Sally hosts six of the best for Lancashire laughter

Ron Ellis reviews a season-opening comedy show...
Sally BankesSally Bankes
Sally Bankes

Southport’s Little Theatre bar was crowded for the season’s opening show, a miscellany of six sketches, all written and performed by members of the company.

The compere for the evening was Royal Shakespeare actress, Sally Bankes (pictured), who started her highly successful acting career at Southport and has recently become a patron of the theatre.

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The opening item had Brendan Gillow, Marilyn Fletcher-Hill, and Lisa and John Tatler performing a humorous sketch called ‘An Incident at Hunsford Parsonage’ which was written by

David Davies and based on Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Predjudice’.

Next came ‘The Captain’s Ruby’, a John Sharp creation, with Val Pedlar as a grandmother who gave a treasured ring, a gift from a former lover, to her granddaughter.

A second offering by John Sharp had Steve Pritchard giving a snarling performance as ‘A Cross Man’.

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The second half of the show opened with ‘Wedding Guest’ in which Sandy Keen played the patient wife to her wheelchair-bound husband (Peter Hoyle) who bombarded her with vulgar insults as she tried to keep face with fellow guests at the wedding they were attending.

In ‘Jokers to the Right’, Tony O’Keefe played Ian who had been summoned to his boss’s office. Fearing dismissal, he decided to ridicule his boss and had his friend, Meg, dressed as Pimbo the Clown, accompany him. Meg was played by Emily Parr who also wrote the script.

For the grand finale, Sally Bankes returned to read an extract from ‘Spending Frank’ written by the late Alistair Hewitt, a valued member of the SDC and whose play, ‘Dangers of Tobacco’, was one of the society’s great successes.

All in all, a fine opening to the new season which starts next month.

Coming soon to The Little Theatre:

l Friday, October 15: ‘Loot’ by Joe Orton

l Friday November 12: ‘Two 2’ by Jim Cartwright

l December 15 - January 2: ‘Robin Hood Saves the Day’ (Pantomime)

l The Half Season Brochures for the plays from January to April 2022 will be sent out to subscribers in the near future.

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