Ladies' Day

by Amanda Whittington

directed by Hazel Burrows

Performed at

Maskers Studio Theatre


Monday 16th to Saturday 21st May 2011

Work, love and life are just one long, hard slog for the fish filleting foursome Pearl, Jan, Shelley and Linda. Friends together through gills, guts and guys, these likely lasses fortunes are set to change when Linda finds tickets to Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot at York.

Out go the hairnets, overalls and wellies as the four ditch work, doll themselves up to the nines and head off for a drink, a flirt and a flutter.The sky's the limit on their posh day out. If their luck holds they could hit the jackpot! Those rich blokes and exotic holidays could be theirs for the taking.

But their posh day at the races doesn’t turn out quite as they had planned as echoes from the past come back to haunt them!

Amanda Whittington

Nottingham-based Amanda Whittington has been writing professionally since the age of 19. As a freelance journalist she has contributed to The Face, New Statesman & Society and The Guardian. For many years, Amanda was a columnist and feature writer for the Nottingham Evening Post. She was selected for the Carlton Screenwriting Course in 2000 and was Writer in Residence at the Soho Theatre Company in 2001. She was one of two finalists for the Dennis Potter Award 2001 and Writer in Residence at the Royal National Theatre in October and November 2003.

Amanda has a close association with Hull Truck Theatre, who premiered Amateur Girl, a one-woman play about the amateur porn industry in 2009. Ladies Day was produced by Hull Truck in 2005, breaking all box office records at the theatre.

The Play Director - Hazel Burrows

"I have been a member of the Maskers Theatre Company for 36 years in all, but for a brief break of three years, living in the Bahamas. During that time I became a member of the Nassau Players and it was here that I really learnt the natural ease of an actor on stage; the wonderful Bahamians are so carefree. 

On my return to Southampton I threw myself into every play on offer with the Maskers, too many plays to remember, but it was in this way I started to grasp some of the skills so necessary in portraying a character.  Spear carrier or lead came my way with some very satisfying results.

Two years ago I directed a one act play for a one act festival and my five, lovely ladies won!  How could I stop; it was all such fun sharing the pictures in my head with the cast I was lucky enough to have. 

So here I am again offering a light, frothy play, not deep at all, but simply funny, with a little pathos here and there. I have had to think about every little aspect, the set, sound and light. The cast and crew I know will not let me down and it’s just great to to hear, ‘we’re here to help’.  Why am I doing this? Well parts for ladies of a ‘certain age’ are few and far between, so this time I am directing a full length play.

Why ‘Ladies’ Day’? In the 70’s I became a summer holiday play scheme leader in Portswood and the touring company Hull Truck Theatre Company came to entertain us. Ever since I’ve kept an eye on this company and found they included this play in their repertoire, I read the play and thought this is the one for me!

So sit back, forget the recession and enjoy ‘Ladies’ Day’. You might cry with laughter or shed a little tear, as you hear these stories. Just remember what you see is why I chose this play. It is bringing to life these wonderfully drawn characters. As you observe, think of ‘The Full Monty‘ or ‘Dinner Ladies’; I think it’s along these lines.


Ladies and their hats at York Racecourse.

In 2005, while the Ascot Racecourse was under repairs, York's beautiful Racecourse stood in for Royal Ascot. The ladies' hats were, as ever, magnificent.

Listen to Jim's Race Commentory



click on a photo to enlarge it


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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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