Eh up – its Peggy !!!


Here’s a bit from our Peggy – played by our Kerry who was last seen wrestling a snake in park !

‘When I auditioned for Hi De Hi I didn’t have a particular part in mind, thinking the only parts I’d look right for were the yellow coats. So when I was asked to play Peggy I was completely shocked and over the moon. She is a fantastic character, full of energy and determination. I’m really excited to get my hands on the gutsy, eccentric, persistent dreamer that is Peggy Ollerenshaw but the main draw for Hi De Hi was the chance to have fun with the great friends I have at Water Lane.’

Hi de Hi is on at the Rhodes Arts Complex 19th -21st April

Tickets here Here!







‘Dad’s Army’ run by women

This article was recently published on the NODA website


Uniform 5da

In February 2017 Water Lane Theatre Company performed Dad’s Army at the Rhodes Arts Centre in Bishops Stortford. The production was unusual in the fact that the characters in the platoon were played by the ladies of the society.

The following article was supplied by Joanna Heath who played Captain Mainwaring.

“When I watched Dad’s Army as a child my mother would point to Captain Mainwaring as he marched across the field at the end and say “my Uncle Cyril was Captain of the Home Guard in Clowne, he marched just like that, with the same swagger!” When I was cast in the unlikely role of Captain Mainwaring I obviously thought of my Uncle Cyril but as Clowne is in North Derbyshire and about as far from the sea as you can get, I thought all connections and similarities with Dad’s Army ended there, how wrong I was.

Seeing some publicity about the play I was contacted by Cyril’s Granddaughter Julia who had an amazing tale.

Many years ago, her mother Avis had noticed an advertisement in a national newspaper asking for people to come forward to write about their wartime experiences especially in the Home Guard. Avis duly responded with some of her memories of her father and wartime in Clowne. Months later she received a letter from David Croft and Jimmy Perry asking if they could meet to discuss things further.  Eventually the pair came to see my Avis and her mother Clarice and a lovely relationship ensued resulting in them being invited to one of the live shows.

Uncle Cyril wasn’t a bank manager, but he was what Mainwaring would describe as a public figure. He was a JP and head of the coal board and just like Mainwaring, everything had to be right.

One night the Home Guard were asked to sound the church bells when the Luftwaffe came over. It was a Mr Newton’s turn to go on watch in the tower and he fell asleep. It was the night Sheffield got bombed and he was nicknamed Nodder Newton after that. This was used in one episode with Godfrey falling asleep with his flask of tea on top of the church tower. One of Nodder Newton’s daughters was my mother’s dancing teacher and another daughter was my Aunt’s best friend, so we knew “Godfrey” quite well.

The Pike character was based on Jimmy Perry, but the scarf wearing was based on my mother’s old friend Cedric whose mother would never let him go out without his scarf. To be fair he didn’t have croup, but only one functioning lung as a result of TB.  He was sickly as a youth but lived on to his mid ‘80s, so perhaps this “Mrs Pike” was right all along.

The Walker character is attributed to a teacher who lodged with my grandmother when an entire school was evacuated from Lowestoft to Clowne. His name was Bert Watson and he was Sergeant in the Home Guard. He tried to kiss both Clarice and my Grandmother unawares on a couple of occasions, only to be hit on the head with a variety of kitchen implements – you couldn’t make it up.

The Home Guard were also in charge of dealing with the Italian POW camp situated on the outskirts of Clowne. One night the Italians escaped and the Home Guard rounded them up and some got taken prisoners at the chapel. This adventure was converted by Perry and Croft into the Deadly Attachment, the episode with the German prisoners.

Cyril converted the pantry into an ammunition store (with primed grenades) and the front room became an office and was full of uniforms guns etc. I remember it from the 70s, minus the guns it was very much like Mainwaring’s office even then, large wooden desk and big black dial telephone.

Mainwaring may have been “a jolly person at heart” but Cyril was jolly in person, he used to tell me funny stories and sing me old time music hall songs, his home was full of laughter. I am very pleased to be related to this Captain Mainwaring.”

You can see the article on NODA here

Hi de Hi campers – its Gladys here

Here’s a few words from our own Lisa on why she relishing her outing as Gladys!!!

I am delighted to have been cast as Gladys Pugh, “the vamp from the Valleys”!

I’m excited about this because her character is multi-faceted. She comes across as being quite tough but has a vulnerable side too, particularly when it comes to Jeffrey Fairbrother. She keeps the yellow coats in line, especially Sylvia. And finally, when all’s said and done, I’m always attracted to an accent too.

Hi de Hi is on at the Rhodes Arts Complex 19th -21st April

Tickets here Here!



Hi De Hi Campers !!

Words of wisdom from our  brand new Director Doug Sheppard on our next production of Hi De Hi IMG_0025‘Hi de Hi!!’

Doug can’t hear you ….

‘Hi de Hi !!!’

Just some words regarding the up and coming production of Hi De Hi in April. It was originally a bit of a battle to decide between four plays, Noises Off, The Vicar of Dibley, Confusions and Hi De Hi. I was originally drawn towards Noises Off  but the complexity of the set made it both technically difficult and potentially very expensive to produce the set.  The Vicar of Dibley although in the mix was not a favourite of mine. I never really liked the television series and in fact rarely watched it. In addition I was aware that it was being played fairly regularly by other companies and I didn’t want to add to that tally. Alan Ayckbourn is a favourite of mine and having played in the Confusions play lets it was of interest, however, it was not necessarily as potentially commercially attractive as much as Hi De Hi.

Two factors finally steered me towards Hi De Hi. The first was my daughter who had been a part of the production of the play in her theatre in Chester and secondly when we had our reading of the play. It came off of the page you might say.

I am now really happy as I now have a wonderful cast who I know will make the play come alive and also a fantastic team around me in John, Carys, Granville, Will  and Richard who always do wonders with the unseen preparation for a play and the behind the scenes work needed to make the acting space a home for the actors to express themselves.

Come and see it everyone. 19th to 21st April 2018.

Hi De Hi and Ho De Ho.

Doug Sheppard



NODA Nominations !!

We are  delighted to announce that Water Lane has been nominated in two categories in this year’s Noda awards.

  Best Drama:   Love’s Labour’s Lost

  Best Technical:   Wyrd Sisters

Needless to say we are delighted !

Congrats to all involved and good luck for the ceremony on 13th May