Time & Chance

Our second community drama, performed in 2004, was Time and Chance. This was set at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth century and dealt with the building of the canal in Barnby Basin, a period of both great change and, for those who took it, opportunity. Although we were dealing with a period of time long past, there were still many people, who, because of where they lived, or because of stories passed on through the generations had stories to tell.

The news that the canal was to be built was not always welcomed. At the end of the eighteenth century Cawthorne and Silkstone, like most villages at the time, were more or less closed off from the rest of the country. Travel by road could be hazardous and transport of goods by packhorse was expensive and inefficient. Nevertheless, for many,the canal was seen as a threat.

Jim Ritchie from Silkstone gave us lots of information about the Wagon Way, used to transport coal from the Huskar Pit down to the canal and from there to customers around the country. Local school children learned its history and were involved in preparing an exhibition at Cannon Hall.

This was a very "physical" play; again outdoors at Cannon Hall, but with a realistic set which even included a full size beam engine!

Because of the success of "One Breath", this time it was easy to create interest, attracting both performers and audience. A large cast of around a hundred kept the action moving and despite the cold and wet, played to enthusiastic audiences every night.


Once again our production team aspired to and achieved the same high standards as the performers. Over one hundred costumes were made, the set was even larger than that for "One Breath" and, as well as the beam engine the team built a narrow boat to represent the opening of the canal, two stages, and seating.

The play was a sell out with a waiting list for ticket returns.

As with "One Breath", Keith Le Breton filmed the play and in September 2004, cast, crew and friends, all suitably over dressed for the occasion, gathered at the cinema in Penistone for the movie premiere and "Oscar" ceremony. It was a great night with much laughter and a lovely way to bring the project to a close.