of the play – a critical hit when first aired on BBC Radio 4 in 2011.

The Kneebone Cadillac features the hard-up Kneebone family siblings Slick, Dwight and Maddy, who have a mighty fall-out when their scrapyard-owning dad Jed shocks everyone by leaving his cherished 1958 Cadillac Eldorado to his only daughter.

Rather than cash in the prized but broken-down auto – which may or may not have once belonged to Elvis Presley – feisty Maddy is determined to get it back on the road and take on all-comers in the United Downs Boneshaker stock car race.

Ancient family feuds do not die quickly and soon Maddy’s dream of success in a male-dominated world sets the community on a collision course for chaos.

The Kneebone Cadillac’s wickedly funny Cornish dialogue, the troublemaking cast of characters and gritty post-industrial locale illuminate a side of Cornwall many miles from the picture-postcard cliché of the county.

For Cornwall-born playwright Carl Grose, setting the drama at the raceway that fired his imagination when he first visited as a boy of ten with his dad is a dream come true.

Carl said: “I’ve always been obsessed with the area, that slightly stranger Cornwall, and have such vivid memories of the raceway because my dad used to take me out there. I loved that world – noisy and smelly, with all that grease and burning petrol.

“With The Kneebone Cadillac being staged there, it’s going full circle for me from when I was an excited little kid.”

Carl and Kyla Goodey first worked together as apprentices 30 years ago with Kneehigh Theatre company and are thrilled to be collaborating again in a Wildworks production on home turf.

He said: “It’s great that The Kneebone Cadillac will be seen in Cornwall for the first time thanks to Wildworks and it’s wonderful that Kyla is directing. She so understands it and gets it that this is a story for Cornwall now.”

Kyla Goodey is assembling a stellar line-up of locally based acting and production talents and working closely with the raceway owners to devise the most dramatic setting inside an arena which has hosted stock car racing for more than 50 years.

She said: “Comedy is my first love and what Carl has written is bang up to date. It’s about a young woman’s ambition to succeed in a man’s world and to find a way to see it through to the end.

“It’s a fast and furious Cornish show with brilliant dialogue and tons of dramatic twists and turns. It does feel like life right now could do with some light relief and there is plenty of light relief in The Kneebone Cadillac.”


The Kneebone Cadillac was a highlight of Wildworks-led We Are Shining, the biggest theatre engagement programme ever staged in Cornwall. The theatre company is now opening up a treasure trove of stories and inspiring creative talents from the Isles of Scilly to the Tamar.

The investment in We Are Shining from Cornwall Council’s Good Growth Programme is funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

📸 Steve Tanner



Sue/Tannoy, Loretta & Drug Lord 1 – Hannah Mc Pake
Maddy – Hannah Stephens
Slick & Duke Longhorne – Ben Dyson
Dwight – Josh Penrose
Enny, Phyils Vanloo & Clint Eastwood – Katy Owen
Jed, Hooper Munroe & Drug lord 2 – Giles King
Musician – Alex Heane
Pit Crew Chorus – Full Cast plus FOH team


Director – Kyla Goodey
Writer – Carl Grose
Composer and Co- Musical Director – Dom Coyote
Co- Musical Director and Sound Designer – Alex Heane
Designer – Amy Pitt
Costume Designer – Mydd Pharo
Costume Supervisor – Meier Williams
Wigs/hair – Roland Bray/ Roxie Moron
Company Stage Manager – Jordan Lever
Co-Lighting Designer – Josh Pharo
Co-Lighting Designer – Sam Barrett
Assistant Sound designer and operator – Ciaran Clarke
Technician and lighting operator – Jasper Knight
Set Build – Luke Wood, Dan Richarson, Simon Bagnall, Rueben Bagnall,
Al Carter & Vicki Cox
Security and site support – Bobby
Work experience coordinator – Sally Knight
Work experience placements:
Ivy Kirk
Ella Williams
Tatty Coode
Tilly Waller
Evie Chambers


Artistic Director – Mydd Pharo
Acting Executive Director – Gwen Scolding
Executive Producer & Head of Production – Nathan Jackson
Finance Manager – Debra Gristwood
Finance Officer – Mackenzie Thompson
Talent Development Producer – Sarah Waller
Community Engagement Producer – Michael White
Production Assistant – Izzy Wilkinson
Marketing/Press Consultant – David Rowe
Wildworks Associate Artist – Ellie Williams
Photography – Steve Tanner
Film – Neal Megaw