THE new season at Mansfield’s Palace Theatre is now underway and one of the upcoming highlights is a family production of The Darling Buds of May which opens on 6th September for a four-night run.
Many theatre-goers will remember the TV comedy-drama which was broadcast in the early 1990s starring David Jason and which is based on the stories of H. E. Bates.
The new play is presented by Mansfield-based Far Out Productions and is their 10th anniversary production.
Artistic director Phil Bottomore said there were similarities with the television show.
But he added: “You don’t want to emulate other people’s work - you want to do it on your own.”
It tells the tale of Sidney ‘Pop’ Larkin who, by not paying his tax or National Insurance, has become well-known in the tax office.
When the taxman Charlie Charlesworth is sent round to investigate Pop Larkin’s farm, he gets to meet the big, warm-hearted family.
Phil, who is also a professional actor, set up the company 10 years ago as a way of bringing new talent to the stage.
He says: “As I live in this area, I set up a company to look after new people and encourage them in to it.
“We try to get as many new people as we can every year and this year is no exception.
“We have got quite a few young children in it. There is a lot of talent out there.”
Since it was established a decade ago, the theatre company has gone from just five or six members to around 20 now.
And it is certainly a family affair for Phil, whose wife Pam works on the choreography and daughter Lisa is a director.
Phil added: “I build my sets and paint them in the back garden when the sun is shining.
“It takes a year to do it - there is so much planning. My wife was a dance teacher so she has helped out with the choreography.”
Far Out Productions has performed in Edinburgh, as well as at Nottingham’s Tales of Robin Hood museum.
This is the last show the company will put on at the Palace - but they are looking for other locations.
l The show takes place at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets are £8 for adults, £7 for concessions and £4 for children. For details visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre or call 633133.