‘Pastimes’ opening night review by Jude Gidney

The cast of Pastimes

I had the great pleasure of attending the opening night of the new Saddleworth Players production of Pastimes on Saturday evening. It was touch and go as to whether the show would go on, owing to happenings beyond the Players control: a gas pipe sprang a leak just outside the theatre the day before and with mayhem of the central road in Delph being closed and lack of heating causing the auditorium to plummet to below comfortable sitting temperature. However, with the stoic nature of the Saddleworthothians and beyond, extra layers, coats and scarfs donned, and alternative parking arrangements made, the show certainly did go on! You’ll be pleased to hear, as were we, that the heating came on as the curtains rose and crossed fingers, remains on for the foreseeable future.

The play was a delightfully charming story of lost friends and relationships, beautifully acted by the small troop. If you kept up with the confusion of names and places you were doing well. It’s amazing how the actors managed to run a café and hold a very tricky conversation – all in front of an audience. It definitely was amusing and a good lift for all at this darker time of year. 

The Saddleworth Players have yet again pulled a gem out of a bag, and with an ingenious set and backdrop, a very memorable evening out. I’ll say no more about the set-up, you’ll find out what I mean when you go!

Oohh, and I forgot to mention how smart the Theatre is looking now with a refurbishment and over-do by the Millgate Theatre volunteers during lockdown! Well done to all.

Jude Gidney

Catch the warm-hearted comedy ‘Pastimes’ at the Millgate, Delph, from 12-19 February. Tickets  £10 (£5 students) from TicketSource.

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