Thursday, 12 January 2017

How Silsden Community Productions revived the art of plays and pantos

Above: Music-makers (left to right) Val Clarkson, Tony Hopkins, Lynnda Smith and Glen Berry took part in "A Christmas Carol" at Silsden Methodist Church in December 2008. The event marked the debut of Silsden Community Productions and the revival of local amateur theatre and home-grown entertainment after a gap of around 20 years. Directed by David Hardman and Sylvia Wass, to a script by Cathy Liddle, Charles Dickens's classic tale of redemption involved a cast and backstage workforce of around 100 local volunteers.

Above: Graham Mitchell was Scrooge. 

Above: Brian Turner as Charles Dickens narrated the production.

 Above: Pam Spencer was washerwoman Mrs Dilber.

Above: Alan Raine took the part of a charitable gentleman. Alan and several other players and helpers have regularly taken part in Silsden Community Productions' subsequent dramas. In 2015, SCP added pantos to their repertoire.
Above: "Right Up Our Street", a play based on real events and local characters, was Silsden Community Productions' second offering. Scripted  and produced by Cathy Liddle and directed by David Hardman, the production again involved a huge number of local people, aged from 8 to 80. It took place at the new Silsden Sports Club in Keighley Road in February 2010.
Above: In "Right Up Our Street" Steve Raine was PC Harold Henthorn, the controversial new village bobby of 1911, who is seen here with street children played by Adam Harper, Hannah Mayfield, Mollie Driver and Alex Robinson. 
Above: Ladies of the first village chapel (1826) were played by, left to right, Barbara Driver, Marion Campbell, Lynnda Smith, Frances La Via and Trish Coll. 
 Above: Colin Hyde was a character in the nail-making forge of the late 1860s.  
 Above: left to right, Theresa McClennon, Sylvia Wass and the much-missed Brenda Carey as members of the temperance group, Silsden Band of Hope (1912).
Above: Stars of the "Silsden in World War 1" scene included (left to right) Daniel Bloomer, Mark Kelk and Phil Swann.
Above: wounded WW1 heroes were portrayed by Philip Smith (standing) and David Harper.
Above: In the Victorian classroom scene, headmaster David Longbottom, played by Graham Mitchell, and teacher Miss Page (Sylvia Wass) are pictured with pupils played by Russell Parkinson, Abigail Towers, Robbie Wilson, Sally Clement, Faye Kelk, Ben Wilson, Laura Dale, Ellie Marklew and Tony Hopkins.
 Above: Silsden's characterful Feast Committee of 1890 was portrayed (left to right) by David Harper, Pam Spencer, John Peet, Brenda Carey, Ernest Dodding and Brian Turner.
Above: performer Trish Coll (left) is pictured with hair and make-up artists Ann Roberts (centre) and Deb Wilson.

And now for something completely differentAbove: David Hardman has been Silsden Community Productions' permanent director. He is pictured here with his leading lady in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves", which was presented in 2015, the town's first panto for several years. The production was covered in my post of December 3rd 2015.

Above and below: Neil Whitaker has been a marvellously traditional dame in SCP's two pantos. He is pictured above with Ros Driver as the wicked witch in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and below as Tracy, one of the ugly sisters, in the 2016 panto "Cinderella." With him is fellow ugly sister Sharon, played by Laurence Driver. "Cinderella" was the subject of my posts on December 3rd and November 30th 2016.