I’m posting this today, Thursday 30th April, because this would have been our opening night for FlatSpin. It is now many weeks since we stopped rehearsals and postponed the play to a future date. It means the only collective drama event for us this week will be our regular online Zoom -based Quiz Night.
Meanwhile, another delve into the archives from plays prior to our website presence. This week we take a look at THE ANNIVERSARY by Bill Macilwraith.
The Anniversary was produced by Richard Bateman in January 2007. It is a black comedy first performed in 1966 from which a film was made in 1968 starring Bette Davis and Sheila Hancock.
Synopsis: Mrs. Taggart is an emasculating woman whose husband, a successful building contractor, has been dead for ten years. Joining her for the traditional annual celebration of her wedding anniversary are her three sons: eldest Henry is a transvestite; middle son Terry is planning to emigrate to Canada with his shrewish wife Karen and their five children; and youngest Tom, a promiscuous philanderer whose many past relationships have ended at his mother’s insistence, arrives with his pregnant girlfriend Shirley in town. Throughout the day and evening, the domineering, evil, vindictive, manipulative matriarch does everything in her power to remind her children who controls the family finances and ultimately their futures.
Scroll through the gallery below to see a selection from the images from the production.
In the first of an occasional series we thought we would bring you a dip into the archives. With an uncertain period ahead of us and no news to post since our current production was postponed, it seems a good time to remind everyone that the Petuaria Players has been around for fifty nine years and that this period is a temporary absence before we get into our Diamond Jubilee year.
Most of us are locked down and working (or chilling) at home so we have limited access to the archives. But there is sufficient material to take us back to this one: THERE GOES THE BRIDE by Ray Cooney and John Chapman.
There Goes The Bride was produced by Rob Newton fourteen years ago this month. Scroll through the gallery below and see what we were up to then, and if you saw the production, you may see some old faces – or rather some younger faces!
As a reminder of the plot: Timothy Westerby is overworked, underpaid, stressed-out, and his daughter is getting married in what he thinks is an overly-lavish and overly-expensive ceremony. Timothy is ripe for a nervous breakdown – and, on the morning of the wedding, he has one! It takes the form of ‘Polly’, the most gorgeous, voluptuous girl who just wants to give herself to Timothy – the pity is, she’s an apparition. The fact is, of course not apparent to Timothy who is convinced that Polly is totally real and is delighted to have this sexy guest at the wedding. Timothy’s wife, his mother-in-law, his daughter and the groom’s parents take a different view!
A few membership changes have occurred along the way. We then had Dave Ralph (sound and lights) and Tina Addington. Neil Martin was still to be a member for another year and it was my (Steve H.) first play with the PP. And Phil Johnson was still treading the boards back then too.
Hope that raised a few smiles. Until the next one, stay safe folks.
Next weekend would have been set build for our final play of the season but with the cancellation of our April production The Petuaria Players are, like everyone else, lying low.
What does it mean for the Petuaria Players?
It means that our summer period of rest has started prematurely and who knows how long it will continue. Technology and online interaction has replaced our meetings. This means that we can continue to communicate and arrange our play readings and discussions, something which will accelerate shortly. But it also means we can still do what we do best – socialise. Courtesy of Zoom and essential stocks of alcohol and nibbles we can meet more often than we did before! All without requiring a taxi home.
What about next season?
Everyone knows that nobody knows. This strange world we are in will continue for some time to come and it is not hard to imagine that a degree of restrictions and behavioural recommendations will affect our drama plans to some extent. It’s too early to say.
The best we can do for the moment is hope that a degree of normality will return such that we can present a full programme for next season. To that end we have now secured an extension to our performance licence that would allow us to complete rehearsals for FlatSpin and make that the first play at the end of October if possible.
However, it is far too early to make positive plans but when we do know we will certainly announce it here.
Stay Home, Stay Safe
So in the meantime we will continue with our readings and Zoom meetings and a few posts on here. So stay home, stay safe and see you all soon.
It will come as no surprise that we must reluctantly announce the postponement of our next production, FlatSpin, which was due to be performed at the end of April.
At our final rehearsal yesterday the Production team discussed the latest guidelines and projected situation over the next few weeks and we realised we would be unable to sustain future rehearsal meetings and all the play preparation required. It was also evident that it would be irresponsible to go ahead with performance nights to local audiences.
We have therefore decided to cancel the performances on 30th April, 1st and 2nd May. It is our current intention, if circumstances allow, to reschedule this production as our first play of next season at the end of October. Follow this website (register your email) for updates and news through the coming months.
Our Club and Ticket Secretaries, Dianne and Steve Turner will be in touch to confirm with those who have already reserved tickets and to those who have purchased season tickets.
Obviously everyone is disappointed, when we have been putting so much effort towards this play and looking forward to performing it. However, the decision was clear and we can at least (hopefully) look forward to resuming from where we left off later this summer.
Interestingly this is only the third time in our history, since 1961, that we have been unable to put on three plays in a season. The first was a performance of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit in the early years, and the group had to stop performing in 1991/2 due to electrical refurbishment at the Village Hall.
We look forward to announcing a new season including FlatSpin later this summer. Meanwhile follow us for updates and articles and we wish you all good health and a safe passage through the next few difficult weeks.