Boeing Boeing to take off?

The 16th January saw a request for 8 copies of Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti at a cost of £4.25. The planned first rehearsal was for “Tuesday of next week”. And so the wheels were in motion. A busy contribution to Church life in the run up to Christmas and now copies of their first chosen full length play were on their way. A date was set for the production, that being 6th to the 10th March 1974.

The Players received outside request to provide “some dramatic entertainment at a coffee evening” for November 1974 for St john’s Church, Wombwell. The entertainment was requested to be about an hour without the Players were not expected “to go to any great inconvenience”. It was decided to decline the request but perhaps a seed was sown for the development of a later and exciting chapter in the life of Trinity Players. Out of house requests were only an addition to the in house requests. A contribution to Easter celebrations in April 1974 was declined due to the Players’s commitment to producing their first full length play.

But the play seems to have run into problems. Casting difficulties and membership commitment to the play made the answer a no to the church, especially as many members would be away at Easter. This letter of reply indicated that Boeing Boeing had been postponed from March to 15th to 18th May.

A letter, from Margaret reads quite disappointedly from the Players point of view. The play was now not on the cards. The Players threw themselves into the church activities offering to take part in services on the 5th May performing “Suffer Little Children”. The piece was virtually written by the Players. There was another offer of performing to support Missionary Sunday (?). The lack of a play but desperately wanting to perform and keep interest alive within and without the Players performed a reading of “My Flesh, My Blood” by Bill Naughton. The play had been performed by Farrar Street Players in 1965 and the audience “were given a good evening’s entertainment.” (programme available).

At the AGM of 1974, there were 17 members in attendance and in the conclusion to her report to the AGM, Margaret Midgley acknowledges that the Players have made their mark and achieved the aim of contributing to the “total witness of the Church and make a real contribution to worship”. But she ends by saying that the Society is ”doomed to failure” if the objective to do plays is not made.
The dates for an autumn production had already been applied for and the Players accepted the new dates of October 2nd to 5th, 1974. “Let us hope for more success in 1974-75” wrote Margaret at the end of her AGM report.

The Players began the year with a balance of £60.81. The year’s activities saw subscriptions add £3 with the wine evening adding a further £2.57. The play readings brought in a further income of £5.73. The major expenditure was £10 listed as Gift Effort.

In June 1974, the Players received at their request a copy of an extract from the Report to the Church Meeting. It expressed gratitude for the Players’ participation within the worship structure of the Church year and its special occasions….”when they are able.” It continued.” I can understand…and also accept that they have high standards…and only produce the best…and I would plead for a policy where the young and interested but not so perfect have at least a back door…and that some productions are arranged less for the leading artist….and more for the enthusiast…who one day…may be great.” (The ellipses are in the Trinity typed copy).

It is after this that the dates in October became unavailable. Something seems to have spiked the wheel of progress however. No play was produced. The dates were no longer available. The Players could only offer a reading performance of Boeing Boeing on 15th October. Although the audience was small in number, they were greatly appreciative of the high standard of production.