Welcome to our 2021/22 season preview. It’s great to be back!
Our play choices for the season are deliberately light and comedic, with the Farndale farce thrown in for good measure, as we wish to give audiences a welcome break from the doom and gloom of the pandemic and our Players an opportunity to come together and laugh once more.
The ‘Recovery Season’ will see the theatre booking to full capacity, with the addition of increased cleaning and sanitising. We will also be mindful of government directives, but are planning a regular season with five Saddleworth Player plays.
Offer! Become a season subscriber and see all five plays for just £40 – saving £10. Buy online with PayPal – visit our Season Subscriber webpage to find out more.
Introducing our season . . .
Our season launches on Saturday 25th September with Two by Jim Cartwright – a sharp, salty, quick fire evocation of the surface gaiety and underlying melancholia of English pub life. In Two we meet the romantics, the drunks, the flirts, the abusive, the poor-but-happy and all manners of drinkers at their local – a perfect reintroduction to Northern pub culture for those of us who currently only have a distant memory of packed nights out, stag dos, jukeboxes, pints of lager and packets of crisps.
Two by Jim Cartwright runs from 25th September – 2nd October. Book tickets on Ticketsource.
Our hilarious second play is The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol, which opens on Saturday 20th November. In a festive mood, the ladies of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society mount another assault on the classics with their stage version of A Christmas Carol. They enthusiastically portray a dizzy array of characters from the Dickensian favourite (and a few which aren’t), engineer some novel audience participation while bravely contending with an intrusive PA system and, a real Farndale first, wrap their vocal cords and feet around two original, show stopping songs. By David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr, based on the story by Charles Dickens.
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol runs from 20th – 27th November. Book tickets on Ticketsource.
Next up is Pastimes, a comedy by Brian Jefferies which opens on Saturday 12th February. Sam and Bill, two middle-aged brothers, own and run ‘Cobblers’, a café in a seaside town. Their lives are quiet and uneventful, their high points being board games and speculations concerning their customers. One day, however, their peace is shattered by the arrival of a runaway, Linda, who is after a job, and her grandmother, Connie, who is after Linda. A terrible coincidence is revealed as Connie is brought face-to-face with George, the husband who left her forty years ago and who is now Sam: likewise, Connie’s friend Win finds, in Bill, her errant Arthur. Recriminations and reminiscences abound in this warm-hearted and emotionally astute comedy about men who have spent their lives running away and the indomitable spirits of the women they ran away from.
Pastimes by Brian Jefferies runs from 12th – 19th February. Book tickets on Ticketsource.
Our penultimate play of the season is Nobody’s Perfect a comedy by Simon Williams, which opens on Saturday 2nd April. ‘Love Is All Round’ is a feminist publishing house where Harriet
Copeland is running a competition to find new romantic fiction; their motto is ‘For Women By Women’. To avoid this gender bias, Leonard Loftus is forced to submit his novel under a female pseudonym. So when Lulabelle Latiffa wins the first prize, Leonard begins to have a major problem. He is a bashful statistician lumbered with a spectacular alter ago. With domestic complications from his wayward daughter Dee Dee and Gus, his rascally old father, Leonard tries frantically to keep up the charade of Lulabelle. His problems are made worse when he falls hopelessly in love with Harriet. He is a worried man in the guise of a carefree woman. The happy ending is not going to be easy. In high heels and lipstick our hero is caught in a hilarious dilemma of cross-dressing and cross-purposes. Oh what a tangled web we weave.
Across The UK, Australia and all over Europe, Nobody’s Perfect has been acclaimed as a classic feel good romantic comedy, within the fertile tradition of Some Like It Hot, Tootsie, and Mrs. Doubtfire. This is a play that offers belly laughs galore – four irresistibly loveable characters locked into a hilarious plot. The final scene has been described as a comic masterpiece.
Nobody’s Perfect by Simon Williams runs from 2nd – 9th April. Book tickets on Ticketsource.
Our closing play of the season is Singers not Sinners by Livi Michael and Carol Davies, which opens on Friday 3rd June. The year is 1701. Elias Hall, the choir master at St. Mary’s Parish church, Oldham, has disbanded his discordant choir and needs to urgently replace them in time for the Easter service. His quest brings him in contact with angelic voices from across the parish, but unfortunately for Elias, the voices belong to women, and women are banned from singing in church. Elias’ determination brings him in conflict with key figures in the parish as he and his new choir risk everything to change the course of history and have women, for the very first time, raise their voices in song during church services. “We are not beasts, to be stricken dumb – we are singers, not sinners – who can lift up our voices to God!”
Singers not Sinners by Livi Michael and Carol Davies runs from 3rd – 11th June. Book tickets on Ticketsource.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Millgate for our 2021/22 season. See you soon!
Find out more about the Saddleworth Players at the Millgate Arts Centre, Delph.