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YOUR NEWS – Monologues Characterise Players Return Tribute

YOUR NEWS – Monologues Characterise Players Return Tribute

Above: Grassington Players member, Keith Bromley

By Jane Ellison-Bates

Grassington Players return to the boards presenting Yorkshire Voices, a series of monologues and sketches by the late Keith Bromley, to be performed in the Octagon Theatre at the Town Hall on 25 & 26 June.
Former member Keith was a prolific writer. More than a decade ago the Players showcased some of his material around the village halls of the dale in their Players on the Road tours. Some of those monologues are revisited in Yorkshire Voices along with some of his later pieces performed by a talented cast featuring long- established members and newcomers.
Following Keith’s death in Dec 2018, the show was planned as a tribute originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to Covid-19.
Director, Paula Vickers, explains “The summer tours of Keith’s work were always very warmly received and the nature of Yorkshire Voices has meant that we have at least been able to rehearse the cast working on their individual pieces via Zoom during lockdown, which means we can raise the curtain on the show very quickly once all lockdown restrictions are lifted.”
Dubbed the ‘Alan Bennett of Grassington’, Keith Bromley’s writing features a diverse collection of northern characters. Sometimes comic but also poignant, nostalgic and even a little unnerving, the pieces are all captivating.
Grassington Players welcome new members to discover the fun of amateur theatre, appealing for people to join and learn a new skill set with roles not only onstage, but in production aspects such as set building and design, costumes, lighting and special effects.
Tickets for Yorkshire Voices, with proceeds going to the Town Hall Regeneration Fund, are available from Grassington Hub.
Tel: 01756 752222 or online at:
From 25 September – 2 October 2021, the Grassington Players will be performing the amateur premiere of Tim Firth and Gary Barlow’s musical adaptation of Calendar Girls. The high-profile, much anticipated show is due to take place at Grasington Town Hall – also known as The Devenshire Institute.

YOUR NEWSPending Premiere Revealed

Pending Premiere Revealed


Above: Part of Grassington Players’ cast of Calendar Girls: The Musical in 2020 before COVID-19 forced the amateur premiere to delay until 2021.
Photo: Heidi Marfitt

by Jane Ellison-Bates

Just as we were putting this issue to bed we received the following update directly from Grassington Players in relation to their 2021 amateur premiere production of Calendar Girls: The Musical….

Fresh from the professional circuit, Calendar Girls: The Musical is returning to its roots, as performing rights company Concord Theatricals has confirmed that Yorkshire Dales amateur society, Grassington Players, have been granted the first license to perform Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s uplifting musical at The Devonshire Institute in Grassington.

Based on the true story of the now world-famous Women’s Institute ladies from neighbouring Rylstone, the musical has evolved from the film and stage play with new characters including the teenage children of the girls.

Take That star, Gary Barlow, is an old school friend of playwright Tim Firth, and so was a natural choice of partner for adding music to his Calendar Girls dramatisation. The musical was born and nurtured in the Dale as Barlow and Firth brought their new cast to Burnsall village hall to perform a pilot version to an invited audience in March 2015, after which the guests – including the ‘real’ Calendar Girls and some members of Grassington Players – were asked to provide feedback on their favourite songs to help shape the final show.

The result is a range of contrasting songs with a good dose of Yorkshire grit and wit, so that comedy counterbalances the tears in this true tale of the heartbreak of cancer and the triumph of female spirit.

The real Miss January, octogenarian Beryl Bamforth, is a long-standing member of Grassington Players. She was sixty-five when she and her WI friends first disrobed for the original charity nude calendar. More than twenty years on, their fundraising total for Bloodwise has reached an incredible £6 million.

Bob Hamilton of Concord Theatricals said “It is fitting that Grassington Players should be awarded the rights to the first amateur performance of Calendar Girls: The Musical, particularly after their moving interpretation of the play in 2012. We’re looking forward to attending their gala performance with some of the cast reprising their roles from that production.”

Originally scheduled for production in May 2020, Calendar Girls: The Musical rehearsals were well underway in Grassington before COVID-19 struck, but the secret of the premier remained under wraps until recently. The resumption of rehearsals, with a new director, MD and a few other cast changes, is still pending, as the society – along with all other professionals and amateurs – awaits a time when restrictions are lifted and cast and crew deem it safe to rehearse and stage the show.

The anticipated date for the premier to be staged at Grassington Devonshire Institute is 25 September – 2 October 2021.

With a proportion of profits going to Bloodwise, tickets are £15 or £20 for the opening Gala Night and will be available online from:

Please call 01756 752222 or email to be added to the waiting list to be notified when they are on sale.