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The Play : A Secondary Cause of Death . . . by Peter Gordon

Play to be performed by : The Tethera Valley Players.

( The players from the Three Valleys of Lorton, Loweswater and Buttermere )

Location : Loweswater Village Hall, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 140 210 )

Date and time: Thursday to Saturday, 20th to 22nd November 2008 .


Preparations : During Sept / Oct 08 in Shatton Hall Barn, courtesy of Brian and Margaret Heard.

A comedy "who-done-it" by Peter Gordon.


One of the delights of living in a valley community is that we feel there is much more of a sense of togetherness than when we used to live in the big city.

This togetherness is partly due to having less folk to talk to and having more time to do it ! However, it is not achieved without effort

so when there's a valley event we try and attend and keep in touch with both near and distant neighbours.

Sometimes we have the opportunity to help in a positive way and this past month or two has been a superb example of people coming together and building an event that turns out to be greater than the sum of it's parts . . . such is Amateur Dramatics at the valley level.

Enter stage left, the cast and crew of the Tethera Players . . . .

John searching through the scenery.
Memories of past productions are held in the surface artwork.

A play has been selected and it falls to myself as stage manager, with the help of friends, to get going and make scenery for the production.

In Brian and Margaret's Barn lies the scenery store, a posh name for a spare corner of their outbuildings. There we stored all the timber and stage scenery from previous years and a process of re-cycling it into this year's stage set is about to start.

The woodwork to enlarge the village hall stage for the play . . .
. . . and boxes holding the basic stage lighting.

Upstairs in the barn we gather our thoughts, and lay a cloth over the table tennis table to act as a work bench.

Odd timbers are always handy. The six brown planks taped together are the last time's decorative plate rail.

A door, a door . . . my kingdom for a door !
The chairs will go about here says the director.

After a short time we start to join panels to form the walls.

We found an old painted bookcase which will do nicely . . . just dust off the cobwebs !

Someone found a roll of wood-effect fabric which has made the job of creating a paneled drawing room an awful lot easier.

Give that man a cheer !

The basis of the essential hidden door.
The door now hangs the correct way for the action in the play.

After a few sessions we have the basis of a set so that the players can now rehearse.

Just think . . . all this will have to be taken apart and re-erected in the village hall before the main event can take place.

I think it's called logistics !

- - - o o o - - -

It's Sunday morning and the stage has been dismantled and moved by trailer a few miles up the valley to the hall.

Stage right . . .
. . . stage left

The first job is to extend the existing stage to cover the full width of the hall. It's a jigsaw puzzle in three dimensions.

There's John again, but our expert here was Malcolm from Buttermere !

A late lunchtime and the stage is ready to be carpeted.

Who do we call . . . Ghost busters !

John ( director of the play ) Allan ( expert painter of bookcase ) and Dave ( sound and lighting operator )

The walls are up . . . not now fellahs . . . we have to wait till the play starts before people get bumped off.

Sweep the carpet and place the furniture. The pictures should look fine about there.


A last dab of paint to make everything match

and it's five o'clock and time to go home after a busy and productive day.

- - - o o o - - -

Monday and Peter arrives to fix the lighting. Dave helps fit the blackout curtains along the side of the set.

Backstage we've installed speakers for the sound effects and dim lighting for people to move safely during the play.

We're on time as the technical rehearsal is due at 6.30 pm

- - - o o o - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a screwdriver and a staple gun.

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