What our Audience Thought


"Fantastic - Definitely come again" 


"Fantastic as Usual"


"Witty scripts, excellently performed - well done to all"


"Well Done - What a good night - better than the rubbish on TV!"


What our Actors Thought


"This is a marvellous little play, one that you read more into as you get more into it. Members of the audience only get to see it once and as they think more about it they realise that there are two dialogues going on - The question I would like to ask the audience - Do you think Mr Tidy knows all the time what's going on? I think he probably does....." (Derek Forrest, who played Mr. Gostilow in "From Here to the Library")


"It was a great show to do, really funny, except when I was slapped in the face!, but was great working with Rebecca and Laura. Sadly, I think this will be my last show with The Hoghton Players as I am moving away from the area soon, but I'm hoping in the future I can return as they are lovely to work with - its like a close knit family and I can't think of anything better...." (Sam Clarkson, who played Richard in "Sit Vac")


"I was originally going to be the prompt, but ended up playing the role. It unnerved me a little having to play this part as it had been done before (by Carol McCann), but all I could do was be myself and the others had to adapt to me rather than the other way round - but I have had a fantastic time - It's been an absolute joy to do...." (Elaine Nuttall, who played Brenda in "Waiting For Giro")

Local theatre goers always leave Hoghton Village Hall with a warm feeling inside, after the usual top-class entertainment provided by the hard-working and talented members of the Hoghton Players.

The latest theatrical treat laid on was three one-act plays on a windswept and rainy night on Friday November 2nd.

First on stage was the excellent From Here to the Library, written with style and humour by Jimmie Chinn.

The meat in the middle of the sandwich was Sit Vac, by Leonard Morley, and the third and final piece of a gourmet feast in thespian circles was Waiting for Giro, a poignant work written by Hoghton Players’ members Richard Torpey and Lois Ward.


From Here to the Library


This is purely a subjective view but From Here to the Library was the top play of the night for me. The acting by all three members of the cast was of the highest order. We had the irascible, demanding and 'sex on the telly' obsessed Mr. Tidy, portrayed by the excellent Brian Hoyle, his long-suffering daughter Miss Tidy (Beryl), played by Bernadette Nuttall, and the gentle but perceptive chief librarian Mr. Gostilow (Gerald), played by Derek Forrest. All, it would seem, were perfectly cast.

The play, about a visit to the Tidy home by Mr. Gostilow to establish why his absent librarian has not been to work for two weeks, was delivered perfectly with no need for prompts from Angela Fowler - and the whole thing was a credit to director Millie Santus.

My son, Quinton J. Falkus II, was in attendance and the hearty guffaws he emitted every time Brian Hoyle pulled a face, be it a look of horror, indignation or pure bewilderment, meant it struck the right cord, whatever age group you belonged to!

Bernadette Nuttall delivered a tour de force performance as Mr Tidy's timid but well-meaning and loyal daughter, while Derek Forrest was perfectly understated as Mr Gostilow. I won't explain the story of the play in case the Hoghton Players decide to take it on the road but let's just say it has a happy ending for all three characters, with a woman on the telly 'taking them off', much to Mr. Tidy's abject consternation (he doth protest too much, methinks).


Sit Vac


Another, excellent, 30-minute offering. This play tells the story of lovelorn Maggie (Rebecca Cohen) who is stood up on a date by somebody called Richard.

Fate dictates that the two characters meet up for a job interview, with down-on-his-luck Richard, whose business is on the verge of going bust, attending the offices of a company for an interview.

Maggie works for the company and has the task of interviewing him for the position. The chemistry is apparent and the two lovebirds row then make up in equal measure, with plenty of insults hurled at each other along the way before the common denominator, an attraction to each other, takes hold once again.

Again, excellent performances from Rebecca Cohen, Sam Clarkson as Richard, and the curvaceous secretary Vanessa (Laura Brewer), with 'two large lumps', guaranteed gales of laughter from an appreciative audience. Hats off to director Ruth Jones for a sublime play!   Well done.


Waiting for Giro


This was an interesting one, mixing humour and pathos in equal measure. It serves to entertain while there is an underlying political message on the seemingly unfair nature of the benefits system - for those who do not fit the criteria for help. And their crime? To have paid their stamp and taxes all their lives.

Brenda, at the local employment office, is played by Elaine Nuttall with the customary efficiency and all the emotional detachment of a robot - prerequisites for the job in real life, one presumes.

Waiting to see her on this particular day are Ben, a ne'er-do-well layabout with a chip on each shoulder, played brilliantly by Robin Brown. Ben, who is a wizard at computer games, cannot understand why he cannot get a job in computer software programming. The fact he has no qualifications seems to pass him by!

Tasha, professional scrounger and benefits sponger, is played by Joanne Ingham. She again delivers a terrific performance, complete with pink velour tracksuit - or are they really pyjamas? - hell bent on avoiding meaningful, paid work if at all possible.


Willow, the new age traveller and eco-warrior, is played with panache, and a corking Brummie accent, by Stuart Lockhart - a quality entertainer and a great one for the future of the Hoghton Players.

Meanwhile, self-employed plasterer Joe (Paul Santus) genuinely wants work but is left feeling victimised by the system when informed he is not eligible for unemployment benefit because he has paid his national insurance all his working life.


In despair, he decides to come back to the employment office and stage a sit-down protest at Brenda's desk, by super gluing his hands to it!


Trouble is, he has unwittingly forgotten to pay for the superglue and a policeman, ironically one week away from retirement and a 'golden handcuffs' pension (Harold Eastham) delights in taking him down the local nick on a shoplifting charge...but only after a fireman (Ian Murray) has attended and cut around his hands, destroying the desk, to free him from his self-inflicted situation.

The final words of the play epitomise the rights and wrongs of the benefits system when the possibility of having a criminal record now give the forlorn plasterer an opportunity for an allowance!

Lois Ward directed this - and again - it was a joy to watch with great performances all round. A big “well done” to all involved.

So there you are. A terrific night's entertainment! The residents of Hoghton are spoiled by having such a talented ensemble on their doorstep. As usual, a well-stocked bar kept this gentleman of the stage-scene well lubricated.

Here's to the next one (play, I mean)!



Posted: 5th November 2012

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