Headteacher scores triumph in play

reproduced from News@Ken

By Ken Bennett

By day, Liz Travis is the popular headteacher in a 200-pupil village school…

But from now until October 1, every night except Monday, she playing a starring role in Saddleworth Players production of “Scary Bikers” at Millgate Arts centre, Delph.

And Liz, 49, who has lead Holy Trinity Dobcross School for 15 years, says candidly: “The most common question I am asked when I appear on publicity for the play is how I manage to juggle being a Headteacher with putting on a play.

“It’s not easily answered but as with most things we love, we make time and put the work in.”

Before taking over at Dobcross, she worked in London borough schools but says throughout her career amateur dramatics remained a large part of her life.“ It is the thing that always helps me with the ups and downs,” she explained.

“ I have been involved in Am Dram from the age of 14, first with musical theatre and then, once I realised that my singing wasn’t something I should inflict on others, acting became my passion.

“I am incredibly lucky to have a job I love and a hobby I love. I have a superb set of friends and colleagues who support me to be the best in both fields.

“The key, for me, is planning – it serves me well to gain the work life balance that is needed to keep me happy and healthy.“ I never want to let the children, staff or families down and I make sure I give my role as Head everything I have. However, I believe the key to being a better person and a better Head is to have varied experiences.

“The theatre allows me to explore all sorts of theatrical genres, meet lots of people and support my local community.

“As well as acting I also work back stage helping with stage management and props. I love the sense of community that both school and the theatre world possess.”

She says he role as Head is not separate to her theatre work but helps her be more creative, enthusiastic and solve difficult situations.

She went on:

“‘Scary bikers’ by John Godber has been a new challenge, learning lines, when there are only two characters in the play. It takes time and effort.

“However, I have spent my entire teaching career telling children effort is the key to success and when learning lines I epitomize this teaching.

“When you love something it is never a chore, you spend time with it to give it your best as both my role as Carol in Scary Bikers and my role as Miss Travis the Headteacher bring me immense joy.”

Scary Bikers, directed by Michael Lawlor and co staring Phil Clegg, is playing at Millgate Arts Centre in Delph from last Saturday (Sept 24th) until Saturday 1st October

It tells the story of retired miner Don and former private school teacher Carol (Liz) who meet at a bereavement group, and thought they had found a new beginning.

But a bike ride through Europe would test their budding romance, and the road to love is rocky when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

Join them on their hilarious and heartfelt journey, as they reconcile the past, debate the present and worry about the future.

Whether they’re saddle sore in Southampton, blistered in Bordeaux or frazzled in Florence, one thing is for sure – it takes two to tandem!

And Liz added: “Do come and be part of something that will make you laugh, cry and carry you on a wonderful journey of friendship.”

Bookings can be made online or by phone. The box office telephone number: 01457 874644, or available at www.millgateartscentre.co.uk.

Pictures by Alan Gorst

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