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.
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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
Accolade completed its run on the 28th of April having played to a total audience of more than 430. Unsettling in its subject matter, this wonderfully written piece by Emlyn Williams was nevertheless topical, relevant and ultimately extremely gripping as well as thought-provoking. Our sincere thanks go to Beth Duce who as director was unstinting in her commitment to the production and who as always provided a reassuring but at all times inspiring hand on the tiller. And as always, many thanks once again to our loyal audience members for their much appreciated support.
Reviews, audience reactions and production photos follow below.
Production photos from "Accolade"
Reviews of "Accolade"
Our thanks go to Julie Bozza and Ann Lightman for these reviews of our production of Accolade. Ann's review will be published shortly in "Adel Bells".
A young friend of mine, , is making his stage debut in this play produced by am-dram group , so I did hie me to the Yorkshire moors to catch this evening’s performance. Adel Players are named for Adel, the town in which they are based near Leeds, and they produce plays in the hall belonging to the local War Memorial Association. The company was founded in 1945. For the past few years, Harry’s mother, , has been part of the team, helping put on three shows a year. Shell has acted in various roles, and also helps behind the scenes, especially in set design, props, and publicity.
was a new play for me, so I was thrilled to watch it unfold through all its twists and turns. It was written by Welsh playwright , and first performed in 1950. tells the story of the Trenting family. The father, Will Trenting (David Lancaster), is about to be knighted, but that of course shines a spotlight on his double life, and a scandal emerges that surprises everyone. I thought did a splendid job as Trenting, as did as his wife Rona, and as their son Ian. The whole cast were terrific, but these three – as the family at the heart of it all, with the most to lose – gave particularly genuine and moving performances.
The story was interesting to me as a writer, because Trenting is a published writer – and one of the other characters we meet is desperate to be one, too. The other half of Trenting’s double life has provided him with a great deal of material for his books, and yet it is clear that the life and the choices he has made reflect on himself as a person rather than as a writer. I liked his honesty and sense of responsibility, as well as his love for his family.
Rona was also sympathetic. She has a very clear-eyed view of her husband, and has loved him unconditionally, with no regrets. As a result, they have built a life and a home and a family together – but when it’s all about to come tumbling down around your ears, it’s inevitable that you start to question your own choices. Meanwhile, Ian is young and innocent, and all the adult characters care for him enough to protect him from what they can. But his perspective can also cut through to the heart of the matter, if they let it.
I can’t say any more about the story or characterisations without revealing too much. It’s an interesting play to watch, and I think the Adel Players and director have done a superb job in bringing it to full life. Unfortunately there’s only one more show in this short run, and it’s been sold out for a while. But if you’re anywhere near Leeds, you might like to keep an eye on the company. I believe their next show is a murder mystery called – and our Harry will once again be treading the boards!
The play chosen was Accolade by Emlyn Williams which first appeared in 1950 when it “pushed the boundaries of acceptable theatre at the time” –to quote from the publicity. I found it a troubling play – posing moral dilemmas which the play does not attempt to answer. The publicity stated that the theme is very relevant to today which is undoubtedly true, but whether that meant the play worked well for today’s audiences is another matter. Audiences in 1950 had not lived through the “liberated” 60’s with the “realistic” plays – most of which seem to have been written after this play and today’s trials by media. It must have been ground-breaking in its day.
The Adel Players production to full houses over four days was, as usual, superb – the stage set, costumes and music putting us straight back into the stylish home of a well-off 1950 family where the news of the head of the household becoming a knight for his services to literature (he was a writer of realism) had just been received in the New Year’s Honours list. It soon became apparent he had been leading a bit of a double life, taking off for “dirty weekends” from time to time in the full knowledge of his wife. This had seemed harmless enough until the father of an under-age girl, who had been a victim at the last one, appeared at his home and attempted to bribe a position in the household. The writer at this point seemed to show remorse ...partly as he had a son of the same age perhaps, and our heads were soon reeling with questions – could/should the wife had done more to try to stop these weekends? Why do creative people often need to flout convention? Would they be as gifted without a deviant streak? Was the publisher (and by extension the public) a hypocrite for enjoying the end result but horrified when found it was based on fact? More controversially - don’t most of us have a secret or two we would prefer kept hidden?
The second half did not provide answers. The writer and those closely involved with him, including a couple from Rotherhithe friends from his “hidden” life, decided to confront the father. This led, perhaps inevitably, to his going to the police and prosecution followed. Of course the trial attracted press attention, resulting in the couple being dropped by many who knew them – including all but one of their servants. While they study a brochure for a remote cottage on Guernsey to escape to and contemplate a possible spell at H.M.’s pleasure, a crowd gathers outside their house and a brick is thrown. Society has made up its mind – it is
easier to judge those we do not know than those we do. The whole scenario must have appeared quite shocking back in 1950.
The play kept my attention throughout – not least because of the superb professionalism of the quite large cast (10) – with a young Harry Peart making his debut…and maybe Anne Andrews, who is more often on the front desk. There were also some comedic touches with the class system coming into play – Rotherhithe v. West End. But the play didn’t emotionally connect with me – maybe an over-reliance on words – all the action took place in the writer’s lounge. Maybe there were too many characters for them to be more than silhouettes (how did the Rotherhithe couple care for their daughter that they said they doted on?). Maybe my brain just can’t cope with too many dilemmas! A (much younger) person enjoyed the play and summed up beautifully the main message “all actions have consequences” – a point emphasised by the staging – from the lounge one could see through to the staircase and the garden – all actions in the private or public domain interact with the other.
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.