It’s time for a quick update. The Petuaria Players have been very busy in rehearsal and planning for our first play of the season – The Final Test by Chris Paling – and we will be telling you more about this lovely play shortly.
And…. we are excited to announce that tickets are now on sale and are available as usual via the routes shown on our BOOK TICKETS page. (Click here to view it.)
We also issued our September Newsletter last week which updates you on our 2022-2023 programme and changes to our seating layout. You can read the newsletter by clicking on the download button below (opens in new page).
We have our plays selected and casted at last and are ready to share with you our excitement.
As explained in our last post (read it here) we are having to reduce our season to two plays for the time being. That said we have two lovely scripts that we think you will thoroughly enjoy.
One thing to note as you read ahead – our traditional play dates have moved forward a couple of weeks so please ensure you put the right ones in your calendar.
Although it wasn’t planned that way there is a somewhat summery sporting theme here – golf and cricket. But fear not, the sport is simply a backdrop to two amusing and delightful plays about people.
THE FINAL TEST by Chris Paling
10th, 11th, 12th November 2022
A touching and poignant comedy about marriage, cricket and the dangerous lure of Bexhill-on-Sea.
Peter and Ruth have had a long and happy marriage – or so Peter believes. They each have their own interests; he loves cricket, she enjoys travel. But all is not well. as Peter discovers one afternoon when he’s dozing in his deckchair listening to the Final Test from the Oval. His wife announces she has sold the house and is moving to the coast. When the new owners move in, they discover much more than theybargained for!
PAR FOR THE COURSE by Peter Gordon
11th, 12th, 13th May 2023
Captain’s Day at The Seven Lakes Golf Club gets off to a bad start when the men’s Captain is indisposed. Club Secretary, Simon relishes the chance to take over but is soon thwarted by the arrival of Vice Captain Nick and his girlfriend. Lady Captain and hopeless Barry add to the confusion and as a series of disasters mount, tensions build and things go from bad to worse. Love or loathe golf, it will never seem quite the same again!
We will post more about these soon. Please note that tickets are not yet available while we re-examine our seating plan so watch out for our announcement in the next few weeks. However, if you wish to register your interest in season tickets that provide you with reserved seat positions and preferred evenings in advance then contact us via our page here.
A new play season is almost upon us and we will be sharing our programme for 2022 / 2023 with you in the next bulletin. Meanwhile we have news of our recent AGM decisions and some changes to announce.
MOVING TO TWO PLAYS PER YEAR
Our long established routine of three plays per season has had to reduce to two, at least for the near future. Many of our devoted followers will be disappointed, but this is a reluctant decision that we have managed to hold off in recent years. However, the reduction in membership since the pandemic; the difficulties in recruiting new actors into the pastime of live stage performances – especially males; coupled with the increasing burdens of the sheer hard work and many hours of our spare time that our few members have to undertake, is sadly no longer sustainable.
We have for decades managed to produce three plays back to back, a nine month process of rehearsals and performances that start in August and run continuously until the end of April. As a small group this means that most of us are required as actors or support crew in every play with no break. Without new members to share this load something had to give.
So for the 2022-2023 season we will perform two plays, one in November and the other in May 2023 and we will be announcing the dates and the plays in our next post – watch this space!
Our future ticket prices will increase slightly to £10. This remains great value for money for a night of live theatre with our souvenir programme and the return of the ever popular interval teas/coffees and biscuits.
Season tickets are still available – these are £20 each and have the advantage of reserving your favourite seat position and performance night for our two plays.
Another change we expect to implement this year is a reduction in seating in the hall. We hope, where possible, to create a little more room for our audiences – spacing between chairs and more leg room in the flat on the forward rows.
The pandemic gave rise to increased caution which was still obviously a concern at our recent return to the stage production in April and feedback regarding the condensed seating in places.
We shall be exploring a new layout shortly.
WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT
Wendy Elliott has decided to step down from her role as President of our society. Wendy, of course, has been a member and presence on our stage for decades before ‘retiring’ and then taking the role of President after Mo Spence who had served in that role for 25 years.
So it is now both fitting and a delight that Mo’s daughter, Nicci Robinson, has accepted the role and was ‘inaugurated’ at our recent Committee meeting. Nicci, who has been a member and performed with us in the past, has been a staunch supporter, attendee and patron of our group along with her husband Paul. So we thank Wendy for her service and now welcome Nicci to the hopefully non-taxing position as President.
We also confirmed our committee and Chair for the year ahead, an election process that was far simpler, faster and less acrimonious than the one dragging on for PM!
Richard Bateman remains as long-serving Chair yet again, a unanimous and popular hands-up decision that differs from totalitarian regimes in that committee members aren’t threatened with labour camps. Although set-building weekends constitute hard labour punishment at times.
Many of you who are regular attendees at the Petuaria Players productions will be very saddened to hear of Wyn’s passing on the 4th May at the age of 91.
A colourful gentleman, both literally and in character, his presence brightened and filled any room or stage. Audiences loved his stage-presence, his characters and his distinctive clear voice – someone who never had any complaints from the audience about not being able to be heard from the back row, a man whose voice truly deserved the description ‘stentorian‘!
Indeed, his ability to project his voice reminds me of an occasion at the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire that still makes me smile. I was awaiting the peloton at High Hunsley cross road, jostling for position in a big crowd to get photos of the riders. In the distance, amidst the throng at the other corner of the crossroad, a sonorous voice boomed out across the entire area, easily rising above the noise and babble of excited voices, one which momentarily caused a dip in conversation as they perhaps wondered if this was a hidden tannoy announcement about the race. Instead it was Wyn attracting my attention from a distance with “HELLOOOO STEVE, HOW ARE YOU?”
Wyn was almost 89 at his last performance with us but he was young at heart and amusing and woe betide anyone who attempted to consider his ‘age’. In Take Away The Lady he had to play an elderly gentleman. Perfectly cast? Not a bit of it! Despite the character being technically younger than Wyn he ‘aged’ himself and added 20 years or so into a truly doddering fellow. Hilarious.
In Absurd Person Singular he had to climb up and stand on a small kitchen table. At rehearsal as he unsteadily clambered from chair to table and wobbled a little we all hovered close by in fear, ready to steady him – much to his disgust that we thought he was ‘old’. “I am acting!”
Mwyndeg Griffith Price – known to all as Wyn – was born on 29th March 1931 in Bradley, near Wrexham, and spent his childhood in Wrexham and also in Llangollen which he always called “his spiritual home”.
After a career in education and a long and productive pastime in Amateur Dramatics and Operatics (one in which he was awarded in 2012 the 60 Year Diamond Bar for Dedicated Service to Amateur Theatre from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association) he moved to South Cave to live closer to his son – local professional theatre producer and director, Gareth Tudor Price.
It was Gareth who introduced Wyn to the Petuaria Players. I remember Wyn saying at his first visit to the Forum that after a life in dramatics this would be a wonderful opportunity to remain involved and mix with fellow ‘thesps’, and that he had no intention of acting, simply to be around the process, “unless, of course, you needed a small walk-on part to be filled…”
That was in 2014. Within weeks he was taking on his first full role, and certainly no bit-part! And, until lock down prevented any of us performing or even meeting up, he had parts in eleven productions, his first entrances always creating a discernible ripple of delight through the audience. With his final performance in 2020 he had achieved an amazing 68 years in Amateur Theatre! Those who know Wyn will know full well that he would have performed at the age of 90 but for the pandemic lockdowns.
Below are some photos of his characters in those plays, and only a small view of his extensive and colourful personal wardrobe!
It comes as no surprise that Wyn had apparently made it clear that in the event of his passing that there should be a celebration of his life, not a mourning, that it should be full of amusing anecdotes and a lot of bright colour – black outfits and sadness forbidden! Ever the colourful gent, we shall all miss his charismatic presence – with a smile.
Wyn passed away peacefully on May 4th. His celebration of life and funeral will take place a 12.30 pm on June 17th at Haltemprice Crematorium.
Wyn’s Productions & Characters
2014. D.S.S Inspector Jenkins in Cash On Delivery
2015. Ronald Brewster-Wright in Absurd Person Singular
2015. Stanley in Sylvia’s Wedding
2016. Col. Melkett in Black Comedy
2016. Rod Trusser in Neighbourhood Watch
2016. Mark Webster in Spirit Level
2017. Porter Padgett in TheHallelujah Girls
2017. Albert in Generations Apart
2018. Sir Willoughby Drake in It Runs In The Family
2019. Charles Doubleday in Take Away The Lady
2020. Richard in Say It With Flowers
Cheers Wyn. Thanks for your friendship and wonderful contributions to our group.