FINE acting and a beautiful storyline are coming to the Ilkley Playhouse next week. From April 17 to April 27, On Golden Pond will be delighting audiences on the Wharfeside stage.

Playwright Ernest Thompson’s much-loved play sees ageing couple Norman and Ethel Thayer returning to their summer home for the 48th successive year.

Hoping for a relaxing summer in the familiar surroundings, the couple instead find change and upheaval are on the horizon in the form of a troubled young man they are persuaded to look after.

It’s often through disruption – both welcome and unwelcome – that people are given the chance to grow and adapt.

It’s this dynamic that Thompson focuses on, in a thoughtful exploration of family dynamics.

Intergenerational relationships are now a topical theme in documentaries and research.

In this sense On Golden Pond was ahead of its time.

Readers who have seen the famous film adaptation from 1981 will know that very strong actors, Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, were cast in the lead roles – the director recognising the importance to the subject matter of intricate and tender portrayals.

The Playhouse’s production also recognises the importance of fine acting skills; there’s equally strong direction, from Dick Hebbert and Stage Design, from Gordon Williamson and his talented working party.

There’s a special thrill and a sprinkling of magic about a good play – sharing the energy and atmosphere with a talented cast and the rest of the audience.

Even if the subject matter isn’t your cup of tea, it’s still worth shaking up your brain and going along to take in the set design, lighting and exquisite acting the professionalism of the whole piece!

Looking ahead to May at Ilkley Playhouse, we have the stage version of the much-loved book Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher. It runs from Monday, May 6 to Saturday, May 11 and will delight audiences in the Wildman Studio with the story of a man who is reunited with his erstwhile college professor and mentor, Morrie Schwartz, after 20 years.

On Golden Pond runs in the Playhouse’s Wharfeside Theatre from Wednesday, April 17 to Saturday, April 27. Tickets for all productions can be bought online at, or by calling (01943) 609539 during our opening hours.