The Warburton Souling Play - Performances 2016
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Where to find us in 2016
The Saracen's Head logo An interpretation, from our perspective, of how each evening was received.

On this page is where you'll find a few notes and comments, from our perspective, about how the performances in 2016 were received once we get going this year.

First Night - 1st November

The first night was one of very mixed audiences. Starting as we do at the Saracen's Head we had more people watching on Facebook courtesy of the barmaid who was videoing the performance. She also helped us recreate a group photo from 2003 that you'll find in the Gallery. From here it was to the Black Swan on the other side of the Manchester ship canal where the pub was filling up nicely ready for 'Bingo Night'. Really appreciative as you can imagine with such an audience. Back over the canal to Broomedge for an arranged slot in the interval of the Quiz Night there. Whilst we were five minutes late so the Quiz was also running five minutes late so no sooner as we were gathered outside than we were prompted from within to start. Again an appreciative audience. Finally to the Vine, a regular for the first nights ever since we revived the play. As expected it was performed to the usual regulars at the bar. Nevertheless a 'homely' performance ensued to bring an end to the evening.

Second Night - 4th November

So onto our second night. After gathering in the Saracen's Head we headed for the Barn Owl next the Bridgewater Canal at Agden Wharf. It's always a nice homely performance here, a few people at the bar and a few eating in various places. A good start as we were an almost completely different set of players for the evening. From here the Broomedge to the Wheatsheaf, just down the road from the Jolly Thresher where we plays on Tuesday. Again quietish, but well received, especially by one large table of women who had been there for a meal. To the other side of Lymm next, to the Star in Statham. This is a community pub and for us unfortunately not many is as the awful weather had deterred people from going out, probably a factor in all the pubs for the evening. Nevertheless a very appreciative audience and we were even bought a drink by one gentlman at the bar - a big thank you from us.

Into Lymm itself now. The Saddler's arms being first and the usual receptive crowd in there, except perhaps for one group at the bar who seemed intend to talking as loud as possible. Over the road then to the Brewery Tap. Always a bit difficult this one as there are two rooms so we just play to the front room but in the doorway to the back room. The Turkish Champion 'died' a bit too far into the back room so the Doctors bit was difficult for the front room to see. The visit was made even better by the manager buying us all a drink. Thank You. The last one for the night was The Bull and the usual pleasant performance to finish off there.

So two days down, four to go. Off to Knutsford for the next evening.

Third Night - 5th November

A much better evening than last night weather wise, and a prospect of a good evening in front of us, although that was to be subdued a bit by one pub later in the evening.

We started at the Freemasons, that has reopened as the Freemasons again after being called something else and then being closed for a bit. A bit empty when we arrived but soon started to fill up as people started to come into Knutsford presumably as as local bonfire events were concluded. It was a good start to the evening. Next to the Cross Keys. We arrived just as one group in the pub was starting to get rowdy, before eventually being ejected during the performance. A bit noisy at times buy still a good performance with lots of interest.

From here to a few doors down the road and the Rose and Crown. Well it started very well and we got into the Doctors cure before the Manager came in and duly stopped us!! This regardless of us asking beforehand and giving them posters and details etc. It seems we were the victims of an internal communication failing as the manager knew nothing of us being due there that evening! So we unfortunately had to terminate the play to much booing from the audience directed towards the manager and staff. A Security guy did come after us down the road to apologise, he was in the unenviable position of having to stop us, but also knew we go and perform there every year. The other down side of course being the loss of a collection which will impact the final total we will be able to give to our charity this year.

Well, rather disheartened after that we headed for the Tap and bottle, proceeded by all the people who had come to see us at the Rose and Crown, and so started there a bit earlier than planned. Next to the White Bear and an excellent reception there, and we heard that our situation at the Rose and Crown was starting to get around with people not believing that it could happen. Once we'd finished the performance we did a quick reci to the Lord Eldon as we were supposed to be performing in an interval as they had a band on that night. After he arrived back it was reported that there was no band on, and that the place was heaving and we were eagerly awaited. So after a beer off we went and indeed it was full, probably a bit too full and noisy, but still a very good end to the night.

Well, we're halfway through now, and a brief rest before we continue on the Thursday and into the weekend. Still plenty of opportunity to see us.

Fourth Night - 10th November

Starting off on the second half of the season we began at a new pub to us, the Bridge Inn in Sale. It had a central bar layout but still gave plenty of room to perform here so that everyone could see. A really good start to the night. From here to a regular over the years, The Old Plough in Ashton Village. Perhaps not the best there this time as it can be difficult for everyone to see, but still reasonably good in the end.

A bit of a journey now to Urmston and the first there, The Prairie Schooner where we did the play in the back room where most people were situated. From here to another regular of recent years the Steamhouse in the old station. As usual very well received with a good crowd there for the Open Mic Evening. They get us as well.

Last one now and again a regular The Church Inn in Flixton. One again performing at the end of the quiz and as always to a full pub. An excellent end to the evening.

Fifth Night - 11th November

Our now regular tour for the last Friday is around Hale, Altrincham & Timperley, however we start quite early at the Greyhound in Ashley where there's always a friendly early evening crowd there and yet again it turned out to be a well received performance. From here and into Hale where we'd arranged to perform at the Railway. On this occasion however, there was a football match showing on at least three screens in the pub. Discretion being the better part of valour here and we did a quick check and performed just along the road at the Midland. Another new venue, or at least one we've not performed in for perhaps 15-20 years! And it was very well received and was a very satisfying, and possibly better, alternative than planned.

Into Altrincham now and three entirely different venues. First the Market Tavern, a lively large pub where the band for the evening were just getting set up and we perform just before the sound check. Then to somewhere quieter, the Malt Shovels where it is,and indeed was, always well received. The third was Costello's, the brewery outlet for Dunham Brewery. Perhaps not as many is as we've known but still excellent.

Last to the Quarry Bank in Timperley, where it an be difficult with noise as it's a very spread out pub and not everyone can always know what's going on so carry on talking, and it was a little that way this evening as well.

So that just leaves the on day left.

Third Night - 5th November

And so our last day begins at the Warburton Autumn Fair where we perform in the church where the fair is held. It's always a pleasure to do this one as it brings the play back into the community. It was by all accounts of those watching an excellent performance this year.

After a relaxing session and some food in the Saracen's Head we first go to the Black Swan in Rixton, the only other pub, apart from the Saracen's Head we do twice. There's a good early evening crowd in there and it makes for an excellent performance. We then go into Little Bollington and the Swan with Two Nicks. The pub has a front area and a rear restaurant, and we'd normally do the front as we did this time, however there's always  the opportunity to go to the rear if it' quiet at the front. With the front it makes for a nice homely feel to the play. Round to Dunham now and two pubs there, the Rope and Anchor and the Axe and Cleaver. Both have plenty of diners in but with quite a bit of room to play in without disturbing them. Both of these were again very well received.

Two more before the end and the first of those is the Spread Eagle in Lymm where the Landlord always makes us very welcome. Perhaps a bit quieter than usual but still very good. Into Heatley next and the Green Dragon and again perhaps a bit quieter but a very lively performance.

To the last performance for the year at the Saracen's Head. There was an evening of music and Song organised by Lymm Folk Club before we get there so the pub is well full by the time we arrive and where it's always a splendid finishing performance. After that, and after more music it eventually became time to go home and wait for it all to happen again next year! 

This page updated: 15th November 2016.