Saddleworth Players

Props: 30 seconds of sheer terror!

In order to put on five appealing plays per season, the play selection and casting committee have been busy working up to two years in advance. With casting so far out, and most people’s circumstances fairly fluid, anything can change. Health issues, work commitments, family dramas – all keep the casting committee on their toes and actors on the lookout for plum parts going second time around.

I was rather on edge when I took the call about ‘The Graduate’. The last time I had stepped in for Saddleworth Players, they were looking for a middle-aged Italian whore for ‘Filumena. What could it possibly be this time? I was so relieved that ‘Mrs. Robinson’ was in full health and that I wasn’t required to bare all in Delph that, frankly, I’d have agreed to do anything. Luckily it was props.

Now props has been described as 20 minutes of boredom punctuated by 30 seconds of sheer terror. For ‘The Graduate’, we’ll be lucky to get five minutes’ quiet time as the scene changes are rapid and many and there is no room for lapses in concentration, and no time at all to nip downstairs to tuck into the cast’s stash of twist-wrap chocolates.

Luckily, thanks to Emma, Siobhan and Abi joining forces, we have a four strong props team and three weeks left to practice our hospital corners for the many bed linen changes. We’ve also had fun with my favorite part – raiding the props cupboard for Martini glasses, whisky tumblers, old keys, cigarette lighters, cocktail shakers and so on to give a decadent 60s ambience to the minimalistic set. A couple of us have also been called on as extras. Extras, not body doubles, you’ll be relieved to hear. I know we were ...

Verity Mann, Mar 8, 2017