In their 2014 show “Oil Tek the High Road” Austwick Community Players have delivered another resounding success. It brought together the highly topical subject of the Scottish Independence Referendum and the discovery of oil in the Craven Fault with great comic effect.
An administrative error in the Scottish Referendum preparations saw the local
postcode of LA2 confused with Loch Angus LA20. A delegation from the Scottish Parliament arrived to persuade the locals of the benefits of voting Yes and becoming Scottish. This coincided with the discovery of oil at the site of the annual Feizor Rocks Festival. The Festival organisers – a Texan concert promoter and his Arab financial backer – then vied with the Scots to gain the oil exploration rights. The canny locals steered the development proposals to the benefit of the village. Their hopes were dashed when it was discovered there was no oil, just seepage from a farm’s oil tank. However, having endeared themselves to the foreigners with their warm-hearted Yorkshire charm, their wish-list was still fulfilled while the postcode anomaly was declared null and void by the Edinburgh High Court.
The audiences of the three nights commented that the production was “dazzling”, “superb”, and “clever”, with “snappy dialogue, humour and first class singing”. This year the Players produced new backdrops of Austwick and Feizor which added another dimension to their endeavour; these were described as “beautiful” and “brilliant”. The fun-filled script gave everyone a chance to shine and revealed some real talent. The costumes were colourful and authentic and the set simple yet very effective, enhanced by the colourful new backdrops.
In a tradition going back some 40 years, the play is written, produced and performed by people from Austwick and Lawkland parishes. The show is put on for the public for two nights in aid an the parishes’ annual Over 65s evening and draws in an audience from the North Craven area and beyond.
The Players can be guaranteed to deliver great fun to a high standard, but this year’s show confirms what several of the audience have remarked, that they go from strength to strength with talent and professionalism. A great achievement for a small community theatre.