Charity No: 260045

3 by 3

Evenings of one-act plays aren’t always popular with theatre audiences, which may account for Pateley Bridge Dramatic Society’s decision to present 3 by 3 (three plays by three different groups) on two evenings instead of the usual run of six nights. Any fears they may have had were certainly allayed by the very good attendance on both evenings, and the audiences experienced a rewarding, and in some cases, challenging evening. Not only that, but all three pieces were ‘home-grown’ in that they were devised or written by local talent – a testament to the wealth of expertise we have on our doorstep.



The first of the plays was “Evacuees”, presented by Pateley Bridge Dramatic Society Juniors under the direction of Karen Wilson. The piece had been devised by the children during a series of workshops, and was based on recollections and letters from children during their evacuation during the Second World War. It also benefited from the experiences of a Pateley Bridge resident who had gone through the evacuation trauma herself. The play was simply staged using only chairs to represent scenes in a Village Hall, a classroom, an air-raid shelter and a railway station. The 14-strong cast covered a wide age range, but nevertheless gave a very convincing team performance: they were all enthusiastic and obviously deeply involved in the emotions experienced by the evacuated children. This was a touching performance which was well received by an appreciative audience.


Grandy's Last Word

The second play was “Grandy’s Last Word” performed by Ripon Rowel Juniors, written and directed by Jane Waterworth. This was a sharply written, thoughtful and well-observed script, which demanded – and received – very good team acting from the cast. The story revolved around the death of a grandmother – “Grandy” – and the different perceptions that four of her grandchildren had of her. The cast of four teenagers – Tiffany Devine, John May, Katy Gears and James Taylor – had developed four very different, well-rounded characters, and each gave an extremely accomplished and assured performance. The result was a piece of drama which was by turns both funny and poignant – not an easy thing to accomplish on stage - and was greatly enjoyed by everyone.


The Receptionist

The final play, “The Receptionist”, performed by Pateley Bridge Dramatic Society, was written and directed by Nevin Ward. This was also based on actual experience, but one with which I’m sure we’re all familiar: how do you get past that Receptionist? Ambiguously written to represent any number of possible organizations, the play illustrated the sheer futility of trying to get an appointment to see “The Man”. It cut no ice with the ‘dragon lady’ whether you were patient, desperate, pleading or persistent – the only way through was the inside track. This was a beautifully stylish and witty performance by seven of the Society’s most experienced actors: Richard Briggs, Peter Buller, Debbie Forsyth, Rachel Smith, Michael Thorne, Wahneta Thorne and Anthony Walker. The audience revelled in the situation because they’d all been there and suffered similar fates.

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