Playing Away Q&A

Our next production, Playing Away by Chris Sykes, opens on Tuesday 19 November and runs until Saturday 23 November in the Syngenta Cellar at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. You can buy tickets here –  – or by ringing 01484 430528.

Playing Away is a modern comedy. Elisabeth is a successful estate agent with offices in London and Paris but she leads a double life. Monday to Wednesday the English half, Libby, lives in London with Roger, a perfect English gentleman. Thursday to Sunday she is Lisette, and goes wild in Paris with her lover, Pierre. For Elisabeth life is perfect, but can she keep all the balls in the air when the two men accidentally meet?

We caught up with the play’s director, Helen Kapil:

What attracted you to directing this play?

My initial interest in directing was due to attending a directors workshop for Halifax Thespians. It gave me a completely different outlook on the whole play production process. It made me appreciate exactly what goes on behind the scenes to produce a successful production. It isn’t all about the acting, there is sound, lighting, furniture, props, costumes, staging…so many other factors to consider and it appealed to my love for a challenge.  I was then offered the chance of directing Playing Away as a rehearsed reading. This type of play is used as a way of breaking in a director gradually.  I read the play and was taken with it straight away. Whilst it is very funny, it also has some poignant moments. I considered it a great challenge and one which I relished. I have a wonderful cast who have each brought parts of their own personalities to the characters.

The Cellar at the Lawrence Batley Theatre is an interesting space. How are you using it?

The Cellar space is ideal for this type of play as the play has a small cast and the venue lends itself to a more intimate feel. I always saw this play as unusual and quirky and didn’t want to stage it in the usual format a play would be done. I knew that it would work being set going down the middle of the room as I had done it this way for the rehearsed reading.

What do you think audiences will enjoy most about the production?

What I am hoping audiences will appreciate about this play is the humour and the poignancy. Women will have many different feelings towards the character of Elisabeth but if they are honest will probably envy her at times.  The male characters are completely different to each other but both have endearing qualities which the audience will empathise with.