Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Youth Theatre to premiere new play

Matthew Humpage, Daniel Mason, Sean Fagan, Luke Geikie.
Matthew Humpage, Daniel Mason, Sean Fagan, Luke Geikie.

“The first five minutes of a human being’s life is dangerous…..the last five minutes are pretty risky too.”

This quote comes from Cradle to Grave, a new play to be premiered by Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Youth Theatre.

Focusing on the National Health Service, the play blends fact and fiction, comedy and pathos.

Elements have been penned by the Pomegranate Playwriting Group and sewn together by scriptwriter Sheila Young.

Carole Copeland, who is directing the play, said: “It is always a joy to work with the youth theatre and the playwriting group. They are very supportive of each other.”

Bizarre queries and cases which tax health professionals make it into the play. They include a storyline about a woman who rang a hospital asking how long she should cook a turkey and when told it wasn’t a medical matter, replied that if she didn’t cook it long enough she would end up in A&E!

In an ironic twist, one of four senior performers in the play has had to pull out because of a broken ankle.

Her role has been filled at short notice by Louise Humpage of Dronfield. Louise, 18, is no stranger to casualty, having broken a wrist while dancing, the other doing jiu-jitsu, as well as cutting her chin and splitting her head in other falls. “I need a season ticket to A&E,” she said.

Louise teams up with Thelma Knowlson of Ripley to play muddled old ladies who find themselves in obstetrics instead of orthopaedics. Thelma, 67, said: “The young people are very confident. That helps me to be a bit more confident.”

Luke Geikie, 13, of Brampton, makes an amusing entrance with a saucepan wedged on his head. He said: “It is hard to keep a straight face when everyone on stage stares at me.

“There is a message at the end of the show....NHS, how could we live without it?”

Cradle to Grave will be staged at Rose Theatre, Chesterfield, July 16-17; Stainsby Festival on July 18 and Hasland Village Hall on July 19.