Saddleworth Players

Next play

Great Expectations

Nov 25–Dec 2, 2017

Coming up

The Farndale Murder Mystery

Jan 27–Feb 3, 2018

Coming up

April in Paris

Apr 7–14, 2018

Coming up

We are Three Sisters

Jun 2–9, 2018

Delph Donkey

Hello, I'm John Hoyle.

Last time I was on stage at Saddleworth, I fell over and pulled the back wall of the set down with me because I'm an idiot. I knocked out two old dears, a small child and a dachshund. I hope said idiocy doesn't extend to this production which is arguably a more sombre affair (though I am aiming for major belly laughs). Maybe it'll be another six years before they invite me back?

"Come Blow Your Horn" was a real delight in 2010 and I'm overjoyed to be treading the boards again for The Handyman, which is proving no less delightful. I love working with Steve Bennett: he never knows which scene we're doing so he's easy to baffle. Clare (that is, Mrs Bennett) is also very good at being taken advantage of. It's not my place to write a review (I'm only an idiot actor) but from the very first reading of the play, I loved it. Taut, economic and encompassing, its messages are thought-provoking and dramatically posited. I hope audiences experience the same giddy thrill I did as they get to that last scene.

But you want anecdotes.

Delph brings to mind the old Delph Donkey railway line. I'm ashamed to say I ghost-wrote a book about the last days of steam and the Delph Donkey does indeed get quite sizeable coverage. I would not advise anyone to ever read it: it's a painful bore.

Another Delph tale: Once, when I was in rehearsal for the Bee People, the children's production in which I played, or rather hammed-up, Wassup the Terrible, I became trapped in the village. Snow had covered the land, you see. This idiot got raging drunk in The Bull's Head and fell down the icy steps on my exit in the early morning. I still suffer from back problems to this day.

John Hoyle, Mar 26, 2016