Conisbrough St Peter’s Players – “Beside the Seaside”

December 1956

South Yorkshire Times December 8, 1956

Conisbrough St Peter’s players
“Beside the Seaside”

Is it really worth while travelling to the coast to spend the week’s quiet and restful holiday in a boarding house? The opening of Leslie Sands three act comodey suggest that it is not.

The scene of this two hours entertainment is set in the sitting room of “Sea View,” a boarding house described in advertisements as “two minutes from the sea,” but in the words of bluff Yorkshireman Wilf Pearson (G Alec Taylor), “20 minutes on the bus, and right opposite the gasworks.”

No better part could have been selected for Alec, who appears to be a born comedian. His characterisation of Wilf Pearson – a Huddersfield chicken enthusiast, is excellent in every detail, and it was no easy task for any member of the audience to keep a straight face while he was on the stage.

In contrast, his sudden change of expression caused a hush throughout the packed Parish Hall as he learned that his daughter, Sally (Pauline L Beckford) had eloped with Canadian actor, Tony Brett (Peter M Holmes) whose Canadian accent often lapsed into a “Wild West” type of American.

Wilf’s white-haired wife, Ethel (Phyllis Drabble) gave a most excellent portrayal of a quick-tempered but lovable Yorkshire woman. She was obviously devoted to her husband and to her mother, the latter continually phoning the boarding house to inform her that Wilf’s chickens “did not seem as well as they ought to be.”

Brian Panther and Yvonne S Coe were excellent in their roles as a young newly married couple. Mr and Mrs Henry Pepper, striving to conceal this state of bliss from Wilf and his wife. It is Henry however who “lets the cat out of the bag” when he answered Wills cheerful, “Have you been here before?” By saying, “No, it’s the first honeymoon we have ever been on.”

Edith Urch must have found her task very difficult, for besides her work as producer she portrayed the strict and fierly tempered landlady, Mrs Austin, who had a passion for sticking little printed cards containing rules and regulations all over the house.

Josephine Moody was well cast in a role as Mrs Austin Young’s maid, Flory and Tony Brett’s actress wife Pat Marlow, was well played by Janice Lowe

Stage manager was Mr JJ Urch, and his assistant was PD Pilkington. Others helping in the presentation were A Westlake, lighting engineer; C Braithwaite, wardrobe mistress; and GAA Taylor, property Master.

The play which is presented in the parish hall, terminates its four nights run on Saturday.