Dusty papers inspire Swaledale theatre group

A dusty collection of papers saved from a house clearance and given to the Swaledale Museum in 2006, including several scripts performed by the local Wesley Guild in the 1940s, was the cue for the formation of the Reeth Artyfacts who got together to revive one of the pantomime scripts, Beauty and the Beast, in aid of Museum funds.

More pantomimes, dramas and original productions followed and next month the group will return to the original collection of papers to present a one act thriller, Mr Hunter, by Stuart Ready, first performed in the dale in the late 1940s and marking the directorial debut of Finlay Worrallo from Low Row.

In the winter of 1948, heading home after a long tour, a small theatrical troupe find themselves stranded at an unfamiliar railway station.

Mr Hunter, the man who agreed to help them out, is nowhere to be found.  As they reflect on the recent mysterious death of their leading lady, and as no-one comes to their aid, the women become uneasy.  As Doris warns her fellow travellers: “To spend the night in a place like this is asking for trouble”!

The play lasts just under an hour and audiences are invited to come along early to enjoy light refreshments and a railway themed quiz beforehand.

Performances are on February 2 and 3 at Reeth Memorial Hall, doors open at 7.30pm for refreshments and quiz, play starts at 8.30pm, and on February 9 at Gunnerside Village Hall when doors open 7pm for refreshments and quiz, and the play starts at 8.15pm.

Clockwise from top right, Jackie McCartney, Gill Hayes, Sarah Waggett and Jenny Davies.

Tickets are £7 which includes light refreshments and are on sale at Reeth Post Office for the Reeth performance and on the door at Gunnerside.  Some tickets may be available on the door for the Reeth performances but cannot be guaranteed.  Proceeds are for local charities.

For further information contact Harriet Manning, email: harrietjmanning@gmail.com or phone 07855 100171.