Saddleworth Players

Two down, five to go

Hi. I’m Melvyn, director of the stage adaption of ‘The Graduate’ for Saddleworth Players.

Initially, I was asked to direct Mike Leigh’s comedy ‘Abigail’s Party’ for the March 2017 production at the Millgate Centre, Delph. However, when the society applied to Samuel French for a performance licence, their application was rejected. Apparently, a new professional production of this play is being planned to tour the UK in 2017/8.

It was back to the drawing board to find a suitable replacement to fit into the 2016/17 season. Sunning myself on a Cyprus beach in April 2016, I received an email from Liz Beech advising me about the unsuccessful application for ‘Abigail’s Party’ and asking me if there was a play that I would be interested in directing.

Putting on my thinking cap, I came up with a short list of plays that included ‘The Graduate’. On my return from holiday I received a phone call from Liz advising me that the society had chosen ‘The Graduate’ for their March 2017 play. The film starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft is very well known but the play has only been performed once in our area, some years ago at Guide Bridge Theatre, Ashton.

Casting this play was not easy but the society has cast the two leads with actors who reside in the Hudderfield area. The part of Mrs Robinson is being played by Samantha Griffiths (nee Bates) who many amateur musical fans will remember her for playing numerous lead parts for Dukinfield, Ashton and Mossley Operatic Societies, to name but a few. Playing the Dustin Hoffman part of Benjamin is Sam Reid, who in August 2016 played a lead part in a new musical at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The rest of the cast include Saddleworth regulars Jill Woods, Kate Davies and newcomers to Saddleworth John Rawson and Paul Gledhill.

Week two of rehearsals down, and all is well and good. Here’s to the next five weeks and to a successful show from March 25 – April 1. Book early, as we are expecting this play to be a very popular choice for our regular audiences.

Melvyn Bates, Feb 19, 2017