R E D  S H E D  P L A Y E R S

"It`s a right pantomime".
. . . OH NO IT ISN`T !

Two dwarves. 
One of them is not Happy !

Corbyn Hood
Corbyn Hood
Corbyn Hood Interview
Corbyn Hood Posh folk
Corbyn Hood Cllr
Corbyn Hood Rappers
Corbyn Hood Ensemble

The Red Shed Players are our resident, semi-regular, anarcho-syndicalist amateur dramatic group who entertain the masses with a quirky blend of agitprop, biting satire, surreal imagery, existentialist philosophy, Brechtian direction, Marxist-Leninist politics and a few carefully hidden jokes
(who writes this stuff ? is it whoever writes the crap scripts ??)
In 1992, with the Tory government`s pit closure programme ripping the heart out of many towns like Wakefield, the only possible course of action to counter the devastation being inflicted on our communities was to set up a group to perform a pantomime about it.  The first production was "Snow White and the Seven Pit Closures", featuring (amongst other things) a dissolute King who, on the advice of a talking tree, did the "Westgate Run" (Wakefield`s most famous pub crawl) in a search for romance.  He got hitched up with the Wicked Queen, who was busy shutting down the pit run by 7 dwarves (of all shapes & sizes).  Then of course there was Snow White who led the opposition to this  pit closure.  It also featured a walk-on part for Wakefield`s then MP David Hinchliffe.  Any resemblance to a certain well-known story was accidental.  First performed at Wakefield Labour Party`s Christmas social, it nearly caused a riot, and set the tone for a series of productions (all bearing at least as much resemblance to the popular tales of the same name as did the original) over the following years, including :
"Jack and the Beanstalk" - in which a very strange man sold Jack some magic beans (or maybe they were magic mushrooms) in exchange for Daisy the faithful cow.
"Cinderella" - who, with the help of her Blairy Godmother, rode off to the ball in a wheelie bin fit for a princess.
"Aladdin" - a NEW version of the old story to mark the arrival of NEW Labour, NEW Britain.
"Dick Whittington" - in which Dick, together with his faithful cat, set off from old London town to seek his destiny and become Mayor of Wakefield.
"A Christmas Carol" - in which Ebenezer Scrooge, having seen the error of his ways, made the long-suffering Bob Cratchit a STAKEHOLDER in his business.
The Players also branched out into revues of a slightly more seriously political nature for other events, mainly mayday celebrations.
As the group`s fame spread throughout the land, it shared a stage with other leading performers, including stand-up comedian Mark Thomas (who has a long association with the Red Shed) and attracted attention from the Guardian`s arts critic, who was obviously not in tune with the group`s quirky etc. (see above) style  and gave the show a one-star rating (do we give a **** ?)
There was a lull in the group`s activity for a few years, and then in 2008 the "credit crunch" set off a collapse of the banking system. This, combined with the election (sic.) of the Con-Dem coalition government meant desperate times for all of us.  Desperate measures were needed to combat this . . . . the Red Shed Players were reactivated !
First production of the new era was a revival of "A Christmas Carol" - in which Scrooge, aided and abetted by his banker friends Mr. Clegg and Mr. Cameron (or was it Cameron & Clegg ? we couldn`t tell the difference) made the still long-suffering Bob Cratchit part of the BIG SOCIETY.
Our 2015 production was a revival (rehashed, including at least 2 lines from the original production) of "Snow White and the Seven Pit Closures" to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1984-85 miners` strike.  This time it was spiced up with the addition of a short old-fashioned mummers play - but without a dragon or a Turkish knight in sight - there were much more dangerous beasts to be slain here : the Tory knight and the UKIP knight !  This production was performed at the Red Shed, then on tour at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, then as part of the "Banners held high" event at Unity Works, Wakefield.
Last year`s production was "Corbyn Hood", based on the legend of Robin Hood.
Can`t think why we never did that before because, as everyone knows, the real Robin Hood came from Wakefield.
. . . OH YES HE DID !
Set sometime between the 12th and 21st centuries, somewhere between Wakefield, the studios of the BBC, Carnforth railway station  and the Tory Party conference in Manchester (Confused ? You will be !) it featured Jeremy Corbyn cast in the role of our hero, together with various oppressed peasant types and some Tory politicians to shout "Boo" at.  It also included an episode of our own long-running TV soap opera "Wood Street" *

The Players performed something suitably wacky for the club`s 50th anniversary in September this year, and are now working on the Red Shed TV Xmas Special . . . . Fun for all the family, including some repeats from our previous show (well you`ve got to have repeats on a TV channel haven`t you ?) and some new stuff, including our version of "Little Red Shed Riding Hood"
Taking a leaf out of the Labour party`s book in the Jeremy Corbyn era, we are looking to expand the membership of the troupe (maybe not to quite as much as half a million).  Feel free to get in touch if you`re interested in joining us.
"Red Shed TV Xmas special" Performances :

Sat. 7th January 2017  at the Red Shed, Wakefield
Sun. 8th January
2017  at the Red Shed, Wakefield
TBA.                   at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
TBA.                   at the Red & Green Club, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield
TBA.                   at the Labour Club, Glossop

An everyday story of council folk (as shown on Red Shed Television)
The story so far . . . . 
(for those who missed previous episodes and the omnibus edition)

1996 : A firebrand leftwinger gets elected as councillor. He wants to change the world.
1997 : He gets appointed to a sub-committee looking into wheelie bins.
1999 : Promoted to committee chair, he starts to enjoy life at the Town Hall.
2001 : He seems to have forgotten why he was elected.  His wife argues with him.
2012 : He has risen to be leader of the council.  His wife threatens to leave him.
2015 : As an elder statesman of the council, a knighthood beckons - or does it ?

Any resemblance to any politician (living, dead or undead) is coincidental.
Sort of.

* F.Y.I. if you`re not from Wakefield - Wood Street is where you will find the Town Hall.

I aspire to being a wooden actor" : The pantomime tree

This page updated : 29th October 2016


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