The Club Players Broughton
The Club Players presented the story of four ladies on the assembly line at the Players tobacco factory in Nottingham in 1953, the Queen’s Coronation year.
Lesley Southworth played Glad, whose husband was killed in the war 10 years previously.
She has been having a secret affair with the factory foreman, Bill (Dan Haresnape).
Bill wants more than just a sexual liaison, he wants love and marriage, but Glad points out that at forty four, she is twenty years older than him and it would never work.
Glad’s young niece, Mae (an impressive debut by Lesley’s real life daughter, Anna Southworth) arrives to move in with her ‘Auntie Glad’ gets her a job on the assembly line.
Mae becomes friendly with two other girls in her section; the glamorous Cyn (Kimberley Ainscough, who wants to be a beauty queen, and newly married Vee (Alison Griffiths-Barnes) who is having embarrassing marital problems.
They tease Mae about Bill fancying her. Little do they know!
Everything comes together in a heart-warming finale at the street Coronation Day party.
The play seems like a prototype for the author’s later and biggest success ‘Ladies Day’, which follows four ladies in a fish factory, (one a celeb seeker and another in love with the foreman, you get the drift) but ‘Players Angels’ (later re-done as ‘The Wills Girls’) has all that humour and pathos in its own right.
Directed by Gillian Hodgson, the play was beautifully acted and the set perfectly captured the 1950s with the Bakelite wireless, the Bush TV in its mahogany cabinet and the music. In a scene in the cinema, we even got soundtracks of old Pathe or Movietone newsreels.
Amanda Whittington does emotions so well and her dialogue is so realistic, she should be writing ‘Coronation Street’ because humour, pathos and, most of all, realism is just what it needs today.