ON A night there was another event, one that would have had people sat in front of the TV, the attraction of seeing people on stage proved a hit.
And just like Manchester City in the Champions League final, Saddleworth Players scored a winner with its performance of Silver Lining.
After speaking to people in the bar at Delph’s Millgate Arts Centre – and there were plenty of them as the opening night was packed – and hearing the rave reviews they had read, it was hard not to anticipate something special.
Sure enough, once we saw the setting of the living space of the Silver Retirement Home in Hebden Bridge, quality shone through.
Playing to the stereotype of the women being ‘old biddies,’ the story centres around the effects of Storm Vera on where they now live, not least the rising flood waters that are engulfing it.
But rather than accept their fate, they decide to do something about it – defying the convention that older women cannot do anything.
The five principle characters all trade stories about their lives, with Maureen Cookson – played by Margaret Thompson – providing laughs from the outset.
May Trickett, with Pauline Walsh in the role, is the one with the dry sense of humour.
Exploring the relationship between the youth and the elderly, which is perhaps more pertinent today, it was hard not to have the Danish tones of Silver Lining’s writer, Sandi Toksvig, running through your mind.
Packed with witty one liners and lots of good jokes, this was very much penned in her style – although past the comedy, you got a sense of the troubles each have faced in their life.
With Sue Borg playing Gloria Bernhardt, Anne Wright as June Partridge, Nicole Williams as Hope Daley and Elizabeth Beech as the enigmatic St Michael, Silver Lining is not afraid to tackle tougher issues like dementia, attempted suicide and the universal fear of old age.
But if this production is anything to go by, and its reception on its first night, Saddleworth Players have little to worry about in terms of conveying the story on to Millgate’s stage.
*SILVER Lining is on at the theatre at Delph’s Millgate Arts Centre until Saturday, June 17, with performances starting at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £10 and can be bought by clicking www.ticketsource.co.uk/millgateartscentre/e-amearm.