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You don’t get this good at being bad without having a great team

Murder at Checkmate Manor is a play within a play put on by the ‘Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomens’Guild Dramatic Society’. As with all of the Farndale plays, this one doesn’t always go right. The problem is that the rights have to be wrong and the wrongs have to be very right, which requires talent and timing.

The very hard working cast of five produced quite possibly the worst murder mystery ever performed and you don’t get that good at being bad without having a great team.

Leading it all and trying to keep everyone in check is Phoebe, primly and properly played by Alayne Whitworth who also takes on five other characters, most of whom end up dead ... or do they? Then there is Audrey, played by Verity Mann, who shows some excellent timing and comedy in her many different roles.

June Holmes plays Thelma, who gets the most out of her two roles including being one half of a very funny mimed song and dance duet. Felicity only plays two roles but Lorraine Reynolds and her extremely expressive face had the audience in stitches. Gordon, played by John Tanner, who is a last minute replacement for Sylvia! He gave a lovely portrayal of Inspector O'Reilly, completely getting the lack of facial and vocal expression. His mimed song and dance with Thelma was a triumph but the highlight had to be his outfit in the fashion show.

A fantastic set, great costumes and beautifully timed sound and lighting cues gave the audience some very funny moments. What a great team effort all round! There was even time for some audience participation with the raffle and quiz with prizes to be won. I was just disappointed that I didn't win the homemade marmalade!

Mark Rosenthal, January 28, 2018,

Annual fundraising lunch announced

The Saddleworth Concerts Society is holding its Annual Fundraising Lunch at the White Hart, Lydgate on Sunday 18th March 2018.

Entertainment will be by 'Etta' which is a lively, versatile and experienced piano and saxophone duo based in Manchester, with a diverse repertoire. Emily Owen (piano) and Hannah Corcoran (saxophone) specialise in performing pop and jazz music for any event or function with the utmost professionalism and taste. Both musicians are in their third year of study at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), where they met. They also perform together as part of Manchester's Smudge Big Band.

Price £33.00. Further information and booking details by phone from Brenda Roberts on 01457 875917 or Lynne Edge on 01457 872429 & Marion Deighton on 01457 874296

Brenda Roberts, January 22, 2018,

Annual lunch success

The Saddleworth Concerts Society again held its Annual Fundraising Lunch at the White Hart, Lydgate on Sunday 19th March 2017.

We were splendidly entertained by the Reul Duo with Cressida McKay Frith on flute and Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul on harp. They gave a varied programme:

Entr'acte, by Jacques Ibert
Moon River, by Henry Mancini, arranged by Steaphanaidh and Cressida
Danse Lente, by Joseph Jongen
Traditional Gaelic Melody, arranged by Steaphanaidh and Cressida
Histoire du Tango, by Astor Piazzolla: Café 1930 & Bordello 1900
Fields of Gold, by Sting, arranged by Steaphanaidh and Cressida
Argues, by Bernard Andres, movements 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7
Paquito, by Andy Scott

Duo Reul appeared by kind permission of the RNCM.

Geoffrey Roberts, January 22, 2018,

Felicitations to you all

Hello I’m Felicity. I am excited to be taking part in this Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Murder Mystery.

Married for many years to her husband, Giles and with daughter, Lucy, yet to leave home at the tender age of 36, I enjoy the challenge and escapism which I find in my acting pursuits. My other hobbies include macrame and writing to the Queen. I am yet to receive a reply.

I hope you will enjoy this production and feel sure that you will leave the theatre wanting more from the Farndale girls in the future.

Felicity, January 19, 2018,

Happy sleuthing!

Hello I’m Thelma. As a founder member of FAHETGDS - and I do take exception to the acronym Fatheads!- I am always excited by our annual production and this year, we have excelled, as I'm sure you'll all agree.

Playing the leading role is a challenge, as always, but one to which I am delighted to rise, based on my extensive experience. I trained at the Trixie Tappy Toes School of Dance and Drama, so am really semi-professional. My past roles have always stretched me, most especially my portrayal of Macbeth, to great acclaim, last year, and I am hoping to next year to give a seminal performance as Hamlet.

In the meantime, I know you will be 'knocked out' by our Murder Mystery, and look forward to receiving your acclaimation and congratulations in the bar after the show. Happy sleuthing.

Thelma, January 18, 2018,