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The Tethera Valley Players production of

" Party Piece . . . by Richard Harris"

at Loweswater Village Hall

Directed by John Thompson

February 17th, 18th and 19th 2011.

Staring . . . in order of appearance

John Thompson, Margaret Herd, Sheila King, Alan Marples, Carol Marples,

Brian Herd (who kindly stood in for Peter Bergius at short notice) and Penny Leck.

Stage Mngr and crew: Roger Hiley with Malcolm Ibberson, Richard Kahane, Keith McNeil, Doug Beebee, John Hudson and Chris Bryans.

Also a big note of thanks to Betty Coulthard and Ann Kyle (props) Barbara Ibberson (costumes & make up)

Kath Leck (prompt) Dave Robinson (lighting and sound) and Peter Rothwell (lighting) and Margaret Herd again (as producer)

Not forgetting Carol Thompson and the refreshments team.

- - - o o o - - -

The Tethera Players are waiting in the wings to entertain you ...

Tethera, three in Cumbrian, relates to the three valleys of Loweswater, Lorton and Buttermere

and it's all local actors on stage in this most comedic of plays.

The dress rehearsals are over and it's time to get ready for the first night nerves.

Dave has sorted the sound (though I stood in for the first night) .

There's over 50 sounds prompts this time ( ten times more than previous years) so we've computerised the system.

Doesn't he look confident !

- - - o o o - - -

The scene is set in the adjacent suburban gardens of Mrs Hinson and Michael and Roma Smethursts.

One is still more or less as it was originally built . . .

the other has been "improved" by DIY expert Michael Smerthurst, with items often savaged from local skips.

While Mrs Hinson entertains her son David in one garden, Michael renovates yet another object in the other.

You look famished . . . I'll make you one of my puddings.

She has a Zimmer but hardly seems to need it.

Michael and Roma are planning a house-warming party but they find they've left the food too long in the freezer and it is totally frozen.

"If we had a microwave Michael" . . . " Yes but I haven't done my 'comparative studies'."

Mrs Hinson listens at the spy hole in the (imaginary) fence to the goings on next door.

Chatting between gardens, Michael informs David of the party.

" There's a theme . . . fancy dress . . . famous people in reverse."

As the play progresses we see the niggle between Jennifer and the mother-in-law develop keenly.

"I've brought you some flowers" . . . "You needn't bother, they'll probably die" . . . "Only if you look at them !"

Drastic action is called for to defrost the food.

- - - o o o - - -

By the interval Jennifer has become so exasperated with Mrs H that

in order to prevent herself using the Zimmer in a way it wasn't intended,

throws it over the garden fence in a fit of rage !

"She's not right that Jennifer" is the observation from Mrs H as the curtain fall on the first half.

- - - o o o - - -

Cheers . . . now we just need the guests !

Act two opens later that afternoon when the garden is ready, the barbecue is eventually lit (hence the real smoke)

and Michael and Roma, dressed as Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers " in reverse " celebrate with a first drink.

[ Hold your cursor over the picture to join in with their celebration]

Note the gloves and pinny - very "Harvey Nick's"

" I think it's most inconsiderate, them lighting a fire with me washing out !"

After several phone calls from people who all of a sudden " couldn't make it " for one reason or another

the first of the guests does actually arrive . . . Toby dressed as the " Man in White " (not in reverse as he has no partner).

Sandra Lloyd-Meredith, Sandy for short, helps herself to a drink . . .
. . . and meets the gaze of the other guest Toby !

There were complications about the street parking,

the sounds of car and van horns and the odd impact adding to Dave's work on the sound effects.

While Michael and Roma have words in the lounge, Jennifer asks for the Zimmer back

and Sandy duly obliges, passing it over the high fence. That picnic repaired table doesn't look too safe by the way !

David, who by this time had called round to fetch the Zimmer, gets invited in for a drink

in a gesture of neighbourliness, but I also suspect, to swell the rather diminished numbers at the party.

He tells of a guy in a coffin who gate-crashed a fancy dress party

dressed in a white shroud and with an England badge on the chest . . . " Very tasteful it was."

A wayward spark from the barbecue lights Michael's wig and he appears from behind the shed with his hair on fire.

( no photo sorry . . . I was laughing too much) The wig gets removed and after a brief journey round the stage, ends up in the Hinson's pond.

He asks for it back as Mrs Hinson appears at the party looking for her son.

Michael distraught at the state of his soaking wet wig.
Food . . . not on paper plates . . . Mrs H fetches real ones.
Mean white Sandy and Toby pop next door to explore.
Rescue me from the bathroom - the wallpaper's killing me !

- - - o o o - - -

There followed a series of events in which Sandy is rescued from the bathroom after crashing through the faulty door . . .

Toby collapses through a broken deck chair . . .

Michael staggers across the stage, catapulted by Toby, into the drainpipe which covers him in (real) water . . .


In the middle of the bedlam, Mrs Hinson is serenely making a pot of tea . . .

Mrs H emptying the dregs over the prized shrub, the final straw that causes Michael to see red . . .

and call the fated party to a close.

We are left with Roma forlornly sitting at the bottom of the garden burning a last sparkler as the lights fade.

- - - o o o - -


A likely story !


- - - o o o - - -

Give them one more curtain call !

The curtain call

David - Mrs Hinson - Jennifer - Michael - Roma - Sandy - Toby

[ Alan Marples - Barbara Herd - Carol Marples - John Thompson - Sheila King - Penny Leck - Brian Herd ]

[ Hold your cursor over the picture to join in and show your appreciation]

- - - o o o - - -

After the final night the chairs were pulled back an there was a "Meet the Cast" reception in the hall.

Chance to chat, discuss the events of the week and generally relax after the final performance.

Tom Bird, treasurer and retired Loweswater actor . . .
. . . says a few words and makes a few presentations to end the night.

- - - o o o - - -

Back to reality next day as the stage crew and helpers return to the hall.

John takes down the guttering, making sure the last of the water doesn't go anywhere near himself !

The ladders are out to demolish the brickwork.

Just proves the Stage Manager does some work too !

All hands on deck.

The set is split down into its constituent parts and packed away for another year . . .

. . . and after two and a half hours all that remains is the waste paper bin

and a host of good memories.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . the involvement of the whole village in one way or another.

Go to Top . . . © RmH.2011 . . . Email me here

Planning the stage set - February 2011 The 2011 Tethera Play - planning

Re-building ready fro the big night - 12th / 14th February 2011 The 2011 Tethera Play - building

The pervious Tethera Production - 5th / 7th February 2010 The Tethera Valley Play 2010 " Up and Running"

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