Haxby Players - History
Reviews of 2001 Plays 'Alfie' & 'Funny Money'
Member's Information Page
A Concise List of Plays from 1947 - present date
Haxby Memorial Hall - Redevelopment Group
Review of Arsenic & Old Lace April 2002
Review of Comfort & Joy by Mike Harding - Autumn 2002
Review of Revengers Comedies by Alan Ayckbourn - Spring 2003
Review of Pack of Lies - Autumn 2003
Review of "And Then There Were None" April 2004
Contact Information for Haxby Players
Review of Happiest Days of Your Life -Oct 2004
Review of "Harvey" by Mary Chase - Spring 2005
Time of My Life by Alan Ayckbourn - Autumn 2005
Review of - Fatal Encounter by Francis Durbridge Spring 2006
Rewiew of "Ice Is Slowly Melting" Autumn 2006
Review - The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 Spring 2008
Autumn 2008 - The Memory of Water
She Stoops To Conquer - October 2000
|Haxby Players presented She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith in October 2000.
This play was first peformed at Covent Garden on 15th March 1773. The title had been changed four times, orignally called "The Old House a New Inn" then "Belle's Strategem", followed by "The Mistakes of the Night". Only three days before opening did the author decide upon its present title. The change came so late that most of the publicity carried the "Mistakes of the Night" title. This comedy is one of the few to survive to present day and remains one of the stock pieces of the English Stage.
Haxby Players presented this play 223 years after its debut to delighted audiences. The play was performed 'in the round', a flexibility very few drama groups have, amateur or professional.
Pictured below is three characters from the cast, Sir Charles Marlow (Ron Jevons) a servant (Nick Hall) and Tony Lumpkin (Philip Bridgewater)
'Rumours' - April 2000
'Rumours' by Neil Simon, April 2000.
Rumours is a farce set in a London house and centred on a party to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Charlie and Vivian. However, as the guests arrive they discover that Charlie has shot himself through the earlobe and Vivian is nowhere to be seen. The characters are high profile, wealthy people including a Harley Street psychiatrist, a TV cook, and a politician. The servants are also found to be missing, although there is food in the kitchen, awaiting preparation. Cover-ups ensue, as the guests arrive, because no one wishes to be involved in a scandal, especially Glen the politician. Glen is having an affair, of which his neurotic wife Cassie, is only too aware. She, in turn is hooked on ‘crystal therapy’. Towards the end of the play the policy arrive on the scene. One of the guests, Leonard is sent upstairs to pretend to be Charlie, should Charlie be required to put in an appearance. It turns out the the police are investigating a car crash, involving Charlie’s Porsche but at the end of the questioning Glen accidentally reveals that he ‘arrived too late to hear the gun shots’. Gunshots were also heard by neighbours, a fact communicated through the WPC’s radio. In the end Leonard, as Charlie, is forced to put in an appearance to ‘explain’ everything, which he does with a preposterous but dynamic explanation, which the police reluctantly accept.
The audience is left wondering what is the true story behind the events of the evening. Neither the real Charlie nor Vivian put in an appearance during the play, except that at the end a voice is heard calling from the cellar, proclaiming that it is Vivian and she is locked in the cellar.
I found Rumours to be an enjoyable modern farce, which made a refreshing change from too many doors flying open and actors loosing their clothes. This is the London version of Neil Simon’s American play. There were good performances too from all concerned especially Ron Jevons, playing Leonard Cummings, playing Charlie, giving the explanation to the police, towards the end of the second act. His lengthy speech won a round of applause every performance. The set, which required a considerable amount of work was excellent. At time I found the repeated explanations, concerning the bullet hole through the ear lobe, a little irritating but then irritating behaviour is the nature of farce. Overall Haxby Players scored a hit with their audience.
Review by Malcolm Law
Death Trap - October 1999
Death Trap by Ira Levin was performed on the proscenium (traditional stage)in October l999.
This play was originally presented at the Music Box Theatre in New York in l978. There then followed the film which starred Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve (before Superman fame).
This thriller is set in two act, with five cast members, five murders and yet someone is still standing at the end! A feat of modern mathematics. This was thought to be the play amateurs could never stage but Robin Sanger, the director, his vision and a valiant cast and crew proved that wrong.
A thriller with more twist and turns than a bowl of spaghetti. From the opening scene between a frustrated Sidney (Andy Love), a successful playwright who's ideas no longer come to fruition and his loving and financially supportive wife, Myra (Sheila Parnaby), set in a room full of theatre memorabilia of the most gruesome kind, the unease starts to build. Enter the outrageous neighbour Helga ten Dorp (Brenda Sanger) conveniently foreseeing all with her famed powers of ESP. Even more conveniently for the audience her perceptions are vague enough to keep us guessing. Then there is the young Clifford (Austin Barnett), an amateur playwright with a stunning first play assured of theatrical success being drawn into the web by Sidney and his jealousy. The only voice of reason, Porter (Nick Hall), solicitor and family friend, yet even he it seems has ambitions beyond his lot in life.
The stunned gasps from the audience said it all. Just when we thought we knew "whodunit", someone else did and the rollercoaster plunged in another direction. Great entertainment, fine acting by all concerned. Fights and deaths all handled with great professionalism thanks in part to the services of fight arranger Ian Stapleton. As the tension mounted the obligatory storm approached and Geoff Taylor and David Ingham provided suitably sinister effects.
Its a brave team who take on a complex piece like this. Credit to all involved, it paid off!! The audience was perched on the edges of their cushions, thrilled but thankfully still standing by the end, which is more than can be said of the characters.
If you missed the thrill of the millennium, then watch out for Haxby Player's next production. Click on 'Next Production'.
Review by Jackie Love
Last Tango In Whitby - April l999
Last Tango In Whitby - l999
A backstage reviewer's guide to Haxby Player's Performance
"The stars are out tonight, brilliant, dazzling the audience. I am on the dark side of the moon. My mission: to be part of the magic, dashing on in black shift scenes in the wink of an eye, keeping up the illusion created by strong story and convincing actors, never letting the audience come down to reality. If it's Scene 3 it must be an amusement arcade. Waiting in the wings with me is a heavy truck bearing four giant fruit machines. I pull; a traveller off the bus pushes; and the monster glides into place to dominate the stage.
But only for a moment. Shuffle the pack and on again, dancing the Gay Gordons, come the cast, commanding the audience to share in their seaside frolics. The machines are but a backdrop, coughing up giant teddy, key-ring with a little spanner, wedding ring (?). The characters move away (dancing the Military Two-step). Cue for Jet-Shop - goods are inspected, sale agreed. The dance moves on, the machines move off.
This is why Brenda Riley's production for Haxby Players is a triumph : it's fluid. The audience is never restless (I know: I've been watching them). They come with us, on the bus from Barnsley, down to Whitby's harbour, up to the Abbey (references to Dracula) and into the ballroom of the Royal Hotel. They get more than just the spectacle of a faded hotel off-season. We share in more than the coarse humour of the pensioner's outing. This audience comes with us on the emotional whirlwind created by the leading lady's zest for life.
Recently widowed, some of her so-called friends expect her to mope and seek sympathy. Some say she should never have come. But harding has created a character with more fire than that. When the compere leads her onto the dance-floor, she leaves behind her husband's grave, the "slab of Co-op marble" and trips into the something special which only true love, and the theatre, can create. He respnds, every fibre in his body crying out Halle-bloody-lujah. We witness the start of a romance which, as she says on the prom at the prom at the end of act 1, "Won't half cause some bother".
There's all Act 2 before they walk out into the sunset, or in this tale, take the road to sister Kitty's in Sunderland. I've to set up for them ballroom (talent night), beach scene complete with lobster and starfish and back to ballroom for fancy dress parade. More hotel and promenade scenes, and wonderfull character studies - the jealous friends "face like a box of frogs", and the caring friends ("you hurt her and I'll wring your bloody neck"), the ex-army bore, the cynical waitresses and the compere's spurned wife (who somehow managed to look daggers while smiling at her "audience" and dancing all at the same time) to mention a few.
Our lighting and sound crew create the atmosphere we want: we have spot-light coordinated with dialogue, slides to counjure up open road and abbey, seagulls' mewing and surf for beach, and all kinds of music. As the last scenes are shifted away, somewhere between beach, ballroom and bus-station, my backstage job is done and they trust me with a dancing partner. A little Veleta to warm up, then it's time for the finale, the Last Tango, to the music of Jealousy. Rapture.
Abiding memories? Wandering round the local goose farm on Easter Bank Holiday Monday, picking up feathers to make into a dead seagull, and stumbling upon a beautiful pearl-lustred smooth goose's egg. Playing to full houses. And the reconnection of feet and brain to perform in ways they are not used to : responding to rhythm, mood and partner. We did it right proud."