Welcome to the Adel Players website

Founded in 1945, Adel Players is an amateur drama group with at present over 40 members. We put on three plays a year in our own theatre space at the Adel Memorial Hall in north Leeds as part of the Adel Sports and Social Club. Find out more at About Us.

 

We hope you enjoy this website. If you see something not working or have any other feedback, please feel free to leave a comment here.

 

Or email us at: webadmin@adel-players.org.uk

OUR NEXT PRODUCTION:

"Broken Glass" by Arthur Miller, 26-29 April, directed by Beth Duce

Arthur Miller (1915 - 2005) is considered one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century.  His best known plays include 'All My Sons', 'A View from the Bridge', 'The Crucible' and the Pulitzer Prize-winning 'Death of a Salesman’.

His lesser known play 'Broken Glass' was written in 1994 and in the same year the London production won the Olivier Award for Best Play.  

Set in Brooklyn in 1938, it centres around a Jewish couple Sylvia and Phillip Gellburg who, after years of marriage come to realise that they hardly know each other.   Phillip, obsessed with work and his desire to assimilate, has little time for his wife Sylvia, but when she suddenly develops a mysterious paralysis after reading newspaper reports of "Kristallnacht" (two days of anti-Jewish violence by the Nazis which took place in November of that year) local GP Harry Hyman is called in and finds that Sylvia is obsessed by the horrific news from Germany.   However, when he meets Phillip, he begins to uncover numerous deceptions and hostilities between them which may lead him to the answer.

We hope you will join us for this powerful and thought-provoking drama. Book here.

STOP PRESS: Improbable Fiction closes with audience in stitches!

Our latest production closed on 28 January having been seen by over 520 audience members. Our thanks as always to those who braved the January cold to support us.  Audience feedback was wonderful and we are delighted that so many people enjoyed this madcap comic romp from the pen of Alan Ayckbourn and directed by Mike Andrews, ably supported by Alan Foale. Act 2 in particular was a side-splitter, with a giant walnut on wheels, alien abductions and seven-foot headless monsters amply explaining why this was indeed an "Improbable Fiction"! Here are some pictures to remind us of the fun.

Jane Gorton (as Vivvi), Dianne Newby (as Jess), Digna Rodriguez (as Ilsa) and David Lancaster (as Brevis)
Matthew Newby (as Clem), Janet Porter (as Grace) and Damian Burras (as Arnold)

Review of "Improbable Fiction" from Adel Bells

Our thanks to Donna Shoesmith-Evans for this review published in "Adel Bells"

On a cold, but thankfully, not snowy January night (as in previous times at the Adel January performance), we were once again entertained by the Adel Players and their production of Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Improbable Fiction’.

The play premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough in 2005, and we were fortunate to have a number of the original props on stage, which included a superb squirrel costume, as well as a walnut and furniture that could transport the set from Victorian to modern times, in an instant (with the change of a telephone!).

A varied range of props for an interesting group of writers who in the first Act meet at the chairman’s house (Arnold). Here, the writers tell of their plans for their own piece of work – and in the second Act, Arnold, seems to wander into the imaginations of the other writers.

Each produce very different styles of writing. There is Arnold (Damian Burras) who is a writer of instruction manuals. He seems very serious and straightforward, but his character shows a real depth of feeling for Ilsa and indeed for the other writers. As the pivotal character, hosting the writing group in his own home, he lends an air of sobriety to proceedings in the first Act which contrast with his ‘visions’ in the second Act.

Another writer is Grace (Janet Porter), a mother of grown-up children, who wants to write children's books (but she appears to have had more success with drawing the illustrations of Doblin the Goblin and his friend Sid the squirrel). As a young girl she was taught by Brevis and her memories of him, impact upon her ability to develop her writing, which she attempts to conceal from him.

Jess (Dianne Newby) is a farmer, who wants to write period romance novels. The contrast between her farming life and her yearning for Victorian romance provided great humour which was particularly demonstrated in the second act.

Vivvi (Jane Gorton), is busy writing detective novels, but clearly using her own romantic experiences, to provide her characters with some substance.

Brevis (David Lancaster) is a retired maths teacher, whose recollections of the classroom provided great hilarity. He is still writing musicals but was clearly not a music teacher for a reason!

Clem (Matt Newby) writes conspiracy theory science fiction which everyone finds very complicated.

Ilsa (Digna Sindin Rodriguez), is also present and is a carer for Arnold's mother during the Writers' group meetings.

The characterisation of each individual is beautifully set up in the first Act, which all takes place in the front room of Arnold’s house. Each character seems unable to particularly help the other as they attempt to progress their writing. Each writer has a completely different approach and style – and each individual story reveals more about the inner psyche of each character.

The second act starts exactly where the first one left off and as Arnold flits back and forth through the stories, he gets caught up in solving the mysteries, and experiencing a multitude of writing styles and plotlines, which are fast moving and ever changing. Particular credit must go to the stage manager and support team who facilitate a range of costume and furniture changes to move seamlessly from one story to the next. The stage set was even designed to allow a particularly large costume to fit on stage with relative ease.

At one point, the most unlikely of musical characters, Brevis, sings a song from one of his musicals and Doblin comes to life in front of our very eyes, along with Sid the squirrel and alien agents in fluorescent outfit.

Part of the inspiration for the play was reported to be a talk that Alan Ayckbourn once gave to a writers' circle and the title was inspired by a quote from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night:

"If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as improbable fiction." – Twelfth Night, Act III, scene 4

As the story from each actor merges and links together in front of our very eyes, it is indeed ‘improbable’ that such a concoction of fiction could ever emerge, but it brings great humour in the way that it unfolds, assisted by wonderful props and beautiful costumes.

At the end, Arnold's aged mother bangs on the ceiling once more. He goes upstairs saying "It was a quiet evening really. Nothing unusual ..." Yet, once again we were treated to something that was not just unusual, it was a unique piece of writing, performed to the highest of standards by the Adel Players. 

Audience reactions to "Murder Weapon":

"Wow! That was a tour de force indeed.  We thought it was definitely one of the very best plays Adel Players have done.  The acting was superb and the play very funny.  How everyone remembered all their lines in their different character roles I have no idea but they were all outstanding.  On discussion afterwards we were all wondering if the hobgoblin would make an appearance - and it did and well done to the props and costumes department, it was hysterical. Thank you to everyone at Adel Players.  We gave that 5 stars".

 

"Congratulations to everyone for Improbable Fiction where the latter part was so unexpected but amazing, especially with the endless costume changes. Dianne Newby was as brilliant as ever, her face tells the story without her body having to move at all! All the other parts were played in an excellent way, therefore, I will not mention them individually by name. We four, on the front row as usual, enjoyed it all enormously. My husband was crying with laughter and we all laughed out loud time and time again".

Adel Players land prestigious awards in the 2016 Wharfedale Festival of Theatre.

We are delighted that our work has been recognized once again with several awards in the most recent Wharfedale Festival of Theatre. Our festival entry was the October 2015 production of Journey's End, and the awards announced at the gala festival evening were as follows:

 

Best Actor:                              James Willstrop

Best Supporting Actor:           David Pritchard

Best Stage Presentation:        Beth Duce and Shell Peart

Best Programme

Best Play                               

 

To put this win into context, we were up against entries from 10 other drama groups as Drama (Adults) is easily the largest section of the Festival. Our thanks go to the director, Bernard Riley, and the rest of his production team who worked so hard to bring this about. And our congratulations of course to all the actors whose ensemble work made for a truly moving and memorable production. All concerned were determined to make sure we honoured the memory of those who served and died in the conflict this play depicts, and we are pleased that these awards reflect that determination.

James Willstrop and Mike Andrews in Journey's End

MURDER MYSTERY MAKES A KILLING...

Many congratulations to the cast and crew of The Raffles Affair, our latest Murder Mystery written by our own Andy Sneddon. There were sell out performances on 27 May at the Robert Craven Memorial Hall in Bramhope and then the following evening at AWMA. Setting the mystery in Singapore at the end of British colonial rule, Andy gave us glamour as well as intrigue and as usual it was great fun wading through the red herrings! We were delighted that the two performances raised just shy of £2000 which will provide a very welcome boost to AWMA funds, so thanks as always to our loyal patrons as well as all our good friends in the badminton section who provided catering, some in full evening dress!

 

Here are some pictures from one of the rehearsals and a reminder of the poster- with many thanks to Ed Hoskin of Ziss Design for his work on this.

 

And for a review which gives a great feel for these evenings, click here.

For more pictures, reviews and notes of recent productions click here

Video clips from 'The Importance of Being Earnest'

Watch highlights of our April 2014 production - click here for more clips and further information.

FOUR Festival of Theatre awards for 'If I Were You'!