100 Not Out for Little Theatre Company

Little Theatre Company, Burton

Ross Lowe | Thursday, May 21, 2015

100 Not Out for Little Theatre Company written by Ross Lowe for Downstage Centre, published on Thursday, May 21, 2015A shot from LTC's 1991 production of 'Fur Coat & No Knickers', their first production at The Brewhouse.

Burton's Little Theatre Company stand on the verge of a hugely impressive milestone as they prepare for Fur Coat & No Knickers - their 100th production!


It's all the more impressive when you consider that the company has only been in existence since 1984 - a mere 31 years. The fact that Fur Coat & No Knickers will be the show to mark this impressive achievement is rather apt too, as it was the first production the group ever staged at their current venue, the Brewhouse Arts Centre in Burton, back in March 1991.


Back in the beginning, The Little Theatre Company began life as the students' repertory group in the former Burton School of Speech and Drama, in the town's Guild Street. The Little Theatre lived up to its name and was very small and quite dark - but it had a unique characterWhen the school closed in 1984 - and its courses transferred to Burton College - the Little Theatre Players went it alone and formed an independent company, now known as Little Theatre Company.


Between 1984 and March 1991 it was still able to use the old Little Theatre venue on Guild Street that had been part of the school of speech and drama. Company secretary Elaine Pritchard said: "The Little Theatre lived up to its name and was very small and quite dark - but it had a unique character which many Burtonians will remember fondly. It had been converted from an old school hall into a theatre in the 1940s."


Up the Road

By 1991 the purpose-built Brewhouse Arts Centre had been created from an old brewery maltings and the company was delighted to move the few hundred yards up the road. Burton people turned out in force to support the company in its first production there, Fur Coat and No Knickers, which was a sell-out.


Fur Coat & No Knickers Burton Brewhouse Little Theatre CompanyElaine said: "We're hoping people from Burton and Derby - and maybe further afield - will help us celebrate our 100th production when we revive this comedy between Tuesday June 23 and Saturday June 27."


Fur Coat and No Knickers is set in a Lancashire town in the 1970s and tell the story of the Ollerenshawe family wedding. Daughter Deidre is marrying into the upwardly mobile Greenhalgh clan.


Elaine said: "It's very much a character-driven comedy, and in that way it reminds me of the TV show Gavin and Stacey. We see stag night high jinks, the wedding and the reception. The bride's father is a patriotic but politically incorrect (to put it mildly) 70s man. One of Deidre's brothers is a pot-smoking, communist sympathiser who intends to expose corruption wherever he finds it - even if it's in the heart of the Greenhalgh family. Then there's Deidre's outspoken delinquent grandfather, who has a remarkable tolerance to alcohol and the Catholic priest, due to conduct the ceremony, who definitely does not.


"Added to this you have a 'Hooray Henry' best man and the bridegroom's mother - who may not be the fine upstanding member of the community that she likes to portray."


Curtain up is at 7.30pm each night, and there is also a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets are £9 for adults and £8 concessions, available Tuesday to Thursday only. All matinee tickets are £8. Tickets can be bought in person from the Brewhouse box office, by telephoning 01283-508100 or online (no booking fee) from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/littletheatreco.


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