Mike and Diane Wilson -
Free Spirit Writers
The Bridlington Town Play was a turning point in the lives of two Bridlington people. Diane and I took sizeable roles in the play, although we had never been involved in performance before.
The play was performed in Leisure World, Bridlington, during March and April 1995. Even though that was a long time ago, we both remember with great affection everyone and everything that happened during The Play.
Come Hell or High Water told the story of Bridlington's lifeboat service between 1871 and 1898. It was a time of great turbulence within the seafaring community in the town. The Great Gale of 1871 saw six local lifeboatmen lose their lives. Then in 1893 five men went out in the midst of another great storm to rescue the crew of a sinking ship. This was followed by another lifeboat incident in 1898 during which Kit Brown died.
Those three stories were woven into an intelligent script by Rupert Creed and Richard Hayhow, with set design by Tony Whelan, costumes by Chris Lee and music by John Janssen. The Project Co-ordinator was Averil Coult while the Play Officer was Sara Hawkins.
The players were Bridlington people, many of whom had no experience of the theatre.
During 1994 and early 1995 lines were learned, rehearsals enjoyed or endured and gradually it all came together. Some of us allowed ourselves to be used as promotional material and I was filmed learning my lines in the bath - wearing my bowler.
Dress rehearsal and technical rehearsal discovered much to be done, but opening night was thoroughly enjoyable.
For eleven nights, the cast threw themselves into their parts. They did not 'act,' they 'became.' Lifeboats were 'launched,' sailors were 'rescued,' 'funerals' were held.
As for me, Mike Wilson, I took the role of Kit Brown and it was the most magical experience of my life. I cannot praise highly enough Remould Theatre for giving me that opportunity.
Scenes from Come Hell or High Water.