WITH winter quickly approaching, the cast and crew prepare to stage a play of highly charged political and historical intrigue with their rendering of Schiller’s Mary Stuart adapted by Mike Poulton.

At the heart of the play is the struggle between the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots and the Protestant Elizabeth of England. Surrounding them are devious politicians scheming to bring about either Mary's release or Mary's death and at the same time scheming against one another.

Directed by John Howard, Mary (Louise Button) and Elizabeth (Geraldine Woodhouse) are revealed as powerful women, both are complex and flawed human beings. Mary is held captor at Fotheringay by her honourable jailor Amyas Paulet (John Wise), supported by her old nurse Hannah (Ann Bradley). Burghley (Dick Hebbert) works for Mary's execution as the only way to safeguard Elizabeth from the assassination plots that Mary's presence engenders. Leicester (Nick Pennington) schemes to frustrate his political rival, Burghley, while emotionally tied to both Queens. Shrewsbury (Andrew Leggott) is a beacon of principle working for a reconciliation of the cousins. Make what you will, of the headstrong Edward Mortimer (Patrick Hebbert) recently returned from Rome. The talented and experienced cast is completed by Stephen Brown, David Wilyman, Becky Hill, Neil Holt and Andy King.

This version is a fantastic companion for the approaching winter as the cold, dark and ominous atmosphere of the action trickles through the aisles. Running for just ten shows between Wednesday, November 4 to Saturday, November 14, don’t miss your chance to be immersed in a tale of double agents, deception, betrayals and murder.

Free drinks and canapes will be available to ticket holders on the first night.

Ilkley Playhouse will be hosting a Vintage Fair between 10am- 4pm on Saturday, October 31. Come down to warm yourself up with nostalgia, refreshments and home-made cakes sold from our vintage tearoom, or simply shop for an item of vintage fashion or homeware from the 20s to the 80s. Admission is just £1 and with the large array of stalls to browse, you are bound to find something unique.

The Fleapit cinema is screening ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ on Sunday, November 8 (1.30pm for 2pm). Refreshments and home - baked cakes are available in the interval and included in the price of £5 per ticket. Please book by telephone if you require space for a wheelchair.

Our visiting theatre company ClapTrap will be staging an original play at 7pm on Friday, November 20. ‘Broken’ written by Libby Pearson will be performed for one night only.

All tickets are available online www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or telephone: 01943 609539