One Day I’ll Fly Away

19th - 22nd April 2023
Ballard School

story by:

Janet Shaw

directed by:

Len Reid

What's it about?

There is a gallery further down the page with 12 photos of the show. To see the complete set of photos please click here:

Many thanks to Paul and Sue Berkeley A.R.P.S. for all the wonderful photos


One young woman, one old lady. Their lives were poles apart but fate took a hand and threw them together. The only problem being they were more alike than anyone could begin to imagine, both battling adversities beyond comprehension. This funny and poignant story follows the ups and downs of the two women, as mutual dislike and mistrust turns into an unusual and heart-warming friendship. A play full of humour, pathos and sentimentality and will leave you laughing and crying, probably at the same time.

The Cast & Crew







Stage Manager

Colin Bailey

Mary Stallwood
Lighting and Sound
Simon Hanney
Claire Nicholson and Lyn Lockyer
Set Design
David Ward and David Luker
Set Erection
David Ward, David Luker and Richard White + Gang
Front of House
Elaine Reed
Paul & Sue Berkeley FRCP
Box Office
Sue Baker assisted by Robin Ede
Sponsor – Royale Group


Review of the Show

Staged at the excellent Ballard School
Theatre, the latest production by the
ever-good New Forest Players is the
play One Day I’ll Fly Away by
accomplished, but little-known,
Yorkshire playwright Janet Shaw.
Definitely not to be confused with
the popular song of the same title,
this is a story drawn from the
vicissitudes of daily living. As in real
life, there is a good sprinkling of
humour alongside moments of gloom
and sadness that are capable of engendering heart-felt responses from onlookers –
laughter and tears at the same time, especially in the emotionally charged final
scene. It is a serious piece of theatrical work and the New Forest Players and
Director Len Reid are to be commended for bringing Janet Shaw’s poignant and
hard-hitting play to local audiences.

The principal characters are a young
woman, Kylie, and an old lady, Nora,
who come together in a respite
home. Kylie has had a troubled
childhood, which we learn more
about as the story progresses. Kylie
is tough on the outside, but soft in
the centre. She is undertaking
community service as punishment
for unspecified crimes. Nora is in
temporary respite care recovering
from a broken hip. Following a
career in teaching she is superficially
comfortably well off, but underneath
it all she has not had it easy either,


and her own life experiences have made her an embittered and hardened woman
who is determined to avoid relationships of any kind. On the surface Kylie and Nora
have nothing in common, though in reality they are more alike than they could
imagine, and in time their mutual dislike and distrust of each other turns into a
heartening, and not at all mismatched, pairing. In the mix are also Fern, the efficient
Nurse in charge, who is attracted to her likeable assistant Adam, plus Connie the
domestic and inveterate eavesdropper
and gossip. All of them with their own
stories to tell to kindly Gladys, an old lady
who has had a stroke and cannot speak.
But Gladys can hear and learns their
secrets. In due course Gladys regains her
speech and reveals all.
All six actors play out their individual parts
with great accomplishment. They are
good, very good indeed and present truly
convincing characters. Jane Sykes is
excellent as ‘stuck-up’, quick to judge
Nora, who ultimately shows a caring side
to herself. Jane has a number of acting
previous credits and demonstrates these
in this fine acting performance. Courtney Fereday plays the part of cocky and brash
Kylie, and for someone so young, and by all accounts a relatively inexperienced
actor, she is exceptional. Tina Ward follows up her success as one of the ugly sisters
in the recent NFP production of Cinderella, by producing another great performance
as Connie. And, as now to be expected of her, she delivers a succession of ‘comedic
one-liners’ with perfect timing. Wendy Beaumont, as Gladys, says the least, but her
physical performance, as her character struggles with the frustrations of the
consequences of a stroke, is a powerful presence throughout. Emily Norris and Paul
Skelton, in the largely supporting roles of Fern and as Adam, are also deserving of
praise for their performances.
As on most opening nights there were a few minor practical teething issues, but
nothing to detract from the continuity of the storyline or enjoyment of the
performance. No doubt these little problems will be ironed out for this week’s
subsequent showings.
The action is played out on an authentic functional stage, which with the
accompanying lighting and fitting music, create the just right atmosphere for a Care
Home setting. This is yet another ‘top drawer’ Am dram production by NFP.
Written by Philip & Julie McStraw for Scene One Plus
Photos by Paul and Sue Berkeley ARPS