Drama group finds a new rehearsal venue

New Elland theatre company, Planet Rabbit Productions, Britannia Buildings, Briggate, Elland. Hannah Levy, Carol Ann Dunne and Fiona Organ.
New Elland theatre company, Planet Rabbit Productions, Britannia Buildings, Briggate, Elland. Hannah Levy, Carol Ann Dunne and Fiona Organ.
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An Elland theatre group is hosting a play writing competition to unearth new talent.

Planet Rabbit Tour Group, based on Briggate in Elland, is presenting this year’s Ovation Theatre awards at the Square Chapel next month.

It is a national competition which invites writers to submit seven minute plays or monologues, which judges and the audience chosing three winners from 12 finalists.

Claire Spratt, who set up Planet Rabbit in 2008, said the awards were a great chance for writers to showcase their talent.

“For writers this is an ideal opportunity to showcase new writing and to meet with writers, actors, directors and judges at the event,” Claire said.

“But it’s also about enjoying in and having a bit of fun with it.”

Planet Rabbit moved to Calderdale in 2010 having been set up by Claire just outside Hull. She then moved to Ripponden to be with her new husband, Mick, before they both moved to Elland in search of more rehearsal space.

“I think Elland is a lovely little town,” said Claire. “It’s got some nice shops and I’m really glad we moved to the area.”

Having worked as a stage manager since the early 1990s, Claire, 38, decided it was time she set up on her own small theatre company.

“I’d always wanted to set up on my own and eventually I bit the bullet and did it,” she said.

Planet Rabbit is giving a matinee performance of an award winning play written by Claire at St Thomas’ Church in Greetland tomorrow.

‘Blitz Bride’ follows the story of ATS girl Ruby who is set to marry Henry, only to get posted abroad.

While stationed away, the responsibility for organising the wedding falls to Ruby’s mother, Peggy, and her heavily pregnant best friend, Nancy, to organise.

“We’re doing the matinee performance because hopefully that will reach an older audience who perhaps don’t want to come out at night,” she said.

“We’ll be serving tea and scones during the performance and we also have a nostalgic sing song at the end, which went down really well on the first tour we did.”

Tickets cost £6 and can be bought on the door, by emailing info@planetrabbit.co.uk or phoning 01422 648069/07986 122300.