Cemetery Club

Venue : The Dovehouse Theatre

Date : March 2006

Genre : Play

Director

Peter Round

Director

Cast

Crew

Elizabeth Round

Stage Manager

Adam Lee

Prompt

Ed Parrott

Assisted by

Anne Cherry

Assisted by

Denise Williams

Assisted by

no profile image

Iain Morgan

Assisted by

Paula Eaves

Assisted by

John Nolan

Set Design

John Nolan

Set Construction

John Parkes

Set Construction

Mick Linforth

Set Construction

no profile image

Norman Nicholls

Set Construction

no profile image

Ken Wadhams

Set Construction

John Parkes

Front of House

no profile image

Norman Nicholls

Front of House

Tony Lacey

Ticket Secretary

Marcus Bridger

Programme

no profile image

Tony Jay

Posters and Logo

Anne Cherry

Photographs

Denise Williams

Photographs

Marcus Bridger

Photographs

Crew

Elizabeth Round

Stage Manager

Adam Lee

Prompt

Ed Parrott

Assisted by

Anne Cherry

Assisted by

Denise Williams

Assisted by

Iain Morgan

Assisted by

Paula Eaves

Assisted by

John Nolan

Set Design

John Nolan

Set Construction

John Parkes

Set Construction

Mick Linforth

Set Construction

Norman Nicholls

Set Construction

Ken Wadhams

Set Construction

John Parkes

Front of House

Norman Nicholls

Front of House

Tony Lacey

Ticket Secretary

Marcus Bridger

Programme

Tony Jay

Posters and Logo

Anne Cherry

Photographs

Denise Williams

Photographs

Marcus Bridger

Photographs

Production Gallery

Reviews

Press Release

Wythall Theatre Company, founded in 1958, continue to present high-quality drama at a variety of local venues.

This season they will be performing at the Dovehouse Theatre, Olton, Solihull. From March 15 to 18 they will be presenting “The Cemetery Club” by Ivan Menchell.

The Cemetery Club is a bittersweet and moving comedy. It focuses on three widows Ida, Lucille and Doris whose husbands have died in relatively close succession.

They meet and discuss their husbands and their lives, and in the process meet a lonely widower called Sam. It is clear that Sam and Ida wish to move on with life which dismays Doris and Lucille, who are reluctant to change the status quo. However, events take over…

With a sprinkling of Jewish humour, added to heartbreak and finely portrayed characters, this award winning play will appeal to all who enjoy the best of live theatre.

M. Bridger and T. Lacey, Various, February 2006


Editorial

Five thespians from Wythall acting group have combined nearly two centuries of experience to put on a play being staged at a Solihull school.

Between them, Estelle Shutkever, Val Archer, Beryl Linforth, Joy Rodgers and Mike Beamish have been performing for the Wythall Theatre Company for 180 years.

Now they hope their knowledge of treading the boards will draw in the crowds as they perform the comedy, Cemetery Club.

Mrs Shutkever, aged 70, the longest serving member of the cast, joined the group in 1960, two years after if had first been formed, and has never looked back.

"I was a professional actress and I performed a lot of productions at the Birmingham Rep and the Alex," she said. "But I got married and had a baby and in those days you would give up your work to be a wife and mother."

"We moved to Wythall and I met some people who invited me along to the theatre group and I have never looked back."

"We have such fun and it's a very close knit group and has stuck together through the years."

"We've become so close we're more like a big happy family, and of course we always welcome having new faces and fresh talent coming and joining us."

In the Cemetery Club, three of the experienced cast will take on the roles of Ida, Lucille and Doris, widows who meet every month for tea, then it's off to the cemetery to remember the good and the bad times and gossip with their late husbands.

The character Sam meets the widows in the cemetery while visiting his late wife and changes their lives forever.

"It's a touchingly hilarious play, full of whit and pathos," explained Estelle.

The play is being staged at Langley School in Kineton Green Road, Olton, Solihull until tomorrow.

Emma Cullwick, Birmingham Mail, March 17 2006


Letter from audience member E. Mance.

I wasn’t sure what to expect… widowed myself, much too young, would I laugh, would I cry?

Well, I did both. I could empathize with all points of view, but particularly with Ida, who was so ready to move on. Lucille’s Jewish glamour and eye for a bargain, Doris’ insistence on haggling for a good price – these reminded me of shopping in Golders Green in my childhood. My mother, a good Italian Catholic, loved the style of the shops there and knew Saturday morning – synagogue time – would be ‘nice and quiet’ for shopping! And the whole atmosphere of the play had that style…

So I loved the play. The humour, the pathos. What it said. I could almost believe myself to be each one of the three main female characters. And the different forms of sadness at the end. Thank goodness Sam, a widower and retired kosher butcher, came along for Ida. Brave man, brave actor in an otherwise all female cast.

Well done, Wythall Players! Thank you for a flavour of Jewish New York. Such wonderful performances! I’ll be there to see you all in those Blue Remembered Hills in May.

Elizabeth Mance, WTC Website, March 2006


Editorial, Cemetery Club marks historic milestone for Wythall players

Members of Wythall Theatre Company have been putting a damper on rehearsals of The Cemetery Club, the bittersweet comedy about widows who meet regularly to tend their husband's graves.

It's a fairly forceful damper, too - because two of them, Beryl Linforth and Val Archer, are required to throw a drink into each other's face.

It seems that ft's quite difficult to do it properly. Cast member Estelle Shutkever, who has been watching the watery exchange for weeks, said: "It's very difficult to get it just right and everybody gets soaked, with mascara running."

The group was founded in the 1950s - but when the Cemetery Club opens next week it will achieve one of the most remarkable statistics in the company's history. Estelle, who joined 47 years ago, is the longest serving in a five-strong cast with a combined member-ship of the group that totals 180 years.

She told me: "Because we're all in the older age group and have known each other for so many years, there's a lovely feeling about the rehearsals, even if we do get wet."

John Slim, Birmingham Mail, March 8th 2006