Strange things happen when you go back to your roots, taking new friends with you. So last year, when we took my play ‘The Speech’ to Saltaire, I saw the village through new eyes.

There wasn’t time to get up onto Baildon moor or the Glen though the way the valley nestles between hills made an impression as did the architecture and back story of the village itself.

Though I grew up in Baildon I was born on the edge of Saltaire in the old nursing home, right next door to the Ring O’ Bells, only a few hundred yards from the venue, and spent many evenings in Victoria Hall or in the pubs that ringed the village.  Now there are even licensed premises in Saltaire itself. Don’t tell Titus indeed!


We’re back this year with ‘The Door’ which we’re doing in an upstairs room at The Hop, which was a tramshed in my youth. Another opportunity to catch up with old friends and share something of what we’ve created over the last 18 months. A focussed team of professionals working at what they do best. Which could perhaps also apply to the army unit featured in The Door, were it not for the weak link. But maybe the weak link is really here, at home, among our roots, or in Westminster among our representatives. Either way, the Damn Cheek team make the most of the tensions, the challenges, the humour and the realities of life on the front line, many miles removed from where I sit now, or where I grew up. I expect the production to move people, set them talking , and also make them laugh. And to build more bridges between past and present.

‘The Door’ is part of Saltaire Festival and is on at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 13th September at The Hop on Bingley Road. Tickets £10 (£8 concessions) from  or  01274 437942.

Tony Earnshaw