A ‘fete-full’ day for dysfunctional family in The Creakes

The cast
The cast

The Creakes Drama Group’s summer production, The Village Fete, by Peter Tinniswood, brings to the stage at North Creake village hall the tale of a dysfunctional family and a handyman of diverse talents in a light-hearted play with many unexpected twists and turns.

It runs for three nights from yesterday until Saturday, at 7.30pm.

Tinniswood, who died in 2003, has a long list of writing credits to his name. At the beginning of his career he wrote for TV’s That Was The Week That Was, The Frost Report and the Dick Emery Show.

His output of novels and radio and television plays was prodigious and one obituary said he was the most consistently imaginative and droll dramatist in radio history.

The Village Fete is the story of the Empson family whose straight-laced sister, Nancy (Evette Price), holds the family together, her father who has the beginnings of dementia (Richard Tree), a brother, William (Phil Lance), who writes obscure books about rural railways, and her sister, textile-designer Rosie (Sally White).

Tim Adams with assistant, Grant Tooth, and team handled set design and construction. David Barber looked after the state-of-the-art lighting and sound and hair and make-up was handled by Sally Wisken and her team. The whole production involved around 40 members of the drama group.

For the sake of their doddery father’s health they move to the west country where Winston Hayballs (Harry Studd), a man with an eclectic mix of talents – a womaniser, poacher, gourmet chef, wit and all-round handyman – transforms the family.

All this takes place against the background of their new home, a house miss-sold to them as in a good state of repair but in reality a decaying heap. To compound their troubles they are then informed that the residents of this house are traditionally expected to organise the village fete.

“We have had a great deal of fun rehearsing this play and the cast have worked extremely hard on their various characters so I do hope you enjoy watching the performance as much as we enjoyed the rehearsals,” said Karen Adams.

Productions are nearly always a sell-out. The profitable January pantomime, Treasure Island, enabled the group to donate £250 to both Burnham Market primary school and Rudham Church of England Primary School.

Tickets (£10) can be obtained on 07818 696 660 or by emailing peter­-autie@

Peter Bird