Oh Carol! Christmas comes early to Millgate with Farndale farce

WHO needs Ant and Dec when you have got the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society to entertain you? (writes Trevor Baxter).

But you can bet the Geordie duo never have to contend with the mishaps, mistakes and mayhem that surround a Farndale production.

In this case, the Guild and Gordon – the stage manager – get their teeth into A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

But it is the tale of Scrooge and visiting apparitions like you’ve never seen before.

So, while the nation switched on for the first instalment of ‘I’m A Celebrity 2021, the audience at Delph’s Millgate Arts Centre sat back for Saddleworth Players’ latest production.

Sue Stephenson and John Tanner

If you have seen the Farndale’s in action before then you will sort of know what is on its way. However, this reviewer unexpectedly found himself part of the first act.

So, word of warning – if you have a near front row seat, beware Phoebe Reece doesn’t grab you to play the old miser!

Once that never to be repeated moment was out of the way, it was on with the show.

Basically, the Farndales are a hapless, back biting bunch of amateur thespians. Anything that can go wrong with the script invariably does.

And the Players’ cast of Margaret Thompson, Kerry Ely, Sue Stephenson, Pauline Walsh and John Tanner master the task of playing it erroneously, absolutely perfectly.

There is a definite art to getting things wrong, deliberately. And this tight knit quintet play it for laughs beautifully.

A Christmas Carol runs until Saturday (inclusive) November 27, 2021. For tickets go online or ring: 01457 874644.

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