CERTAIN groups of people create special atmosphere when they come together. Be it sport or hobby, a shared interest can be a great leveller, and over time, experiences are shared and bonds are forged.

At Ilkley Playhouse in June, we are exploring what happens when a group of women come together through a shared activity in the comedy Steaming by Nell Dunn. It’s set in a Turkish baths where the women (literally) leave any exterior signs of who they are outside, and come together in the steam to share chat about life, sex and men. A mutual aim comes when the baths are threatened with closure, at which point the women pull together to help keep their special place open.

Set 1979 and first performed in 1981, it’s interesting to see how what was once a cutting-edge play has settled into middle age. The context is also interesting: the women meet regularly at the baths, but would otherwise never cross paths in ‘real life’: it’s the steam that brings them together.

The playwright Nell Dunn, who’s probably best known as the writer of Up the Junction, portrays women with warmth and understanding. However, despite the cast and the subject matter, it’s certainly not a play solely for female audiences. Please be aware when booking that there will be mild adult references in the play, as well as (brief and tasteful) nudity.

Steaming opens on Wednesday, June 5 until Saturday, June 15 with a matinee performance on Saturday, June 8. Tickets for Steaming and all our productions can be bought at www.ilkleyplayhouse.co.uk or, during box office hours, on 01943 609539.