by Bob Larbey
Directed by Lynda Danby
Our Spring 2014 production was “Sand Castles” by Bob Larbey, performed at the Darby & Joan hall from 8th – 10th May. Bob Larbey began his writing career in radio. With his partner John Esmonde he wrote many comedy series for television, including Please Sir, The Fenn Street Gang, Get Some In, The Good Life, The Other One, Feet First, Just Liz, Don’t Rock the Boat, Now and Then and Ever Decreasing Circles. His solo work for television included A Fine Romance, On the Up, My Good Friend, and As Time Goes By. His work for the stage included A Month of Sundays and Building Blocks. Sadly he died only a few weeks before our production.
We all like to be beside the seaside and, as everybody knows, an Englishman’s home is his sand castle. Stan and Bernice Billet and William and Margaret Patterson have been taking their holidays in the same resort for years. They don’t exactly rule the waves but they have turned the area around their beach huts into a cosy little fiefdom. And then along comes Doug, with his nubile nieces who has rented the beach hut next to the ones owned by the Billets and the Pattersons. They don’t give a hoot for beach hut protocol – they just want to have fun in the sun.
The play reflects what was a common occurrence in the 50s and 60s when many families liked to have their holidays in the same place year after year. Familiarity did not diminish their enjoyment and resorts like Scarborough, Whitby and Filey were booming. We last performed “Sandcastles” in 2002 and this gentle comedy proved just as popular 12 years on, playing to packed houses.