Annette Toms aka Mrs Lang Interview

annette_summer_endQ People have been enjoying your performances for some time now. How many plays have you done for the Players now?

A I’ve been in over 100 plays for ALP. My first one was Relative Values by Noel Coward in 1965.

Have you played for other Companies?

A Before joining ALP I belonged to the Brow Theatre Group for eight years.

Q What would you say was your favourite out of all those, and which was the most difficult?

A With so many wonderful parts it’s very difficult to choose, but I would have to say the Shell Seekers. Another favourite was Oberon in Midsummer Night’s Dream. The most demanding one was Kindertransport.

Q Is there any character or type of play you’d like to take on in the future?

A I do love comedies, but I would really like to act in another Shakespeare play.

Q You must have seen some significant changes in the world of acting over the years?

Yes, people don’t seem to enjoy acting so much today. We had so much fun years ago and it really came over across the footlights. Audiences knew we were enjoying ourselves and they responded, sometimes shouting out, clapping and, of course, laughing.

Tell us about the character you’re playing in Summer End. Are you enjoying it?

My character, the manager of the retirement home, is not a very nice character at-all. I seem to get to play a lot of not very nice characters – is someone trying to tell me something? After an absence from acting for a couple of years I’m finding it hard to learn it again, but I always enjoy it.

As well as acting you’ve directed a number of plays. Which ones do you feel most satisfied about?

I loved directing Acrington Pals and Our Country’s Good. I was very lucky to have an excellent cast for both.

Interview with Brian Hibberd, Publicity Director, Summer End

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‘Summer End’ in July!

Eric Chappell’s murder mystery set in the ‘Summer End’ retirement home.

Emily and May are reluctant residents in the care home “Summer End”. Both feel that their families don’t really want them. The manageress, Mrs. Lang, is trying hard to cope, not really helped by care assistant Sally’s somewhat hostile attitude.

To complicate matters, Emily’s previous room-mate Bella has died unexpectedly, and Bella’s sapphire ring is missing. Was she murdered for her money and possessions? Is this a conspiracy involving a member of staff and another resident? Probably not, but Emily is convinced that Bella didn’t just die of old age.

The problem is, not only does no-one else believe this, but also both Mrs. Lang and Emily’s son Alan think that Emily has memory problems and possibly also dementia.

However, why did Bella have bruises on her face when she was found? What has happened to her sapphire ring? And how can Sally afford to pay so much for her fitted kitchen on a care assistant’s meagre pay?

Who knew all this went on in a care home? Come and see this comedy with much darker moments and find out what else is going on!

Jean James, Director

Review of ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’

Some excerpts from the above from Sally-Anne Rafferty on the recent production…

‘First things first, I wasn’t sure if I was looking forward to the play, knowing that it was a study of hostages during the Lebanon Hostage crisis of the 1980’s ….’

‘The production could have been a painful and tedious portrayal of the men’s experience, but I am pleased to report that Sylvia Poole, the director, managed to make it so much more, bringing humour and an intimacy to the situation making us feel like we were spying on the private moments shared by the men during those dark times.’

‘It was an inspired decision to play it in the round. We were presented with a raised platform framed by some rather effective looking brickwork at the corners to give us the effect of the cell walls yet still revealing the illusion of the staging.’

‘The actors were all extremely well cast and all of them were very accomplished in retaining their focus in the round setting – not an easy feat I know, with the audience so close and visible around them. I honestly can’t highlight one performance over another – they worked together throughout the piece as a very effective team.’

‘Overall I found it a very touching and moving play, which was very well done indeed.’

‘More of this please ALP.’