Welcome to the Adel Players website
Founded in 1945, Adel Players is an amateur drama group with at present around 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. For our next production, please see below, or if not there just click here: Forthcoming Productions.
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"Coming Home to Blighty" performed to great acclaim
Our tribute on the 100th anniversary of the armistice (see below for details) was performed on 11 November at the Adel War Memorial Association to an audience of over 120 from the local community. Huge thanks go to Pat Riley for her work in compiling the piece, aided in research by Bernard Riley, Val Crompton and Ann Lightman and of course to all who came, all who took part and the staff and Executive members of the AWMA who helped with preparation. All those who attended agreed it was a very fitting way of marking the anniversary, as well as reminding us of the origins and purpose of the AWMA itself.
"We will remember them..."
"Time of My Life" closes after sell-out performances!
Our production of "Time of My Life" closed on 27 October after attracting capacity audiences totalling more than 570 over the four nights of the show. A huge thanks as always to all those who supported us by coming along and of course to the team, backstage and front of stage, who brought it all together. As usual, please find below some pictures of the production and we will also post audience reactions and reviews as they come in.
"Time of My Life" by Alan Ayckbourn, directed Dianne Newby
Adel Players started their 2018-2019 season with an Ayckbourn comedy, Time of My Life, performed at Adel Memorial Hall from 24-27 October. Set during the recession of the early 1990s this is that rarity, a specifically northern Ayckbourn play, one with Yorkshire patterns of speech, plain speaking and blunt humour. It is all the funnier for being so close to home, though the behaviour and foibles are universal.
Master craftsman Ayckbourn begins the story in the present but, as the tale unfolds, he moves the action back to the past and onwards to the future. Time of My Life is an observational comedy which, as is often the case with Ayckbourn, has a dark side. The action takes place in a family-run restaurant which could be Greek, Italian, Turkish, French …..
Gerry, a bluff no nonsense businessman, is seated at one of the larger tables with his wife Laura, ready to celebrate her birthday with the family. It is 10 pm on Saturday the 18th of January. The couple are soon joined by their elder son Glyn and his wife Stephanie, and their younger son Adam and his new girlfriend Maureen. Against the backdrop of business problems caused by the recession it is not long before family and marital conflicts emerge. At one of the smaller tables Glyn and Stephanie play out two years of their lives in the future, while at the other Adam and Maureen play out the previous two months from their first date to the night of Laura’s birthday, after which life for all of them will change forever.
Review of "Time of My Life" for Adel Bells
Our thanks to Ann Lightman for this appreciation of the play:
A cast of eight, supported by Adel Players’ superb back-stage and front of house staff entertained full houses over four nights in the Adel Memorial Hall. The auditorium has been recently improved thanks to this group and it was excellent to note the replacement of skirting and door frames, improved soundproofing between the hall and bar, and an extension in storage options for the group. The play was an interesting exploration of various themes set within one family, which kept the audience attentive throughout. Billed as a bitter-sweet comedy there was no shortage of laughs – many from the dialogue, some from the situations: the mix-up in the restaurant leading to the younger son’s romance was a comedy classic as were the antics or expressions of the restauranteurs and their staff.
Time was, as the title suggested, significant in this production as the action shifted between the present, a family celebration of the mother’s 54th birthday on January 18th 1992, the future (though the lives of the elder son and his wife) and the immediate past (via the younger son and his girlfriend). Although the family was quite small – successful business-owning parents and their two grown-up sons, one with a newly-reconciled wife, one with a new girlfriend, it resulted in eight very different characters. A key moment was when the father proposing a toast to his wife, suggested we live “in the moment” becoming aware of happy times when they occur, rather than being too busy to appreciate them unless in hindsight. He was suggesting being together as a family was one such happy time.
The rest of the play tended to challenge this notion – the family here created a rather toxic environment, first for the girlfriend, trying to fit in, but also it turned out for everyone. The wife, backbone of steel, seemed to have not fully enjoyed her life to date and certainly one felt her lack of motherly feeling for her eldest son had repercussions with him being notoriously unfaithful to his wife. This did rather stretch credulity given that usually such men have charm and/or power…conspicuously absent in his case - but he clearly had lived off the family business name and his position there. The future showed his situation deteriorating, whilst his long-suffering wife blossomed –last seen she had a new, successful partner who was a surgeon. Her transformation was a delight to note, and moved away from her previous long suffering wife role, which touched on the issue of anorexia. The younger son, who was “loved” (indulged?) by his mother fared little better, being unable to stick to anything for long, whether job or girlfriend. The mother’s revelations to her husband after the dinner probably also contributed directly to his death in a car accident – a mixture of a late night and too much to drink was it seemed in this case, a fatal mix.
The exploration of “creativity” in this play was interesting, given I would have expected a playwright not to have viewed it so negatively. The eldest son had “as much creativity as an ironing board” I think was the phrase – undoubtedly a negative. But the youngest son was “creative” (according to his mother at least). Here you could substitute idler, wastral – again negatives. The husband’s creativity in financial accounting was hardly a plus! However, the women were creative, dealing with the situations that life gave them, adapting, creating and moving forwards – either to new work, partners or travelling further afield. Although the play was set in the early 1990’s it could have been any time in the past (some of the dialogue took me back to the 1970’s) many themes were just as applicable today, with the decline of small businesses and the bigger corporate takeovers.
All in all a very enjoyable evening. The cast, as always were superb – mainly totally believable characters which in this production were far more than two dimensional – they had depth (perhaps aided by the switch in times through the play) and often great strength, particularly the women. The waiters had less depth, but excellent comedic roles. The wardrobe ladies again excelled – some wonderful outfits which reinforced the characters they dressed and their mood – very well illustrated in the case of the elder son’s wife. The props department need a special mention – so many, the tables were constantly being laid and cleared in this busy Italian restaurant!
And thanks also to Alison Garrett, a regular supporter, for this:
"[Thank you] to everyone involved in the 'Time of My Life' production last week…the acting was excellent .Two people new to Adel Players (my brother and his partner) were very impressed and could not believe the actors were all amateurs with 'other jobs'. I was so glad they loved it as [I am] always a bit nervous going over the top as to how good Adel Players are but once again you came up trumps. Always lovely to see everyone laughing too so thank you for that. And your 'new' actors were all outstanding".
A commemoration of the end of World War One
Coming Home to Blighty
On the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the guns finally fell silent after a bloody global conflict that had been billed as the war to end all wars. By then there had been 40 million military and civilian casualties and 6 million British and Irish men had been sent into battle, 82,000 of whom were from Leeds and its surrounding villages.
18 of those who died in the Great War were from Adel. Most communities chose to erect conventional war memorials but the people of this village had a different idea about how they wanted to commemorate the lives of those who weren’t coming home. Find out what happened in France and Leeds from the hour the guns fell silent on 11 November 1918 until 14 November 1928 - the day when determined fund-raising by a small farming community of 400 households enabled Adel Memorial Hall and its many acres of sports fields to be opened as a charitable trust and a vibrant living memorial to the brave young men that Adel had lost.
Coming Home to Blighty, an hour of stories, popular songs and poetry from the time when Leeds laughed, sang, cried, and fought its way back to peace, and its soldiers came home to a changed world.
8.30 pm on Remembrance Sunday, 11 November, at Adel Memorial Hall, Church Lane, Adel, LS16 8DE
A big thank you to Professor Mark Seaward for this review of our commemoration:
"[Remembrance Day] emotion was further aroused by the Adel Players’ performance to a packed house in Adel Memorial Hall of ‘Coming Home to Blighty 1918-1928’ – a moving experience for the players and a tour de force for the audience. For one hour, through memories, poetry and songs, the local story unfolded from the ‘time when Leeds laughed, sang, cried and fought its way back into peace, and its soldiers came home to a changed world’. Eighteen of the Adel men sent into battle never returned, and the local community at that time chose not to erect a conventional memorial, but to commemorate their lives in a different way. In consequence, this small farming community of 400 households, through determined fund-raising, enabled Adel Memorial Hall and its many acres of sports fields to be opened as a charitable trust and a vibrant living memorial to the brave young men that Adel had lost.
It would be wrong of me to pick out particular contributions as every one of the Adel Players put their hearts and souls into their performances, but the beautiful rendition of the folksong ‘The Green Fields of France’, the words and music composed by Eric Bogle after his visit in 1976 to the battlefields of northern France and Belgium, at the conclusion of the presentations, followed by a recording of theBenedictus from Karl Jenkins’ oratorio ‘The armed man – a mass for peace’ sung by the soloist Haley Westenra left us all spellbound. Even a prolonged round of applause could barely do full justice to the thought and effort by both the cast and production team to research, write and deliver such a heartfelt programme. The significant sum of money raised for the British Legion and AWMA charities at the performance is duly acknowledged, as was the time for reflection.
Remembrance Day 2018 was indeed a day to remember!"
This from another audience member:
"I just wanted to say what a fantastic and informative performance the Adel Players did tonight. I thought they were brilliant".
And thank you to Alison Garrett for this:
[Thank you to] Adel Players for producing such a memorable show to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. In Adel we feel so lucky to have Adel Players and everyone I spoke to marvelled at the performances on Sunday. Also, some people did not know the history of the club, the Memorial Hall and the significance of the large boulder outside the hall. So, thank you for including all of that in your 'Peace and Remembrance in Adel' evening.It was a treat and the hall was packed. The displays, the propelers, the naming of The Blighty Bar and the singalongs were all greatly appreciated. It was truly a great end to a memorable day and Adel Players marked the occasion with, we thought, the right balance of solemnity and humour. Bravo!This type of event really helps to bring our community together. Special mention must go to Pat who ended the evening so appropriately and the song she sang was word-perfect. We were in awe. What a way to end such a moving evening.
Murder Mystery plays to packed audiences!
A huge thank you to all those who came along to our latest Murder Mystery, performed at Bramhope and AWMA on the 8th and 9th June, and to all those involved in the production for making it such a success. Particular thanks must go to Pat Riley for writing this year's script and to Mike Andrews for his sterling efforts as both director and compere. Between the two performances, just short of £2,500 was raised to support AWMA and our ambitious plans to improve our auditorium and other facilities. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to seeing you next year!
"A Murder of Crows": an Adel Players Murder Mystery
The latest in our very popular series of murder mysteries, and penned by our very own “writer-in-residence”, Pat Riley, this original piece proved both intriguing and entertaining for our two capacity audiences.
14 years ago Lizzie, the eldest daughter of Colonel Charles Crowe and his wife Julia, disappeared from the family home at Adel Manor, leaving her parents to care for her baby son Jack. Nothing has been heard from her since but the Colonel clings to the belief that she will one day return and he insists every year that they must celebrate her birthday. This obsession with Lizzie is bitterly resented by the rest of the family, especially Lizzie’s son Jack, who is deeply hurt by his mother’s desertion of him when he was just a few months old. Tensions within the family come to a head when a handbag and suitcase belonging to Lizzie are found at Adel Dam Nature Reserve, and the case changes from that of a missing person to a possible case of murder.
Lizzie was beautiful and talented: were her family and friends as close to her as they say, or was she surrounded by envy and hatred? After 14 years the truth will out. Detective Inspector Samuel Hainsworth and community WPC Jemina Relampago are investigating!
A Review of “Murder of Crows” performed by Adel Players in Bramhope & Adel on 8 & 9 June 2018
Our thanks go to Ann Lightman for this review of our latest Murder mystery:
I attended the Bramhope first night and had a great evening. Both the Bramhope and Adel events were sold out. After paying for the reserved ticket and buying raffle tickets, I found a seat at a table with two people I already knew and we were joined by another three. Our table worked in two groups to complete the two paper quizzes we found on the table. One was a picture quiz of TV detectives - I hadn’t realised there were so many! As one on the table never watched crime fiction and another two had spent most of their lives in the USA, the onus was on the three eldest, me included! It was hilarious – if we recognised the face, we might just get the actors name or the series – getting the first and second name of the detective (a point for each) certainly was a challenge! Credit to our oldest team member who came up with the surname Stanhope for Vera. non-TV person beavered away at the crime question sheet, e.g. which debtors’ prison did Charles Dickens father spend time in? (Marshalsea). A girl murdered in 1867 gave rise to what common phrase? (Sweet Fanny Adams). If we didn’t get the answers, we were interested in finding them out!
Then – lights- action – and the compere Mike Andrews appeared on stage, dressed in black with a bow tie … as befitting a crow! The play, written by Pat Riley, our local playwright and author, started and we were soon introduced to the Crowe family of Adel Manor! The audience really appreciated the local setting – with the X84 bus service! We learned that a daughter of the family disappeared leaving her baby son behind …but then items turn up in the vicinity of Breary Dam following some restoration work (very topical!), the Police come, investigate further, discover human remains and a murder investigation is launched. End of Act One – and everyone could possibly be a suspect except Jack who was then a baby and probably his aunt who would have been just 14. It still left four suspects most of whom had motives. As befits a good murder mystery, it isn’t that straight forward!
Over a delicious pie and peas (or a vegetarian option) supper, the pros and cons of various suspects were debated – and the killer mentioned as a possibility. The majority decision was (of course) wrong, but not embarrassingly so as we had been pretty sure the true killer conspired in a cover-up. The results of the paper quizzes were also read out. Are mobile phones replacing fading memories we wondered? Our table didn’t win though we were surprised and proud of what we did achieve by putting our heads together. The raffle was then drawn - the money raised was going towards paying for the new roof on the venue that night the Bramhope Village Hall. We then sat back and watched the Finale, in which the true killer was revealed, together with the clues which led to us being able (or not) to detect the person. There was a wonderful twist in the ending, which the audience loved! After the murderer confessed, the police officer managed to get a word in and say that the bones were pre-historic! But she was still arrested as by now she had killed her husband too!
It was a great evening. The cast were terrific – and special mention must be made of the youngest, Harry Peart, who had one of the major roles, leading the opening scene! He lived up to the high standards always reached by Adel Players. Anne Mark too had a huge role, especially in the final scene… but they were not alone and it was good to see a number of players we have grown familiar with on stage plus some less familiar. It’s not the first time I’ve commented on how lucky we are in Adel (and now Bramhope) to have such a large, talented and enthusiastic company covering such a range of ages. Our credulity is never stretched by the casting and we are never allowed to get bored. Brilliant!
"Accolade" signs off after hugely successful run
"Accolade" by Emlyn Williams, directed Beth Duce, 25-28 April 2018
More about Adel Players...
To find out more about Adel Players and all we do including news, notices, how to book and how to join us, please browse our other pages. Meanwhile, see below a few "legacy" items to whet your appetite.
Video clips from 'The Importance of Being Earnest'
Watch highlights of our April 2014 production - click here for more clips and further information.