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Fight Night!

Our ‘Double Top’ rehearsal last week was a special event that left us all inspired, exhausted and exhilarated. We had a visit from Ron Rose, the author of Double Top and Gareth Tudor Price who directed the original production at Hull Truck back in 2002 for John Godber.  They were there to talk about the play and also to provide some guidance on a fight scene.

Ron & Gareth expanded upon the story they first told us when we were selecting this play, about how it came to fruition and the dedicated research the pair undertook in Hull, necessitating frequent visits to pubs and ladies dart matches – and no doubt the consumption of beer added creative authenticity.

Ron Rose & Gareth Tudor Price tell us the history of the play
Discussing aspects of the play and inspiration for the characters

Ron had written the original play many years before for 9 women and 3 men but in 2002 John Godber asked to produce it at Hull Truck – but with a maximum of 5 actors – a big re-write was needed.   (Read that story in our earlier post here)

We were enthralled to hear stories from Ron about inspiration for his characters and his scriptwriting days for episodes of The Bill and Heartbeat.  Their anecdotes were hilarious and kept us entertained until it was time to get down to some serious rehearsal work.

We had asked Gareth for some of his professional directorial guidance in constructing a hilarious fight sequence for the play.  We explained the scene in question and after a couple of polite comments and a “Do you mind if I try a couple of ideas…” he burst into action.  It was like flicking a power switch to ‘on’ and being hit with a tornado of his motivational energy.

An hour later we were exhausted, aching, but laughing and on a high. We were buzzing. And if you want to see some of the hilarious results of our fight night just have a look at the slideshow below!

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Trouble viewing?  Click the Fight Night header to go to the webpage

Double Top is running January 24th, 25th, 26th.  Booking information can be found here.



Announcing our second play

Last week we told you all about our October play, the first play of our 2018-2019 programme: Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (female version). If you missed our post click here (opens a new tab)

Our second play, due for performance at the end of January 2019, will be….

Double Top

by Ron Rose

This is a modern life-comedy about a ladies darts team in Hull and if this rings a bell for anyone that’s because it was produced at Hull Truck in the glory days of John Godber and Gareth Tudor-Price et al. We’re excited to be putting this on, not least because we think it’s a great play but also because it pushes a few boundaries for us. It contains adult themes and has some true to life language in it – not excessive – but if you prefer your entertainment to be totally expletive free then this might not be the one for you or youngsters. That said.. it would be a great shame to miss it.

Double Top is by Ron Rose, a successful Doncaster based scriptwriter and playwright as well as having run a very successful theatre company in Doncaster for many years. His writing has included episodes for ‘Between the Lines’, ‘The Bill’ and ‘Heartbeat’ as well as the political serial ‘Love and Reason’.

Double Top itself has an interesting history. Ron wrote his original version for a David Leland New Play season at the Crucible back in 1976 with a cast of 9 women and 3 men. That ratio of women to men at the time was pretty revolutionary but Leland had already committed to a play with the more usual male-heavy weighting.

As Ron himself puts it “… and that was the story for the next 28 years. Too many women in the cast to fit your standard Rep company. Double Top became my calling card, and it did get me a lot of work as it became the most popular unperformed play in the country!”

But then, around 2001, he got a call from his old mate, John Godber. Ron related the conversation –

“Does tha remember that darts play?” he asked.
“I do,” I replied.
“Does tha fancy doin’ it.’
“I do.”
“Tha’s got five.”

So John Godber programmed it for performance at Hull Truck in 2002 and Ron had to re-write it for just 5 actors, not 12!  Gareth Tudor-Price, new to Truck at that time, was to direct the premiere. Gareth told us “I cast the play with Ron and we rehearsed it in the old YPI (Young People’s Institute) on George Street.”

It was here that they developed the play into its current form. As Ron put it “I retained the original simple structure, shifted a number of players off-stage, and required one actor to play all 8 men” thus managing to meet the requirement of a maximum five actors. Gareth told us that “Rob Hudson played all the male characters and in the first few performances we had a stage manager on hand backstage to hand him his ‘next’ character’s costumes and props rather than him dashing about wondering who he was going to be playing next!

Asking about their inspiration both Rob and Gareth were keen to tell us of the essential research they carried out that involved (no doubt equally essential) drinking in pubs, research they clearly enjoyed. Gareth takes up the story “we were introduced to a local Female Pub Darts Team (The Norland in Hessle) and we went along with them, in their van, to several pub darts matches and their functions. Huge buffets were laid on in every pub….” Ron summed it up more succinctly: “We said it was “research”, but I had the time of my life…. and I got loads of material!

Gareth told us that the Norland team enjoyed contributing to its development, “they were a really lovely group of ladies who came to see the show five times and became part of the company! None of the actors had worked with each other before, but as you can imagine a terrific ‘company spirit’ quickly established.”

That sounds like a challenge for us then, in fact, it’s an inspiration!

Double Top rehearsals will commence in November, after our current play, and will be performed at the Elloughton Brough Village Hall on 24th, 25th, 26th January 2019. Subscribe to our email or Follow Us on Facebook to ensure you receive updates and announcements of ticket sales.
You can read a little more about the play here.

Our October Play announced

Yes it’s time to tell you that our programme for the year is agreed. We have secured the licences and that means we can relax in the knowledge that our plans can go ahead.

So what is our first play to be, due for performance in October?

Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (female version)


We first performed this 12 years ago and felt that it was time to run it again.  Reading it this summer reminded us just how funny this classic comedy is – Neil Simon’s clever lines are full of humour and remain fresh.

Some of you will recognise The Odd Couple as a classic of stage, cinema and TV.  A story about two mismatched roommates, it premiered on Broadway in 1965 and was made into a film in 1968 with Jack Lemmon as Felix Ungar and Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison.  A popular TV series followed in the 70s starting Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.

The 1985 Broadway production

Less well known, however, is that Simon wrote an alternative version in 1985 for a female cast.  Essentially it is the same storyline where Felix becomes Florence and Oscar becomes Olive and their poker friends become Trivial Pursuits enthusiasts. And the Pidgeon sisters upstairs become the Costazuela brothers.  It was a great success when we performed it in 2006 and hope it will be just as successful this time around with a changed cast and set.

Whether you have fond memories of the Odd Couple, missed our production 12 years ago or are new to this play come along and see it and prepare to laugh.



Click here: About this play and our cast.

Our second and third plays will feature in our next posts – follow us / subscribe to ensure you don’t miss all our news

Get Involved

If you’re reading this you probably like watching our performances, and sitting in the audience, being entertained.  But how about getting a little more involved?

We have friends of the group who like to come along and give us a hand closer to performance time, or just like being part of a group of theatre lovers.  We are looking for new members and extra helpers. Could that be you?

We are a small group but always aim big on stage. Maintaining the effort required to create three productions a year is demanding – so more members and helpers are always welcome.

There are many reasons for getting involved and many ways of doing so with varying degrees of commitment ;

  • we are always in need of actors (especially men) – maybe there is a role for you- big or small – and we welcome adults of any age!
  • perhaps you would just like to come along to our Monday night meetings and listen to a play reading and find out more about us
  • maybe you have skills that we could utilise ;
    • working with costumes
    • music / audio & sound effects work
    • set-construction work
    • DIY & decoration of sets
    • backstage roles
    • hosting & hot drinks on performance nights
    • stage lighting assistance / video & sound feeds to backstage
  • we are not just people with a mutual love of drama – we are a socially active group of friends.  Being part of a group like ours gets you out of the house, meeting other people, having a laugh – we visit other productions, the cinema, have meals out.

PetuariaJoinUs FB

So why not consider how you could help the Petuaria Players continue to entertain local residents and lovers of live theatre?

Call in at the Forum any Monday evening after 7.30pm.

The Forum meeting  / rehearsal building is next to the Village Hall and contact details are here.

Don’t be shy, come and see us.