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Yorkshire ( 1 reviews)

Brassed Off

OPEN 26/09/2023 - 30/09/2023

Venue Name: Grassington Devonshire Institute. 48 Main St,reet, Grassington, Skipton, Yorkshire BD23 5AZ

Venue Postcode: BD235AZ


Credits: by Paul Allen. Performed by Grassington Players with the Otley Brass Band

Box Office phone number: 01756752222

Societies: Grassington Players

Grassington Players is continuing its centenary year performance programme with a production firmly rooted in Yorkshire. Working in conjunction with Otley Brass Band, the booming amateur dramatic society will present Brassed Off in the autumn.

The play by Paul Allen has been adapted from the 1996 film screenplay which starred Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan McGregor among others. A bitter-sweet comedy drama, Brassed Off charts the demise of Grimley Colliery and the knock-on effect on its brass band. Set ten years after the miners’ strike of the mid-80s, it is based on the experience of Grimethorpe Colliery and its band. Many of the social and economic history themes in the play still resonate today as communities face the current cost of living crisis and job losses.

Grassington Players has appointed guest director Colin Waterman from Ilkley Players to bring his expertise to the production. His involvement strengthens existing collaborations and enhances the pool of theatrical talent available to the society as it embarks on its next 100 years.

Otley Brass Band was founded in 1973 and meets on Tuesday evenings at The Courthouse in Otley to rehearse for concerts and outdoor events throughout the year. Band Manager, Mollie Renshaw, was keen to work with Grassington Players on the production, saying “We are so excited to perform with them to help bring Brassed Off to life. It’s such a fantastic script and with a very skilled production company and director it’s an absolute honour for us to be a part of it.”

The band have embarked on their preparations in Otley, with their 35 members sharing the roles across the performances and dress rehearsals to give all members of the band the chance to take part despite the limitations of the space on stage.’

Some of the Grassington team have been attending band rehearsals in Otley, then throughout September the band will work with the cast in Grassington at The Town Hall.

John Anderson, Chairman of Grassington Players and a former trombone player himself, said “Our first visit to hear the band showed how powerfully the music will affect the audience, especially when it is combined with the script and strong performances from our actors. It’s going to be a very special production.”

John is also thrilled that, in a first for the Players, the Saturday matinee will be a relaxed performance facilitating audience members with additional needs such autism and dementia. There will also be a British Sign language interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing. He adds “We are embarking on our next 100 years determined to make our shows accessible and appealing to everyone.”

The Grassington Players cast for Brassed Off spans the generations and features familiar faces from recent acclaimed productions along with some newcomers.

The production features collaboration with local schools, with six junior cast members treading the boards from The Upper Wharfedale Primary Federation (which encompasses Burnsall, Grassington, Kettlewell and Cracoe), Upper Wharfedale School, Ermysteds Grammar, Skipton Girls High and Craven College Performing Arts department. Cast member Sarah Vetch, a teacher within the Federation, is heading the collaboration with the children’s schools and parents while playing the part of Sandra, the embattled wife of trombonist Phil.

Rachel Hutchinson takes on the mantle of Stage Manager for the first time and is tasked with heading a production team collaborating with the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield and Grassington’s Men’s Shed for the construction of the set. Rachel’s family have long been involved in the Players; her grandfather, then her parents and now her 12 year old daughter, Edie, is performing in Brassed Off.

Director Colin Waterman remarked “It is important that amateur dramatic societies are able to stage productions like this which help to introduce and nurture the next generation with these theatrical skills.”

Television production company Studio RTR, who are based at Broughton Hall in Skipton, have been working with Grassington Players throughout the rehearsal period to film a ‘fly on the wall’ programme about amateur theatre and its role in the community. The Players are no strangers to working with TV production companies, having previously featured in the series The Dales with Ade Edmonson during the rehearsals and opening of the world amateur premier of Calendar Girls in 2012, then more recently with the BBC news team in 2021 ahead of Calendar Girls: The Musical.




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