Hospital Players have Just the Ticket for theatre fans
Just the Ticket, Tuesday 18th to Saturday 22nd January 2022, 7.30pm at the Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe.
The Hospital Players – Scunthorpe’s oldest amateur dramatics society – are currently rehearsing for their next production, to be staged at the Plowright Theatre in January.
The play is “Just the Ticket” by Peter Quilter, and is about a lady called Susan who is going to Australia to celebrate a ‘big birthday.’ This is a repeat of a trip she made with a group of friends when she was 20, but this time she is travelling all by herself. She’s got the same hopes and dreams as when she was younger, but obviously lots of years of extra baggage!
Jan Gregory is the Chairperson of The Hospital Players, and is directing and acting in the play. She says, “I wanted to direct this play as soon as I read it because I thought it was just wonderful and it had to be done. But obviously when you find a play that you really love you think, “Oh, I don’t want to direct it – I want to be in it!”
“Peter Quilter wrote the play for one woman, but he also wrote it in sections so that Susan could be played by up to six women sharing the different sections. I decided to cast four women but unfortunately (or fortunately for me!) one of the ladies who was going to take part just couldn’t make it. When I asked the rest of the cast whether they wanted to do the play as a three-hander or a four-hander, they all said four so I was roped in!”
As well as Jan, the other members of the cast sharing the part of Susan are Melanie Mason, Jacky Bacon and Teri Kent.
Jan explains, “Basically we’re sharing the directing, we’re sharing the acting – we’re sharing everything and all doing it together. We wear the same clothes but obviously have different appearances, and we tell Susan’s story alternately. It doesn’t distract from the story at all, and it flows very nicely with the four of us playing it. Hopefully the audience will notice that there are times where we do the same actions and use the same gestures.”
“Susan’s a very chatty person and very accident prone. She comes out with some very funny lines that you just don’t expect! But it’s also a little bit sad when some parts of her life haven’t worked out as she’d hoped. Her wit, charm and that occasional sadness make her very unforgettable.”
Rehearsals are well underway and Jan is pleased with how they are progressing. “ I’ve been very pleasantly surprised,” she says. “When you’re faced with pages of lines at a time you think, “How on earth am I going to learn those?” But actually once you get going and it’s just you talking, it’s much easier than you think. Especially as the author has written lots of little hints along the way, linking up the paragraphs and the phrases. It’s very well written. This play is not to be missed, it’s just so funny. You’ll love it!”
“Just the Ticket” takes place at the Plowright Theatre from Tuesday 18th to Saturday 22nd January 2022, 7.30pm. Tickets can be bought at www.thehospitalplayers.co.uk –they’d make a wonderful Christmas present!