The Petuaria Players will return in 2022

Yes, it’s true. At last. We will be treading those boards once again and welcoming our audiences to live local theatre. So many people have been stopping members to ask – when is the next play? Well we have the answers – read on.

Recently the membership gathered together at The Forum for the first time since March 2020 for our much delayed Annual / Extraordinary General Meeting. One thing was clear – everyone was keen to get back to the stage. The sensible approach would be to wait until after Christmas and the New Year before embarking on a renewed schedule of meetings and rehearsals for a play.

Back at The Forum again

We also agreed that the most sensible choice of play to kick off our return would be Alan Ayckbourn’s FlatSpin. This was the play that was originally scheduled for April 2020, one which we had already been rehearsing and preparing for. It would be a good way of easing our way back in and, having been semi-rehearsed already, more able to cope with any unforeseen circumstances that this winter might still throw at us.

With some necessary casting changes agreed, a renewed performance licence obtained and dates booked at the Elloughton-Brough Village Hall we find ourselves in the position of having at last a plan for our return.

Make sure you have the dates 28th, 29th, 30th April marked in your calendars as tickets are sure to be in demand when we open the box office (probably in the New Year).

Ensure you are subscribed to this website or to our Facebook page for more updates. We look forward to seeing you all in 2022.

2022

Traditionally, the end of October would have been the final performance of our current play. Two years ago at this time we were celebrating a successful run of Passing Strangers while unknown to us all a devastating virus was about to flourish. (Our next play, Say It With Flowers, would be performed in the following January oblivious to the lockdowns that would be in place only weeks later. )

None of us realised that, two years later in October 2021, we would still be inactive with no plays scheduled.

Many of you have been enquiring when we might resume, some assuming we are already in rehearsal, and it is rewarding to note the interest and desire to see us back on the stage to make you laugh, or cry or simply enjoy an evening of live theatre.

Plans for 2022

It is premature to make any announcements but the entire society is gathering in mid-November to discuss our return to the stage in 2022 and formulate our plans. You can be assured that we will keep you informed after the meeting and we hope that in a few weeks time we will be able to ask you to reserve dates in your calendar.

Have a scroll through the posters below as a reminder of our heritage of wonderful plays in the last few years. Looking at them brings back memories that make us all smile and be proud and act as inspiration for the future.

In the meantime, hang on, we are all waiting in the wings and eager to resume.

Known Unknowns

A status update on our future planning.

At last! Today is another milestone step on the nation’s roadmap to recovery as we open up a little more. But if anything confirms The Petuaria Players rational approach to not making premature decisions then the appearance and potential threat of the new variant that is now showing its ugly face is it.

Already there is talk within government that the total lifting of restrictions planned for June may be in jeopardy. That is one of the reasons that we have not scheduled a meeting of our planning committee until that time.

Like ourselves our followers and audience regulars are keen to see us back on the stage and are asking when that will be. The short answer is, we don’t know yet.

It is always a challenge at the best of times to find three plays that fit our cast and their availability and our stage. At the moment we are faced with too many unknowns. We are eager to get there but we need to be in a position – months ahead of a performance – where we know actors and backstage people can commit their free time to a play, are in a safe position to be rehearsing and performing in sometimes very close or intimate proximity and that they will not have to halt a production because a cast member has to self isolate. We have no stand ins. And then we have to know how we can safely bring an audience into our venue and pay our costs.

Many assume we are ready to return to rehearsals but both the rules and the above constraints mean that day is, sadly, still a little way off. Professionals are in a different position and new ways of performing to limited audiences are now in progress and that is to be welcomed.

Hopefully, next month we will have more clarity and be better informed to make decisions. And as soon as we have more news we will be posting it on here and on Facebook. Make sure you are following us to stay informed.

To sum up, our thoughts over these unknowns are about as clear as that infamous statement from Donald Rumsfeld.

….as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know….

Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary for Defence 2002
Stepping Out. We can all step out now, just not like this.

‘The Ides of March’

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

Caesar: What man is that?

Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March…

[Act 1 Scene 2 Julius Caesar. William Shakespeare]

Julius Caesar isn’t the only one who had a bad day at the Forum on the 15th of March, known to the Romans as ‘The Ides of March’. We at Petuaria Players did too because it was exactly one year ago today that we met as a group for the last time. (Well, the 16th actually but it was a Monday and even Bill Shakespeare stretched a few truths.)

The Forum – not in Rome but in Petuaria

We were at the books-down stage in rehearsals for Alan Ayckbourn’s FlatSpin and whilst the first time without scripts in hand is always stressful we were all looking forward to putting on this play, not least new girl Sally who had been preparing for her first stage performance with a mixture of excitement and nervousness.

Sally’s wait to get on stage is rather longer than she expected.

Of course, it was not to be. That was the night that it had become clear that a performance at the end of April would be impossible and we made the decision that had been hovering over us for a few days to postpone the play.

Early stages of rehearsal for FlatSpin

At the time we wondered if we may be able to reschedule it later as our October 2020 play. Who knew then that even October 2021 would be shrouded with a mixture of optimistic promise and uncertainty. We shall see…..

Our last production – January 2020 – we look forward to our next, whenever that will be.

“Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?”

[William Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act V, sc I]

No. But soon, we hope!


Your local AmDram – Brough & Elloughton's Amateur Dramatic Society

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