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.
5* review. Edinburgh Fringe 2015. Saughtonhall. Edinburgh
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
RAODS. Romsey. Sardines Review. Open Air production at Linden House. May 2015
It had been a lovely day and I was looking forward to going to see an outside production that evening. As I made my way to the grounds of Linden House where RAODS were performing, the beautiful day had turned into a rather cloudy grey day - did I feel a spot of rain? This is typical for me and my outings to outdoor productions, but the rain didn’t come to anything even though it was a tad chillier than the few days preceding. The truth is that it could have poured down with rain or thrown a blizzard my way and I wouldn’t have cared a jot because once the play started, each member of the cast held me captive in the way they brought the script alive, to the point that I felt I was there with them throughout their journey.
This was my introduction to a play that I hadn't heard of before. Cheshire Cats by Gail Young.....
Read the full review at http://www.sardinesmagazine.co.uk/reviews/review.php?reviewsID=1505
"Purr-fect Blend". Tyldesley Little Theatre, 6th – 18th & 20th - 21st March 2015
The topic of cancer may not immediately seem an ideal basis for a comedy, but this engaging play about a group of women “walking the walk” to raise money for breast cancer charities is a lovely blend of funny moments and poignant reminders of the effect this disease can have on the lives of ordinary people.
The play is skilfully directed by Bill Rogers, the pace never slacking throughout, and the five female walkers have good chemistry and provide laughs and lumps in throat with equal measure......delivering the show’s amusing one-liners (and soliloquies) with aplomb...........
Acted on a minimalist set with imaginative use of six blocks (expertly manoeuvred by the stage management team) and suitable sound and lighting effects, this play delivers a powerful message wrapped up in a bundle of fun.
Get yourself down there and support this worthy cause.
(This group raised £1,000 for Christies Hospital. Manchester)