Ilkley Playhouse

THEATRE brings people together – to gather in one place for a couple of hours with no other distractions to watch a play that may be beautiful, funny, moving, thought provoking, heart breaking or heart-warming. This is theatre in its most basic form. It does not always require a fancy set, an abundance of actors, lots of costume changes or a complex lighting structure to have an impact on us. This is just the case with our next Wildman production Teechers, written by John Godber. It takes away the frills and demands the audience’s creativity and imagination to create the unique world of a modern comprehensive school. This witty, modern comedy written in 1984 puts the education system under a microscope and examines the themes and issues that are still just as relevant today. Teechers is a play within a play. Three year eleven students put on a performance for their teachers. School leavers Salty, Hobby and Gail perform an account of their time in school. They are particularly inspired by their time with Mr Nixon, their new drama teacher who ignites their passion for the stage with his belief that all children should be treated equally. Godber is the third most performed playwright in the UK after Shakespeare and Ayckbourn and there is good reason for this. Godber has a distinctive style of writing that appeals to a wide range of audiences and he cleverly creates worlds and characters that everyone can relate to. Teechers runs from Monday, February 3 until Saturday, February 8.

For more laughter, Our Stagefright Comedy Club returns on February 15 featuring Meryl O’Rourke and Noel James. Meryl is the most recent presenter on Front Row (Radio 4), as well as writing, performing and directing her own comedy series ‘The Hysterical Method of Conception’ for Women’s Hour. Noel James made the final three in Britain’s Got Talent and has featured on The Stand Up Show and Packing Them In. The line up will include full support, the bar will be open for business and the atmosphere is sure to be relaxed and welcoming.

Later in February we have the first of our two fringe productions We’re Not Going Back by Boff Whalley (perhaps best known for being the former lead guitarist in the band Chumbawamba). Directed by Yvette Huddleston, the play tells the story of sisters Olive, Mary and Isabel who support the local miners by setting up a branch of Women Against Pit Closures. Set in West Yorkshire during the miners’ strike in 1985, this hard-hitting play celebrates the power of community and ordinary people resisting a government intent on destruction. The play will be complemented by live music from musicians Lorna Bird and Mairead O’Donnell. We’re not Going Back will be performed on February 27, 28 and 29 in the Wildman Studio.

There are still a few tickets left for David Harper’s Unexpected Tales on Sunday, January 26. David is well known in television, appearing in Bargain Hunt, Antiques Roadtrip, Flog It and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. The show will feature funny, behind the scenes anecdotes from TV, live auctions, exciting antique finds and stories from celebrity TV appearances.

For more information about these plays and events and to book tickets please visit

Caroline Mutton