The Singing it for real

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BACK in the 1980s the local music scene was enlivened with a wacky outfit called Don Valley and the Rotherhides whose members ingeniously took their names from local districts such as Thorpe Hesley, Roscoe Banks, Kelvin Flats, Norton Lees and Red Mires.

They specialised in rockabilly and country influences but their most memorable song was called Thatcher’s Dead whose wishful thinking always raised a cheer in those politically turbulent days. The band went their separate ways in 1992 although they did briefly reconvene in 2006 for a Linda Smith tribute night at the Lyceum Theatre which naturally included their most famous song.

Now that the sentiment is finally true after all these years, would they take the opportunity of singing it for real? You bet, and they certainly didn’t waste any time, for on Monday evening, the day of the announcement of the passing of the Iron Lady, they were to be found in the Sheaf Inn at Heeley giving an improptu rendition with much joining in from other revellers. Quidnunc hears that there were many other parties in pubs around the city.

There is talk of a reprise on the day of the funeral, but either way the Sheaf session has, fortunately, been immortalised on YouTube.

Green baize drama

AS the Crucible gets ready to host its annual green baize drama, the World Snooker Championships, starting next weekend, Quidnunc hears there is talk of the theatre staging a fictional play about snooker in the future.

Playwright Richard Bean, let slip in an interview with Mark Lawson on Radio 4’s Front Row that he had been talking about the idea of doing a snooker play in Sheffield with Richard Wilson, associate director of Sheffield Theatres, who is directing his latest play, Smack Family Robinson, at Kingston. It did not sound as if he had got very far with it yet, however.

He has managed a reference to the sport in Smack Family Robinson having one of his sdodgy characters remark at one point: “I couldn’t do prison. I hate snooker.”

One of Bean’s earliest plays, Mr England, premiered at the Crucible in 2000. and the writer has since gone on to become a major figure in the theatre, penning the National Theatre hit One Man, Two Guvnors for the National Theatre.