Tag Archives: Yorkshire

Lockdown News

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.

Boozy Quiz Night

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.

All over

On Friday I found myself in the unusual position of being a paying member of the audience for ‘Say It With Flowers’ – probably for the first time since joining the Petuaria Players 13 years and 40 productions ago.

For me it was a play off ‘resting’ with minimal involvement other than on the graphics and publicity design so it was an opportunity to book a seat and watch a performance properly. Usually, for members who are not cast in a play, we would find ourselves carrying out tasks backstage, blind but listening to the actors and reactions from the audience.

So to sit down in the auditorium and experience the full production in all its glory, feel the reactions and ripples of laughter close up, to hear the whispered comments from nearby seats was amazing.

More rewarding was to watch my friends bring weeks of hard, stretching rehearsals to fruition. And what a performance. As usual, the coldness and dryness of rehearsals turned into warmth and laughter on stage, the ultimate reward of all that hard work, hearing the audience laugh and react, often in places or to lines that we hadn’t realised were that funny. Even though I had seen everything multiple times by now, to watch and appreciate it in the audience I was surprised how fresh it felt, despite knowing what was coming up next on every scene.

It was a superb night, a great performance by the actors, and not forgetting the unsung heroes working backstage with the numerous props and the fitting music that accompanied the play.

The last night of the run was on Saturday and had the added excitement of having Jane Thornton in the audience. Jane, of course, wrote Say it With Flowers so it was an honour to have her watch our interpretation of her play and to feedback to us at the end when she came backstage to meet the cast.

It was certainly interesting for her to be watching us because we have often watched her perform on stage, often with husband John Godber.

Jane Thornton joins the cast on the set of Say it With Flowers

Afterwards it was time for our traditional after-play drinks (and pizzas) on stage and the setting of ‘Stan and Mavis’s’ patio created a great backdrop for our late night January summer garden party.

After-play drinks looks more like a garden party

Somehow, despite the late night festivities, we were back there at 9.30 on Sunday morning to dismantle the set and the auditorium. Now we can relax – for a week – before rehearsals start again for the next one…..


Watch out for our upcoming posts with news about the next play and the photo gallery of this production. Why not subscribe and never miss a post? Simply add your email on the front page where you see this widget –

Passing Strangers

As we announced recently, Passing Strangers will be our first production of the season, running on October 24th to 26th. This is another play from the pen of Eric Chappell and we are excited to be bringing this to you in just a couple of months.

It first came to our attention in 2015 when we saw it performed by Planet Rabbit productions in Brough, we loved it and it is a play we have had on our possible productions list since then. This year, for all sorts of reasons, it seemed to be just the right choice for play one of the season.

Passing Strangers is a clever comedy with just four characters and the play centres around their attempt at (or avoidance of ) relationships. Produced by Jayne Hewson and with Gary Vann, Nic Johnson, Gill Collins and Steve Howland as the characters on a Singles Dance Night at a hotel.

Gill, Gary, Nic and Steve at an early play reading and script recording
Passing Strangers
“Fickle thing, memory.”  Malcolm discovers how true his words are when he takes his friend Clive to a singles’ evening.  Clive, a hospital porter masquerading as a doctor, has just been left by his wife, while Malcolm is a confirmed bachelor and “big in imports” – really a market stall trader.  In the deserted hotel bar, to the depressing soundtrack of the next-door ballroom, they meet two recent divorcees; upwardly mobile Julie and cynical, defiant Liz. Malcolm is determined to break down Liz’s defences while trying to pair off Clive with Julie.  But the women have a few tricks of their own, and Malcolm soon finds that life, like the evening, is full of surprises.

Tickets are on sale now and information on booking can be found here.

Please note that due to rising costs we have been forced to change the ticket price to £8 this year – but that still includes a programme and interval refreshments….

Details of the other plays in our season can be found on our What’s On page.

Petuaria players news

PLAYS FOR 2019-2020 ANNOUNCED

During our summer break we were busy reading through potential scripts, juggling actor availability for casting and obtaining the licences. So we are excited that we can now announce our programme for this coming year –

PASSING STRANGERS - a comedy by Eric Chappell
October 24th, 25th, 26th 2019
'Fickle thing, memory". Malcolm discovers how true his words are when he takes his unhappy and discarded friend, Clive, to a Singles' Evening. There they meet two recent divorcees; the upwardly-mobile Julie and the cynical, defiant Liz.
SAY IT WITH FLOWERS - a comedy by Jane Thornton
January 30th, 31st, February 1st 2020
When an amateur drama group realise they have nowhere to perform after they are forced to abandon the Parish Hall they turn their artistic talents to the regional 'Village in Bloom' competition. But that is where the tensions begin.
FLATSPIN - a comedy by Alan Ayckbourn
April 30th, May 1st, 2nd 2020
When aspiring actress Rosie is asked to fill in for her uncle by servicing apartments in Docklands, she decides to spice up her day by pretending to be an absent tenant. But her passionate tryst with neighbour Sam turns into something sinister when she discovers that the flat, and Sam, are not quite what they seem.

Rehearsals have already started for Passing Strangers and we will tell you a little more about the plays in future posts.