Rooted in something real, tangible and local, the production achieves something intangible and universal. This is not just what local theatre should be all about, it is what all theatre should be all about.
Read the full review at
Tavonians Theatre Company. Toured Devon and Cornwall Oct/Nov 2017
Audience reactions to the show included:
“A great evening with some great ladies and A MAN!”
“Absolutely fantastic show”
“I didn't set record on any TV poop but headed out to Sterts - we did indeed laugh, and cry! Fantastic one and all!”
“Saw this last night at Tavistock Town Hall. Really good. Very funny and poignant. Mascara alert!”
"We saw it tonight at Sterts. It was a truly uplifting story, emotional and heartfelt. With some great laughs and a few tears. Well done and all the best for the final dates of your tour. The bras were amazing by the way!"
Polegate Drama Group.November 2017.
Eastbourne Herald. 'Humour and sensitivity perfectly achieved'
Since October has been Breast Cancer Awareness month, Gail Young’s comedy Cheshire Cats was an apt choice by Polegate Drama Group for their Autumn production, with a donation from ticket sales going to the charity.
At the centre of the play are five women, all taking part in the London Moonwalk, and as the story unfolds we learn about the personal motives which inspire them. In monologues, all delivered with both comedy and pathos, each establishes her personality and her aspirations........The key to the action is not simply their characters, but the interaction between them. .....up to the final, poignant soliloquy - to focus us all on the purpose of the play. ........
There are some lovely little cameo parts, the most notable being Madge and Ethel, two comical race stewards.....and an unseen station announcer with whom we can all identify, where the important part of each announcement becomes an unidentifiable muffled noise. This is a play that requires pace as well as sensitivity, and Director Cris Haniver effectively maintains both elements, and the balance between them.
See the full review in the Eastbourne Herald
Sharnbrook Mill Theatre, September 2017. NODA review
Gail Young’s Cheshire Cats has the distinction of being exclusively ‘amdram’ in its origins, being first brought to the attention of the wider public when performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006 by The Guilden Sutton Players. Even since its publication by Samuel French in 2011 it has remained so, which surprises me somewhat because this is an excellent piece of writing full of great diverse characters, some extremely funny moments and plenty of pathos, perfect one would have thought for touring rep companies…....
......Nicole Macdonald’s direction was pretty much faultless with excellent pace and some neat tricks to the action, great use of all the exits and entrances and a memorable walkdown at the end of the play. But best of all her casting was spot on especially with her six main characters, all of whom demonstrated top draw acting, not a weak link between them. All five of the female leads also nailed the Cheshire accents so well my other half, herself from the North West, stated she felt quite at home..... a thoroughly entertaining piece from a very experienced cast who had clearly put in the hard work on the subtleties and nuances of the complex script.
See the excellent and full review at : http://www.sharnbrookmilltheatre.co.uk/noda-review-of-cheshire-cats/
Keevil Drama Group and Walk the Walk - their story
When Keevil drama group performed Cheshire Cats their whole village was touched and inspired. And so some of the village decided that they wanted to do the moonwalk for real, as a team, and the Keevil Katz were born.
This was their tribute to the support and friendship of those who surround them, and the never forgotten memories of the ones they have loved and lost.
And they raised the magnificent total of £5,195 for Walk the Walk.
Well done folks. Group hugs from Chester to one and all xxxxx
Weymouth Drama Club. June 2017. Dorset Echo.
Gail Young’s comedy is full of sincerity, imagination and sympathy as it tells a story that deals with a subject that could have been awkward to portray but which instead is full of honesty and humour.
Six Cheshire women get together to attempt a half-marathon charity walk to raise money for people affected by breast cancer and we slowly learn about their individual lives and the motives that impel them to take part in the London Moon Walk......
As the plot develops, a multitude of scenes come and go including the half marathon itself, all of them imaginatively captured on a large screen at the back of the stage, enlivened by Andrew Neve’s direction who maintains a good steady pace throughout.........
The cast of six make a very convincing job of their north country accents in a comedy that is both witty and poignant in equal measure.
Little Theatre Donnington. May 2017
"Have been to see this tonight. Had me laughing throughout whilst being very poignant. If you're not busy Friday or Saturday evening then go along, much more fun than anything you'll find on the telly”,
“Absolutely brilliant. Funny and moving, loved it”,
“It was fabulous!!! Very very funny and moving”
"Tears of joy and sadness. A great little show...."
"Brilliant play. Had me laughing and crying throughout.."
This show also raised considerable funds for for The Princess Royal Breast Cancer Research Fund
Didcot Phoenix Drama Group, Oxfordshire, May 2017
This spring production coincided with the London Moonwalk........rather than actually do the walking bit this group staged 'Cheshire Cats' instead and added in a few comedy sketches by the late great Victoria Wood (herself a victim of cancer and who walked various moonwalks too in support of the cause), plus a few musical interludes - with all profits going to Cancer Research.....
Everton Village Players. Doncaster, Yorkshire, Feb 2017
Worksop Guardian Review
Everton Village Players have their audience grinning like Cheshire Cats with their latest production. It would be a play like no other we were told as we arrived.....and the capacity audience was treated to an evening of comedy and talented acting, expertly directed by David Larder...
The strength of the comic acting encouraged the audience to join in as the Players sympathetically enhanced the comical atmosphere of the script. The five women in the team were individually and collectively very funny and each had a well acted soliloquy including Maggie’s final poignant piece .......they captured the spirit of the Moon Walk, from the camaraderie of everyone wearing bras at a huge single focus event to the prosaic problems with chafing and the queues for the loos! Ethel and Madge were a delightful comedy duo along the route ......the added comedy of a young man in the Cheshire Cats team gave Yvonne the opportunity to express her feelings wonderfully.
Read the full review in : the Worksop Guardian
Chinnor Players. Oxfordshire, Oct 2016
The Chinnor Players production of Cheshire Cats, directed by Rose Weakley, drew in sizeable audiences on each of the three nights it was performed and captured both the humorous and serious elements of this play well.........
The play combined comedy and poignancy, laughter and tears.......alongside the teamwork, humour, bickering and romance, the characters also let the audience glimpse their inner thoughts, turmoil and struggles as they delivered their individual monologues; the final monologue of the play, delivered by Maggie, moving many within the audience to tears........
Overall an entertaining, funny, and moving play. Well done to all involved!
'You know, folk are just amazing
When they decide to give,
At one time and all together
To help someone to live'
And give they did - raising £832 for Walk the Walk. Brilliant!
St Josephs Players. Leigh, BATS Review - Paul Cohen. Sept 2016
When thinking of fundraising ideas to raise money for Cancer awareness many ideas come to mind but by writing a play about a group of women running a race for life, author Gail Young has come up with a gem.
St Joseph’s Players took on this task with aplomb as they provided comedy, pathos and a really good night’s entertainment. Pauline Nevell has directed a real cracker here and with such a talented cast this production has hit all the right notes.............
At some point in the play each character gave a monologue or a song, telling their story and this touch made the significance of the play more apparent. This was done very well. .......All in all, this production left the audience wanting more which is a good sign that you have done a good job, and in this case St Josephs, in the capable hands of Pauline Nevell can add this production to their list of successes.
Tideswell Community Theatre. Peak District, July 2016
Their raffle during the run of 'Cheshire Cats' raised over £120 for Breast Cancer Now. And Suzanne Elvidge, who was Maggie in the play, was inspired to raise money for the charity too. Originally intending to enter a sponsored walk, an injury and a rethink led to a 5 mile sponsored swim instead! She raised £460. Brilliant work Suzanne!
Lichfield Players. Garrick Theatre, Staffs, July 2016
The latest Lichfield Players’ production has that rarest of all qualities, charm, and not only that, it has it in absolute bucketfuls.
Ostensibly the simple tale of a group of ordinary women who get together to raise money for charity, Gail Young’s comedy 'Cheshire Cats' becomes something much more than that, a glimpse into some very recognisable human nature in a play for which the term heart-warming could have been invented.
I’m not going to reveal even its story-line because I don’t want to spoil any of the play’s many clever surprises, but I will allow myself to compliment the actors whose ensemble work here couldn’t be bettered under the able direction of Sarah Stanley, no mean actress herself......
Cast and Crew Theatre Workshop - Canvey Island. March 2016
Winner of the 2016 NODA East Regional Award for Best Drama !!!
......... I laughed and I cried: the characterisation was incredible, and the story powerful because of its humour and its poignant moments. The writer certainly got the pathos right. And hats off to the performance by the local group, some incredible acting in there.
This story has all the key ingredients that can touch us and change us. This is my aim as I write, I’m sure yours too: to change the way we see ourselves and see life. The idea of capturing human spirit by allowing humour to brush up alongside the saddest and deepest of moments is what has connected us to the great stories and the great plays for centuries. This play is as powerful for taking moments in these women’s lives and allowing us to see them as people; real people. I think we can all find a piece of ourselves in all of these characters.
The play has been touring for a while and all productions raise money for cancer charities which I think is commendable.
If you get the chance to see this or to read this play, you will not be disappointed; it’s everything that is British, that is human and it will touch you… and apt to tell you about on this International Women’s Day. Celebrate life; celebrate the power of the unbreakable human spirit.
Thanks Gail Young and thanks to all those at Cast and Crew for a great Mother’s Day treat: fantastic job everyone! Story telling at its finest.