T onight ’ s D irector
A word from tonight’s director:
he action of our play takes place in a parallel universe to ours, but one of the ones that occasionally brushes up against this one; there are many recognisable features and just the odd bit that doesn’t quite match. But, hey, it’s a play about politics, not a history lesson. If you’ve a hankering for accuracy, the play’s short enough that you might well catch the end of Newsnight.
Sir, I don’t fear the State, Mr Jacobson. I don’t suspect it of base motives. I just don’t think it’s very bright, and nobody enjoys having a fool for a boss. Consider, for a moment, Mr Jacobson, being required to work with an editor who, flying in the teeth of all available evidence, considers himself best placed to tell you how to write your books.
It’s easy to be cynical about politicians; in fact, try and stop me. I grew up with Yes, Minister, convinced it was fictionalised only to protect the guilty. A more recent generation has enjoyed Armando Iannucci’s The Thick Of It, which makes Yes, Minister look like Camberwick Green but is still said by insiders to give politicians a fairer shake than they deserve. On the other hand, I occasionally remind myself that, as my mother used to say, I wouldn’t do their job for a gold clock. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, damned inbetween-times, just to be on the safe side. It came as something of a shock to me to be told that one of the director’s duties was to provide 700-odd words of preview/foreword for this here programme. I gently suggested that if I was capable of handing in 700 words-worth, despite having nothing of any note to impart, I’d actually be a politician, but they weren’t having any. Either way, in a lame attempt to fill up what sounds like an awful lot of white space, I am reprinting here a letter which I had printed in a national newspaper last year, and which was taken up and reproduced, much to my surprise, by several political blogs. It was written in response to an article by the novelist Howard Jacobson, in which he took people to task for declaring themselves to be becoming more nervous of the activities of the arms of the State in the period after the Menezes shooting and various ‘kettling’ controversies:
The State feels the need to get involved in all aspects of my life, without ever showing any particular aptitude for the job. It wants to educate my children, but can’t quite decide from one week to the next, on the best way to do so. It wants to keep me safe, but approaches the analysis of comparative risk with the mind of a four-year-old child: happy to play hopscotch on the M25, but terrified of dragons. It wants everyone to behave themselves, but believes the best way for that to happen is for it to stand peering in through my kitchen window in case I do something wrong, despite its already knowing most of the country’s criminals by their first name. It wants to collect as much information as it can, but like a bank that opens a branch before installing the safe, can’t quite figure out what to do with it, or where to put it. It wants to go to war on our behalf, but can’t bring itself to explain the real reason why. It is surrounded at all times by battalions of advisors, but only listens to the bad ones. It desperately wants to make things better for everyone, but is constantly distracted by its perceived directive to help rich people to get richer. I have no problem with authority. I’ll happily defer to Matron on matters medical, just as I’d call a mechanic when the car goes wrong. If I needed a humourous novelist, Mr Jacobson, you’d be one of my first three calls, but in the matter of the State, there is an overwhelming case for it to finally decide
on its core competencies, wherever they might be found, and to be swiftly kicked whenever it steps beyond them. What appears to have happened is that, in a moment of nervousness, and lacking the comfort of any convincing Higher Power, we have decided to build our own, and in a ham-fisted attempt to do so, we’ve taken the brightest and best, the finest intellects of our age, put them in a room together and created an extremely large, extremely powerful idiot. Yours, Tim Hinchliffe Before the Prosecution rests, M’lud, I would beg leave to enter as Exhibit ‘A’ the following, labelled Whipping It Up by Steve Thompson. And welcome to it.
About TIM HINCHLIFFE: Tim has appeared in an untold number of productions, in a whole lot of places, over many years. You may remember one or two of them; in which case you have the advantage of him because he has contrived to forget every one of them. This is his first directing job in, gosh, ages, and his first ever at BLT. Be that as it may, he’s had a wonderful time, although this wasn’t necessarily it, and he hopes you enjoy the show at least half as much as he enjoyed a short holiday he once had in Rhyl.
osal nt: A prop of a e m d n e g Am the wordin to change endment may am bill. Each parate vote e s a e ir requ lation. ce of legis ugh ie p ft a r D Bill: l thro ge of a bil The passa f Commons will o the House bate and then a e d a involve s. P M y vote b se in the Hou nd te o v A : n nds a Divisio A bell sou . s n o m m to two of Co y divide in ll a r te li s MP o’. ye’ and ‘N groups: ‘A ment n arrange g MPs A : g in ir a P sin two oppo cular bill between ti r a p a n o not to vote absences cancel eir so that th ut. Pairs are often ro e ice. th o h c ea Whips’ Off e th y b d arrange uction : An instr MPs ip h w e in Three-l hips’ Office to all hip from the W ote. A three-line w v a d n . e to att akable red unbre y is conside oor usuall A secret d tle used for : te a G y Sall cas medieval found in a g forth on a sortie. in troops go
by Steve Th ompson
Cast ( in order of apPearance)
Alastair ý Duncan King Guy ý Richard Trantom Tim ý Stevie Hughes Maggie ý Jane Lobb The Chief ý Paul Ackroyd Delia ý Claire McRandal CREW
Director ý Tim Hinchliffe Stage Manager ý Chris Stewart Set Design ý Tony Jenner Costume Design ý The Company Properties Design ý Chris Stewart & The Company Lighting Design ý Simon Shaw Sound Design ý Chris Stewart Set Construction ý Tony Jenner Lighting Operation ý Simon Shaw, Emily Smith, Emma-Jane Kehoe Lamond Sound Operation ý Richard Stewart, Fiona Harrington, Stephanie Friend
Programme & Poster Design ý Stevie Hughes Photography ý Chris Stewart
ncan King u D
‘Ala ir’ st a
Duncan has been acting ever since he found living in a fantasy world much easier than real life. Favourite roles include Cassio (Othello); Edgar (King Lear); Sloane (Entertaining Mr. Sloane); Mike (Berkoff’s West) and Rispolozhensky (Ostrovsky’s A Family Affair). He has performed at The Albany Empire, Latchmere, Half Moon and Bridewell Theatres and at BLT (Another Country, Loot). His love of dressing up is the basis for his passion for theatre. He likes to wear tights and make-up… even when the role doesn’t require it.
‘ Gu y’
When Stevie heard BLT was putting on a play involving ‘whips’, ‘ties’ and ‘lobbying members’, he bent over backwards to be in it, despite having only a tiny majority. He has very much enjoyed being back on this side of the counter after writing and directing A Flea In Her Ear here in July (alright, he was in it too! See next page). In fact, he found working with Tim and the WIU cast such a hoot that he nearly voted Tory.
e Lobb Jan
Jane trained at East 15. BLT productions she has appeared in include: Hamlet, The Admirable Crichton, Ghetto, Crime And Punishment, Dad’s Army, Veronica’s Room, Cold Comfort Farm, Don’t Dress For Dinner, The Duchess Of Malfi, On The Razzle, Noises Off, Stepping Out, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Children’s Hour, Laughter On The 23rd Floor, Peter Pan, Frost/Nixon and The Threepenny Opera.
Paul was last seen on the BLT stage earlier this year as David Bliss in Hay Fever after too long an absence. A devotee of political drama and satire of all kinds, Paul is delighted to be playing The Chief. Much to his surprise he found that playing a cunning, unprincipled b*****d came to him quite naturally!
g g ie ’
l Ackroyd au
e C hi ef ’
This is Claire’s hatrick performance with BLT. She is delighted to have had the opportunity to play such a range of ‘challenging’ women and now, in Whipping It Up, to have the privilege of performing alongside accomplished actors under Tim Hinchcliffe: an ‘actor’s director’. She is relieved - after previous incidents with beds and chaises longues - that Delia does not have to wrestle with the furniture, just with the men - mentally, that is!
C ast B iographies
e McRanda r i l a
ard Tranto ch
Richard has lived close to BLT for some years and has seen numerous productions but has never appeared here until now! He has performed with other local societies such as Hayes Players and Beckenham Theatre Centre and his favourite roles include Teddy Brewster in Arsenic And Old Lace and Dad in Ray Cooney’s Caught In The Net. He is really enjoying the part of Guy and hopes that the audience find the play as funny as the cast do!
ie Hughe tev
‘ D e l i a’
Flea in her Ear Directed by
Photography: Chris Stewart
O ur L ast S how (J uly )
In The Bar: our next show
2011 Diary Dates 7th - 15th October plus matinée: Saturday 15th
by Paul Allen (from the film by Mark Herman) Directed by Pauline Armour
In The Bar
27th - 30th October
by Conor McPherson Directed by Wayne Sheridan
11th - 19th November
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Directed by Robert Dilks
It’s not all black and white…
9th & 10th, 12th - 17th December plus matinées: 10th & 17th & ‘teatime’ show: 11th
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to… The Weir!
Spend an evening at a small bar located on a farm in rural Ireland where the proprietor, three other local men and a woman new to the area meet, drink, and tell stories. The banter consists of friendly, local talk and gossip that is uneventful in itself, but overall reveals the characters’ isolation and the figurative ghosts that haunt them. The Weir provides the setting for storytelling at its very best. Based in truth and lies; myth and legend; faith and scepticism; humour and tragedy; The Weir clearly demonstrates how we all make choices based on what we believe.
by Lionel Bart Directed by Paul Johnson NB: No show on Sundays except for The Weir & Oliver!
For the latest details on BLT’s 2011 shows and auditions, please visit our website:
So grab a glass and settle down in the bar with Brendan, Jack, Finbar, Jim and newcomer Valerie as they regale you with stories that span the generations from ancient folk tales to modern myths. The ‘craic’ is on and the drink is flowing: won’t you join us for a short one?
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Jack | John Barrass Valerie | Jo Gleeson Brendan | Ewan Williams Jim | Stevie Hughes Finbar | Wayne Sheridan
1 r 201
13th) th 9th Sunday 11 -1 show m (no 7.45p
The Weir by Conor McPherson Directed by Wayne Sheridan Thur 27th to Sun 30th October at 7.30pm
To book, call: 07917 853621 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Directed by Abi Topley LT is proud to announce its involvement with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s national ‘Open Stages’ programme with Abi Topley’s take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, renowned for its opening line ‘If music be the food of love – play on’ and of course, the hapless Malvolio and his yellow stockings!
Abi and her team are sure to deliver a production that is engaging, fast moving and bridges the divide between the 16th and 21st centuries.
Auditions: Sunday 18th September 2011 at 4.00pm Performances: 17th - 25th February 2012 at 7.45pm
SC ‘Open Stages’ is a new project that aims to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre, re-forging the bond with the world of professional theatre while opening up access to Shakespeare for performers and audiences alike.
Throughout 2011/2012, the RSC, in partnership with a number of regional theatres and amateur theatre associations, will run a national programme of skills-sharing events and showcases with amateur societies from across the UK, producing their own RSC-branded, Shakespeare-themed productions. The RSC wants to lead a step change in its relationship with the amateur sector; to recognise its rich traditions, to open our doors to its work and collaborate with partners nationally to leave a significant legacy. Michael Boyd RSC Artistic Director
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Collect a membership form from the foyer or download one from the website at: www. bromleylittletheatre.org/membership.htm and return it with a SAE and cheque made payable to Bromley Little Theatre to: Membership Secretary, Bromley Little Theatre, North Street, Bromley BR1 1SB. NB: Membership applied for between September and December will cover you for the following full calendar year.
A member of the Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain, Bromley Theatre Guild and Kent Drama Association, Bromley Little Theatre is an awardwinning amateur theatre established in 1938. Each year we present eleven full-length plays in the main house, five or six smaller shows in the bar, plus productions staged by The D.R.A.M.A.s (our youth group). We are run entirely by volunteers and there is plenty of scope for members to become involved in all aspects of the theatre - including simply enjoying being in the audience! Bromley Little Theatre is a licensed members’ club (and charity) so membership is necessary to see or take part in our shows.
HOW TO BOOK Tickets You can either:
Bromley Little Theatre
• Phone the Box Office and leave a message with your contact and membership details and the number of tickets you require. A member of the Box Office team will call you back to confirm your order
• Collect a reservation form from the foyer and send a cheque payable to Bromley Little Theatre to: Box Office, Bromley Little Theatre, North Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1SB
• Email your ticket request and membership details to email@example.com and a member of the Box Office will contact you to confirm your order
Once you are a member you may:
• Book tickets at discounted membership rates • Bring along your friends as ‘guests’
• Visit the Box Office in person between 7pm and 9pm (show nights only)
• Receive our free bi-monthly magazine
• Participate in productions, on and off stage
• Visit www.bromleylittletheatre.org and book online (Note: members wishing to book and pay for seats online must first register by emailing the membership secretary at: membership@ bromleylittletheatre.org)
• Socialise in our friendly (and reasonable) bar • Join us for quizzes, awards, social nights and more!
STILL NOT SURE? You can send an email with any query to firstname.lastname@example.org or just turn up to the theatre after 7.45pm on a show night and have a chat with a member of the Front of House team.
TICKET PRICES Adult member: £7 Junior member: £5 Adult guest: £10 Junior guest: £7 Group: (10+ guests booked & prepaid): @ £9
BECOME A MEMBER Single membership: £15 Couple membership (same address): £23 Couple and all under 16s (same address): £30 Full-time student: £6 Junior (under 16 years): £6
Bromley Little Theatre is a registered charity (No. 1132561) Please note: our license requires you to be a member for at least 48 hours before you can purchase tickets for any show. All details correct at time of going to press. Details (including membership rates and ticket prices) are subject to change. 10
J oining & B ooking
T he S mall P rint
Bromley Little Theatre Ltd Registered Office: Bromley Little Theatre North Street Bromley Kent BRI 1SB
Reserved tickets not collected and paid for by 7.30pm (or 1.45pm) may be offered up for sale at the discretion of the Box Office Manager on show dates where all other tickets have been sold and demand is high.
MEMBERS’ BOX OFFICE Tel: 07917 853621 Email: email@example.com
The use of sound and visual recording equipment of any kind is not permitted during the performance except by prior arrangement.
Registered in England Company No. 06118807 VAT Registration No. 207 156 485
MEMBERSHIP ENQUIRIES Tel: 01689 825107 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org BROMLEY LITTLE THEATRE - BOARD Email: email@example.com
BROMLEY LITTLE THEATRE - PLAYGOERS’ CLUB Email: firstname.lastname@example.org YOUTH GROUP Tel: 07876 021352 Email: youthgroup@bromleylittletheatre. org
Please ensure you turn off your mobile phone prior to the performance. BLT regrets that no liability can be accepted for loss or damage to personal property whilst on the premises except for that which has been formally loaned or hired to the theatre.
WHERE ARE WE? BLT is situated in Bromley town centre, just behind ‘The Railway’ pub (at the end of East Street, opposite Bromley North Station):
Interval drinks may be pre-ordered at the bar by BLT members.
Patrons are reminded that smoking is not permitted anywhere inside Bromley Little Theatre and refreshments are not to be taken into the auditorium. It is Bromley Little Theatre’s policy that members must collect and pay for reserved tickets from the Box Office at least 15 minutes prior to curtain-up (7.30pm in the case of evening performances and 1.45pm for matinées) on respective performance dates.
North Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1SB For the latest information on productions (including photos, reviews, previews and audition notices) and social events please visit: www.bromleylittletheatre.org
Programme designed and typeset by: �
Call: 07789 123719
graphic design • web design • sound design 11 email@example.com www.triocreative.com
Next month’s show:
wi’out a colliery, can you?’ says veteran miner and double bass player, Harry. They’re ready to pack it in when a new flugelhorn player wanders into the practice room; Gloria Mullins plays like a dream and has unfinished business with a young tenor horn player – they last saw each other round the back of the bus station when they were both 14!
by Paul Allen (from the film by Mark Herman) Directed by Pauline Armour Musical Director: John Hargreaves featuring The Beckenham Concert Band
The play is seen through the memory of Shane, now an adult, re-telling the events of 1994 when he was 8 years old. His father and mother are at their wits’ end, crippled by debt incurred when Phil, the father, was jailed and suspended during the miners’ strike ten years before. Can their marriage survive the knock of the bailiffs at the door? Danny, Phil’s father, Shane’s grandfather and the band’s conductor, sees no reason why 100 years of history shouldn’t reach its climax this year at the National Championship finals at the Albert Hall - pit or no pit. But Danny has also inherited a terrible legacy from a lifetime down the pit himself.
7th - 15th October at 7.45pm + Saturday 15th at 2.30pm. (No show Sunday 9th)
t is 1994 and the last great round of pit closures is coming to a climax. As Grimley Colliery prepares to ballot miners on the Coal Board’s redundancy offer, a huge question mark hangs over the local brass band: ‘Can’t have a colliery band
Brassed Off is a fast-paced and often very funny play whose subject is tragedy but whose success lies in making audiences feel good nevertheless. It is full of Yorkshire character and language but also has immensely powerful musical set pieces as Grimley – pit, band and community – fights to survive and to mean something amid the political realities of 1994.
Bromley Little Theatre - in collaboration with John Hargreaves and local musicians - is thrilled to bring this moving story to our audience members. The cast is large and the subject matter engaging so we have added a matinée performance on the final Saturday. We advise you to book early!
Shane ♫ Richard Stewart Phil ♫ Steve Williams Sandra ♫ Julie Binysh Danny ♫ Dan Armour Harry ♫ Bob Etherington Jim ♫ Tim O’Keefe Rita ♫ Kay O’Dea Vera ♫ Emma Kerby-Evans Andy ♫ Chris Learmonth Gloria ♫ Ami Williamson Craig ♫ Oliver Barrass/Sacha O’Keefe Melody ♫ TBC Bailiffs/nurses ♫ The Company Musicians ♫ Beckenham Concert Band
To book, call: 07917 853621 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest details on BLT’s 2011 shows and auditions, please visit our website: www.bromleylittletheatre.org
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