Current Season
Five Blue Haired Ladies Sitting on a Green Park Bench
by John A. Penzotti
14th - 19th January 2008

Eva, La-La, Rose, Anna and Gladys

La-La and Rose

Remembering old times for Gladys, Anna and Nunzio

La-La and Tuffy reunited

Cast

La-LaPAULINE WARINRoseROSIE BROOKS
EvaJUNE PURDYGladysFREDA DENBIGH
AnnaMARILYN BAINESNunzioStuart Farrell
RichardANTHONY LEACHMartinGORDON SUGDEN
ShirleyALISON MAINTuffyWINSTAN ROBINSON
Director and 'Man'ROBIN MARTIN

Synopsis

Five elderly ladies had only two things in common when they met seven months ago: a park bench and life well lived. Through their memories, keen observations and a good belly-laugh now and then, these gals are truly on the cusp of eighty-going on eighteen. Bound by each other's strengths, wisdom and witticisms, each one unknowingly prepares for the day they leave the bench, perhaps for the last time.

Directors Notes

Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit... ...

La-La, Gladys, Anna, Rosie and Eva are five very different characters, united in our play not only by those eponymous benches but, more importantly, by the spirit of Jenny Joseph's lovely poem. Feisty, eccentric, individual - these ladies are determined n'ot to go gentle into that good night.

We are blessed tonight with a group of ten talented actors, mostly from the mature end of Bingley's rich array of talent - I'm sure they won't mind my telling you that most of our cast have to act older than their real ages - and they use their years of experience to do so beautifully.

The plot synopsis is not too difficult - in fact the story of Act 1 is encapsulated in the play's title (no-one has had to ask me what the play is about!) - and Act 2 is more of the same with a twist which will not surprise those of you who read the programme notes. Our photographer, (the Very Rev.) Bruce Grainger seemed not at all fazed that Heaven has such a specific setting. And our set designer (the Very Lovely) Stephen Mason has clearly been there.

The fun of the play, for us - and we do hope, for you - is in the getting there.

Never can the subject of death have been so much fun! Have a good night.

Reviews

  • "...Bingley Little Theatre's five leading ladies - all consummate actresses - were simply brilliant on the bench."
  • "They sounded like New Yorkers and all delivered some great one-liners..."
  • "By the end, the audience was rocking to Frank Sinatra's New York, New York."
    • Sue Butterfield - Telegraph and Argus

  • "Congratulations on your wonderful production of 5BHL. The review of it has been printed and posted on the fridge as yet another reminder of why I get up at 6am every morning to muse and write, and why I thank God each night before bed for such a wonderful gift and the opportunity to share it."

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