A day out at the races for fish factory girls

The cast of Brackley Players' production of Ladies Day. Front from the left, Sue Arthurs, Lynn Cowley, Alice Adams and Jacky Silvester. Back from the left, Martin Warner, Joe Gosney, Peter Milne and Keith Fraser.
The cast of Brackley Players' production of Ladies Day. Front from the left, Sue Arthurs, Lynn Cowley, Alice Adams and Jacky Silvester. Back from the left, Martin Warner, Joe Gosney, Peter Milne and Keith Fraser.

A play set in a fish filleting factory might not sound particularly glamorous, but the action eventually moves on to the bejewelled and prestigious surroundings of a special day at the races

Ladies Day, written by Amanda Whittington, is being performed by Brackley Players at the end of the month.

Life, work and love are one hard slog for the fish-filleting foursome Pearl, Jan, Shelley and Linda who work quite happily together in a factory in Hessle, Hull, Yorkshire.

But their luck changes when Linda finds tickets to Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot being held in York.

Out go the hairnets, overalls, gloves and overshoes as the girls do themselves up with big hats, posh frocks, sparkly ear rings and smart handbags and head for the races.

As the day unfolds, the champagne flows, secrets spill out and their horses keep winning.

By the last race, the girls are on course for a life-changing win.

The play was written in 2005 when Ascot racecourse was being re-developed and the Royal Meeting was temporarily transferred to York.

Ladies Day is a very funny play with great warmth, is a little risque in places, yet has moments of sensitivity and pathos.

Each of the lovable foursome all get on well together and think that they know each other, but do they really, as they all have their own individual secrets?

In the Brackley Players production Pearl is played by Lynn Cowley, Jan by Alice Adams, Shelley by Jacky Silvester and Linda by Sue Arthurs.

The male parts are all cameo parts including a factory foreman, a tout, racing commentator, jockey, drunk, and a mystery man.===

The play is directed by Ray Haresign who said: “Having been involved in amateur theatre for many years, this is the only play that I know of that is set in a fish filleting factory!”

Mr Haresign thanked the grateful assistance given from York racecourse, Towcester racecourse and local bookies, whose knowledge has added to the flavour of going to the races.

Ladies Day is performed on Thursday May 28 and Friday 29 at 7.30p and on Saturday 30 at 2.30pm at Southfield School, Banbury Road, Brackley. Tickets, priced at £8 and £6, are on sale now at Davies and Partners, Market Square (opposite the Town Hall in Brackley) and on 01280 701501.