Saddleworth Players

Stage-struck from an early age

Hello! I’m Jill Woods playing Ben’s mother and this will be my fourth production for Saddleworth Players since my first play ‘All in Good Time’ in 2014.

Stage-struck from an early age, I started with dancing classes before moving on to my first play aged 15, when I played Yvonne Chartreuse (a French stripper) in ‘Cat Among the Pigeons’, directed by my dad (fortunately no flesh was bared in that production). I remember as a teenager getting into trouble with my Auntie Joan because I went on stage at the Piccadilly Road Show Disco to enter the dancing competition and was very late out for being picked up. I won a T-shirt. She wasn’t impressed. Then followed a fallow period until the early 90s, when I did a Creative Ministries course at a big church in London which was great fun and even involved performing at the London Palladium.

My husband Simon and I moved back to Saddleworth in 1999 and after several years and two children, I joined Judith Barker’s adult acting class and did a couple of productions with that group. One of the most memorable excerpts was the Pete Postlethwaite monologue from ‘Brassed Off’ which my dad did. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

I think my favourite part of being in a production is the rehearsal period – working with new people and getting to know everyone on the team, becoming familiar with the structure and ‘feel’ of the play and developing the character. It’s still early days for ‘The Graduate’ and we haven’t blocked (planned the moves) for the whole play yet, so I haven’t quite got to grips with Mom’s character. Performance week is great too though – nothing like the thrill of a responsive audience.

I’ve also prompted a few plays here. As the prompter, not only do I get to know a new play, but it’s also a great chance to learn how other directors and actors work together in the development of a play.

If you’re looking for something new and rewarding to do, I highly recommend seeing how you can get involved at Saddleworth Players – we’re always looking for fresh volunteers whether on stage, back stage, front of house or in the kitchen.

Hope to see you in the bar after a performance.

Jill Woods, Mar 4, 2017