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.
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.