Our 5th Season really begins not with a play but rather a fund raising adventure, when 5 (older) members of our group cycled across France, from Bordeaux to Agde and the Med, in an attempt to raise £1000 for LOROS.
5 Go Cycling
Thankyou to all who have donated so we could reach our total of £1000 for LOROS by our '5 Go Cycling' event. Especially though, I cannot thank enough our riders on that wonderful journey.....Hughie (aka Dick), Jenni (aka Ann), Diana (aka George), and.....errrr....oh yes Ken (aka Timmy the dog); all my love and gratitude to you all from me, John (aka Julian). Our combined ages are 325 and we cycled 330 miles across France. We had a fantastic if demanding time on the ride, and I am so proud of you all and what we achieved.
John Tillotson October 2017
A Man of Humble Beginnings
by Anthony L Church
(Pork Pie Library 6th October 2017}
This show was one of the first to be performed by Stage Left Theatre Workshop, for the Everybody’s Reading Festival, when the company was formed in 2013.They chose to perform it again now with the unveiling of the permanent vinyl display in Leicester’s Market Place; this has finally given some recognition to what Leicester owes to the lost man of Leicester politics, Amos Sherriff.
The company have totally reworked the production for this celebratory performance presented at the Pork Pie library as part of this year’s Everybody’s Reading Festival.
A strong cast of 6 performers produced a spell-binding performance to an audience of 42. In the audience were several members of the Sherriff family, descendants of Amos.
From such a strong cast it is difficult to single out any one performer, but it would be wrong not to mention especially the truly amazing performance of Kevin Biddlecombe who portrayed Amos throughout his career. He held the audience throughout long speeches as well as interactions with Amos’s main collaborators, Sticky White, his wife Annie and Amelia Stone, representative of the Salvation Army, who taught Amos to read when he was 22 years of age. The use of back projected images of locations and key moments in Amos’s life created a wonderful context for the telling of this extraordinary story.
The vinyl is some recognition of what Amos gave to Leicester, but a more lasting and permanent memorial is surely due, such as the naming of a street or an appropriate building would be a better and totally justifiable epitaph.
Again congratulations to Stage Left and to Anthony L Church for this terrific performance.
4 Alan Bennett 'Talking Heads'
'A Lady of Letters' 'A Chip in the Sugar' 'A Woman of No Importance' 'A Cream Cracker Under the Settee'.
(Rehearsal shots and video)
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4 Alan Bennett 'Talking Heads'.
'A Cream Cracker Under the Settee' & 'A Lady of Letters'
TALKING HEADS, opening night was absolutely fantastic. The performances were outstanding by Jenni and Emma.
There were audience members with tears in their eyes for Jenni’s performance, it’s incredible, and laughing out loud at Emma’s. A total joy to watch and really shouldn’t be missed.
Last chance to see ‘Cream cracker under the Settee’ and ‘A Lady of Letters’ tonight (Thursday)!
You can also get tickets for ‘A Chip in the Sugar’ and ‘A Woman of No Importance’.
Don’t miss out, they are truly fantastic!!!!
'A Cream Cracker Under the Settee' & 'A Lady of Letters'
Jenni is a seasoned performer with the company and has produced memorable performances in other shows in the past, but her performance as Doris in 'Cream Cracker Under the Settee' was outstanding and bettered what I think had been her best performances previously in shows such as 'Vagina Monologues (The Flood)', the Queen in 'Queen and I' and Mrs Ogmore Pritchard in 'Under Milkwood'. This was a beautifully observed and thoroughly professional performance, which really moved her audience on both nights.
Emma only recently returned to performing last year, after a long gap from Youth Theatre days, with 'Ugly Duckling' and was so brave to take on the challenge of Irene in 'A Lady of Letters'.
Thank goodness she did, so she and we could experience the utter triumph of this performance. Of all the pieces it is with out doubt the most 'laugh out loud', but she could not have imagined the reaction which she received from audiences on both nights. I have not heard professionals handle a script in this way and bring out every ounce of humour from the text. What impressed me the most was how she rode the laughs, just allowing them to be dying as she continued with the next line, thus keeping the pace of the piece going and never allowing it to flag. Remarkable!!
''A Chip in the Sugar' & 'A Woman of No Importance'
Tony Church has been a stalwart of the group since its birth in 2013 and has produced some excellent performances during this time. Up to this point I would have marked his Claudius in April's 'Hamlet' as probably his best. However, his performance as Graham on the last night of 'A Chip in the Sugar' surpassed it in my view and was the most professional I have seen from him. It was wonderfully nuanced and balanced, showing the range of emotions Graham goes through in the story. The wonderful light and shade he achieved was so thrilling to watch and shows that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Diana Reed's performance ended not only the run of these 4 Talking Heads but as it happens Stage Left's residency at the Organ Grinder. Our exit could not have been in safer hands. Diana has produced some wonderful performances for us from the witch in 'Bella and the Tygerman', her savage Mrs Pugh in 'Under Milkwood' and a significant portrayal of Rosencrantz in April's 'Hamlet', but her performance as Peggy in 'A Woman of No Importance' sets herself the highest of bars to clear for future performances - professional, touched with humour and pathos, it was quite magical. Stage Left has some remarkable performers in its ranks, but its women are quite extraordinary; any professional company would be lucky to have them. I cannot wait to see what they produce in the future. A-maz-ing!!!
'Cream Cracker Under the Settee' & 'A Lady of Letters'
Fantastic interpretation of Alan Bennett's 'Talking Heads' by Jenni (Cream Cracker Under the Settee) and Emma (A Lady of Letters).
Humorous, enjoyable, moving and professional - Stage Left at it's best!!
'A Christmas Carol @ The Firths
So, we have just had an amazing performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’, in our house ! by the awesome 'Stage Left Theatre Workshop’ - Ken, Jenny , Di and of course John Tillotson as Ebenezer Scrooge.
I cant imagine a better way to usher in the Christmas holiday than with a performance of the ultimate Christmas ghost story, in our front room to 20 family members, all completely unaware of what was to come!
The amazing skill, and passion of the cast was truly inspiring with Di & Ken taking on numerous characters simply by doning a coat, or a hat and scarf and the props and sound effects transforming our house back into the 1800’s.
We as a family support this wonderful company and would recommend that if you want a truly unique experience attend one of their performances at Fearon Hall in Loughborough, or if you want a really hands - on theatrical event, ask them (as we did) to come into your home and perform a close-up play in your front room !!
Many thanks once again to Di, Jenny, John & Ken for the amazing start to our family Christmas.....now, what about next year Lisa Jane ???????????
Love and best wishes
Ian Firth, Anita Eleanor Firth and Daniel.
'Blue Remembered Hills' - Dennis Potter/'Bed Among the Lentils' - Alan Bennett/'Bella' - Anthony L.Church