Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Performances: Thurs 17th to Sat 19th November 2005.

Location : The Loweswater Village Hall, in the north west of the county of Cumbria, UK.

Occasion : A Tethera Valley Players Production

Details : "Breath of Spring" by Peter Coke.

A comedy in three acts.

Photo: the local press launch day (courtesy of Brian Heard).

10th October 2005 :

We are a local group of amateur players and plan only one event in November each year, to fill the time between late summer and the Christmas festivities.

 

The name "Tethera" comes from the Cumbrian for "Three" in our case the three valleys of Lorton, Loweswater and Buttermere . . . and all the players are local, or as near local as they can be.

 

This years play is a "Breath of Spring" - a minor West End comedy - to be performed the 17th 18th and 19th November at the Loweswater Village Hall.

"A great night out" - Loweswater Link.

"Lucky if it ready on time" - Loweswater Sceptic.

Ann has volunteered for a part in the Tethera Valley Players Annual Village Play.

For my part, I have been promoted to the role of Stage Manager - no one else wanted it !

It befalls me to organise, build and decorate the stage set, but life is made a little easier because we have access to a local warm(?) and dry barn where we can build the set and the cast can rehearse "on stage"

which should make things easier.

Laura, Ann, and Ann, following the script and waiting for their grand entrance(s)

Lets make a start - Betty and Ian kick off Act one.

This was the basic layout for the set, and was held together with sticky tape and nails.

   
The balcony corner

The desk, downstage and stage right.

The doors were stored from last year's production and the bureau was a lucky buy at the local furniture auction.

25th October :

 

The stage layout is now confirmed and

the players are starting to introduce props and movements

to add meaning to the words.

 

John, our director, hovers in the background with the script.

 

31st October:

Press Day and a first chance to dress up for the cameras

and get a little publicity via our local newspaper.

Bee has fainted and Lily offers a glass of water . . . .

Will she be all right ?

You'll have to attend to find out won't you . . . .

1st November:

Time now to plan and construct the detail of the set and to decorate as far as is practicable The set will have to be dismantled from the barn and rebuilt in the hall before the play (that'll be fun) following the grand thespian traditions of a "touring company".

In our case the company is static and it is just the set that tours !!

13th November

The big move . . . .

The Loweswater Village Hall chaos

after the set, props and the lighting have been delivered.

   
John H. and John T. replacing the walls
Cathy and Allan painting the balcony scene

 

15th November 2005

It's ready in time for the first rehearsal.

Sigh of relief.

"Is she allowed to do that as part of the plot" asks John

You should know - you're supposed to be the director !

   
Janet ready on the lighting desk . . .
. . . thanks to Peter on the ladder

 

17th November 2005

and the story unfolds . . .

Lily the maid (Ann Hiley) is so thankful for being given a job on her release from "service with Her Majesty" that in a moment of weakness she steals a fur coat and offers it as a gift to her employer, Dame Beatrice (Laura Todd).

She cannot accept it and the "old folk" hatch a successful plan to return it unseen.

Flushed with success at replacing the fur, they contrive to use their talents to steal a few others

in order to raise money for the poor. A modern day (1958) Robin Hood scenario it seems.

Six months on, and planning a "raid" on the Fur Department at their local department store.

With a purpose in their lives again, the bickering has gone and they are all filled with new vigour.

This new vigour also encourages competition for the Brigadier's (Ian Mitchell) heart

as Bee and Alice (Margaret Herd) vie for his attentions during the play.

   
Lady Alice adjusts the hat -
The Brigadier disapproving of Hattie (Ann
essential equipment for the next task.
Beebe) for delaying the mission.

Synchronise your watches !

If they only knew what he meant by 14.36 it would help !

Lily however has been watching them, but is appalled by the risks they took.

She tries to make them stop before they are caught by the Police.

Act two however ends with a loud and ominous door bell.

Hattie, in a "moment of fleeting opportunity" had stolen a fur from the Pink Parakeet to add to their booty.

Unfortunately, this fur was Nanette's (Betty Smith) and the door bell was the Police arriving to investigate the loss . . .

Before the police are let in Lily offers to help them one last time by removing the evidence, providing that they promise never to steal another fur coat again.

Delaying tactics as Lily tries to hide the furs . . .

They try to baffle Sgt. Pape (John Thompson) and Kemp (Jonathan Meadley) by pretending to be old and past it.

How do you spell Antirri . . Antirhimum . . . A n t i r . . ? . . . Why not call it a Snapdragon !

Beatrice collapses in an attempt to gain more time !

One fur was spotted by Pape. It was Nanette's stolen one! A quick explanation is called for which eases the tension.

Despite being very close to finding out, the police never realise that this was the hideout of the notorious Fur Gang .

Well we only promised not to steal FURS  !!!!

Safe for another day . . .

But we promised never to steal furs again - how shall we be able to raise money for the poor in the future ?

( Hold your cursor over the picture if you want to find out )

- - - o o o - - -

This page and photos are dedicated to Charles and Sandra Crane

who played a major role in the Tethera Players productions in recent years but are sadly no longer with us.

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera. (All photos are mine unless otherwise stated)

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed . . . with a copy of the script and fingers crossed for the three nights on stage.

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