Halcyon Days
by Deirdre Kinahan

Halcyon Days by Deirdre Kinahan banner image

Our production of Halcyon Days, which ran from 9th to 11th May 2024, is an uplifting, bittersweet drama set in a nursing home, celebrating friendship and the human spirit  and was a tremendous success.  The play tells the story of Sean and Patricia, two of the residents who bond, develop an intimacy and form a relationship which in turn is charming and combative, tender and funny.
The play, developed and expanded from Kinahan’s 2009 play Salad Day, Halcyon Days was first performed in preview at the Solstice Arts Centre, Co Meath, Ireland in October 2012.  It was revived under a new title, These Halcyon Days, at the Assembly Hall, Edinburgh in August 2013 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where it won a Fringe First Award.

Helen Shearer and Graham Hewitson rehearsing a scene from the play!

Audences were full of praise for the production commenting on the tremendous performances for the two actors involved, Helen Shearer as Patricia and Graham Hewitson as Sean.
The wonderful set, design and construction under the supervision of Douglas Watt, also came in for praise with many of the audience members commenting positively.

The society are also grateful to Friends and programme advertisers for their continued support.

The Children

Our performances of The Children, written by Lucy Kirkwood, have now come to an end and we are delighted to report that the run was a tremendous success. Near capacity audiences were treated to a first class play, well acted and directed.  The cast of three, Linda McLaren as Rose, Helen Shearer as Hazel and Graham Hewitson as Robin all put in sterling performances and received great adulation. 

In an idyllic cottage on the British coast, two retired scientists, Hazel and Robin, are enjoying the quiet life. Nearby, a nuclear power plant has been torn apart by a Fukushima-like natural disaster. Electricity is being rationed, you need a Geiger counter to go outside. The world is in chaos. 

Hazel and Robin are trying to go about their life of yoga and farming as though nothing has changed. But everything shifts when an old friend, Rose, knocks on their door. Something doesn’t feel right… the fallout will be unpredictable.

The Children introduces us to this trio of characters in a witty and touching story that rumbles with big questions about how we live. What responsibility do we have for this planet? What do we want to leave behind for our children? 

The Children premiered in the West End at the Royal Court Theatre in 2016 and starred Francesca Annis, Deborah Findlay, and Ron Cook. It transferred to Broadway in November 2017 with the same cast, and received two Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Featured Actress in a Play (for Deborah Findlay). The Children premiered in Australia in 2018, winning the 2018 Helpmann Award for Best Play.
Our pre-Christmas adventure to Treasure Island by Jon Nicholson and Le Nevet Bete, 15th to 18th December 2022 – our first major production since September in the Rain in 2021 – was a great success artistically.  Although we hoped for better audience numbers, those who did come along thoroughly enjoyed the show.  The entire cast put in tremendous performances playing a variety of characters with extremely quick changes.  Marley Hunter led the way as Jim Hawkins, and well supported by Jason D Norrie, Graham Hewitson, Toby Sparrow, Tobes Hallett and Susan Steel.  The fast moving plot sailed along well with some great inventive touches from Director Graham Hewitson.  All in all, a great nights entertainment .


Our run of
September in the Rain
by John Godber, which ran from 8th to 11th September 2021, and the Society was delighted by the audience response to what was a wonderful and inventive performance. There were well drawn performances by the two actors, Helen Shearer and Graham Hewitson.  Cleverly directed by Drew Barnett, the action maintained a cracking pace throughout, drawing out the pathos and comedy, which is always evident in Godber’s writing, while ensuring that the actors maintained social distancing at all times.  All aspects of the production – sound, light and the visually attractive set, added greatly to the occasion.

Audience comments:

‘Once again a great performance

‘Brilliant, real Yorkshire humour, sad at times but most enjoyable. Warmly recommended

‘Excellent performances and well managed ‘re Covid’