September in the Rain (October - December 2006)
Jack and Liz are from Yorkshire but every September they cross the border into Lancashire for their annual holiday in Blackpool. They've been doing it for over forty years and though Jack has now retired from the pit, they go to Blackpool in September for a nostalgic trip back to their youth. ‘September in the Rain’ and it’s companion piece, ‘Happy
Jack’ recounts the playwright’s memories of his grandparents
Jack and Liz. Godber describes Jack as a father, a brawler,
sometime poet, thug, conman, lover and comedian.
The play chronicles real events: stories that were told and retold in the family until they became an integral background to Godber’s childhood. Jack’s forty two years down the coal mine left him with pneumoconiosis, (for which the coal board paid him a thousand
pounds). He survived Liz by three years to die in 1978 at the age of sixty-four.
This is a 'must see' for anyone who has been to Blackpool or taken a September holiday in the UK.
'Transmitted with a directness that touches the heart' - Guardian
Cast and Crew
Director: Dave Baldwin
|Stage Manager||Loraine Worrall|
|Lighting & Sound||Ian Pauley|
|Front of House||
Dates and Venues
|27th- 28th October 2006||The Savoy Theatre, Monmouth|
|4th November 2006||Hopelands Hall, Weobley|
|10th - 11th November 2006||New Memorial Hall Fownhope|
|17th - 18th November 2006||Millennium Hall, Upton Bishop|
|25th November 2006||Mackenzie Hall, Brockweir|
|2nd December 2006||The Village Hall, Cwm Yoy|
From The Ross Gazette 6th November 2006
The current production by the Bare Bones Theatre Company , SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN by John Godber, gives the audience a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The play tells the story of the lives of a married couple through their reminiscences of annual holidays spent in Blackpool over three decades. The couple, Jack and Liz, played by Dave and Margaret Baldwin, take us with them from their Yorkshire home to Blackpool to experience both the good times and the bad times of their holidays. In doing so we also come to understand their relationship with one another. Along the way we meet some of the characters involved in their lives.
Jack is a retired coalminer; a man used to the tough life underground, apparently of few words and emotions but with a marshmallow centre. We see him moved to tears by the memory of his daughter on the stage in a children’s talent contest one summer, and by sentimental songs from The Student Prince, a popular Blackpool production over the years. Liz is his wife and mother of their two children who sometimes wishes for a more demonstrative and talkative man and she has quite often threatened to walk away form it all. On the one occasion we see her act on the threat: Jack spends the day in the pouring rain searching for her, only pausing to book tickets for that very musical.
The set of the production is truly “bare bones”, with Blackpool Tower in the background and just two chairs, some suitcases and two deckchairs to provide everything else. Dave and Margaret Baldwin are very convincing as the Yorkshire couple and make the most of John Godber’s sparkling dialogue. Both Dave and Margaret bring to life the various characters by subtle changes of accent and body language, delivering comedy, passion and pathos to the audience.
We experience the journeys by car in pre-motorway days with traffic jams in Preston and by coach; we can vividly imagine the guest-houses and their landladies. By lighting changes we enjoy both the sunshine and frequent rain. We can appreciate the sands, the occasional modest sunbathing, the paddling on the beach and can almost smell the ageing donkeys. We experience the height of the Tower and the thrills of the Big Dipper at the Fairground.
All in all it was a good evening out with the Bare Bones Theatre Company. The company started in 2004 and brings theatre to the rural areas. The current play, directed by Dave Baldwin, is touring until Dec 2nd, so try to see it at one of their venues - Weobley, Fownhope, Upton Bishop, Brockweir and Cwmyoy. M.B.