Tommy, Alf and Edwin concoct a ‘great escape’

Alayne Whitworth plays the part of Yvette

This is my third play since joining the Saddleworth Players back in December 2017 and is certainly the most moving and heart-warming so far.

Tommy, Alf and Edwin concoct a ‘great escape’ from their Nursing Home in the hope of travelling to Normandy to attend the 50th Anniversary   D-Day Commemorations and of finding George Penney’s grave. I don’t want to give too much away about the characters I play, other than to say, there are 3 of them and they’re all very different, although Alf does see some similarities! 

The premise of Le Grand Return, a mix of laughter, tears and tales of bravery, has evoked in me, thoughts of a time in our history that was so  terribly shocking, disturbing and utterly heartbreaking for so many people, not only in this country but across the World. It made me think about my dear Grandad who played his part in World War II but, as far as I can remember, never really spoke about it, and my Nanna who lost her beloved twin Brother Andy (W/Sgt Andrew Straiton). I sadly never got to meet him because he died in a Prisoner of War Camp in Italy. He was just 24 years old.              

I hope you all enjoy this wonderful play and I also hope it will re-ignite in you the many reasons why we should NEVER FORGET the sacrifices ordinary men and women made to keep our Country free.

Alayne Whitworth

Saddleworth Players will perform La Grand Return at the Millgate Arts Centre from 1 – 8 February. Tickets available from the Millgate website ( or by telephoning the Box Office on 01457 874644, Tuesdays 2pm–5pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 2pm–7pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30am–1pm.

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