Otley Community Players are to be the first group to present a stage production of Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s story Winter Holiday.
The play is to be performed at the Courthouse arts centre in February after the author’s literary estate gave approval for the script – a new adaptation by brothers Duncan and Nick Hall.
Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884 and lived an exciting and varied life, observing events in revolutionary Russia and marrying Trotsky’s secretary. He settled in the Lake District in the 1920s and wrote his famous Swallows and Amazons series of children’s novels between 1929 and 1947.
Winter Holiday was the third story in the series and was based on Ransome’s own memories of the great frost of 1895 when Windermere froze from end to end.
The play will be directed by Nick Hall, who has directed several of Otley Community Players’ past performances and used to direct, act and tour manage with Bradford-based professional theatre group Twisting Yarn.
It will feature music written by both Halls, who are best known as acoustic folk-rock band The Hall Brothers, who will be celebrating 21 years of music making at the same venue on December 22. The cast features Otley Community Players stalwarts and some familiar faces to devotees of the West Yorkshire music scene, including Dave Vermond, Duncan McFarlane and Nick Hall.
Co-writer Duncan said: “It has been a great privilege having leave from Arthur Ransome’s literary executors to adapt Winter Holiday for the stage.
“It is a timeless adventure with humour, charm and excitement.
“The story was written 80 years ago and it seems surprising it has never been dramatised before.
“I’ve seen some of the rehearsals and it is going to be a great performance – a perfect treat for families.”
Tickets will cost £7 (£5 for concessions) and are available from www.wegot tickets.com or (01943) 567466.