Salisbury Playhouse is well and truly open and it was great to be back in the theatre for the first time since the pandemic watching John Godber’s moving and comical two-hander September in the Rain.

Since their honeymoon in 1950, Yorkshire couple Jack and Liz, have been holidaying in Blackpool every September for 30 years.

Sometimes it is sunny, sometimes it rains, sometimes they argue, sometimes they laugh, but they always make memories – which they recount through the years.

Under Gareth Machin’s superb directorship, we join the duo as they relive their relationship ups and downs – from the very first car journey from Yorkshire to Blackpool, to their final trip (before they decide to 'give the north-east a turn instead').

We see their squabbles over sandy feet in wooden deckchairs on the beach, rain-soaked pac-a-macs, donkey rides and talent shows with the kids to waltzing in the tower ballroom.

Nicola Sloane (whose TV credits include Call the Midwife and Holby City) wins our hearts as the loquacious Liz – a ditzy chatterbox, who dreams of romance and adventure.

Meanwhile, Ian Kelsey (Emmerdale and Coronation Street) gives a wonderful performance as miner Jack, a man of few words – most of them ‘aye’ – who struggles with his emotions.

We see a sensitive side to him as he weeps at the theatre and a dark, fiery side as he loses his temper in a jealous rage.

The chemistry between the duo is truly believable as they flit backwards and forwards through memories good and bad – with laugh out loud moments when they take a ride on the Big Dipper at Blackpool pleasure beach and choose the windiest day to go up to the top of the tower.

The simple set of a concrete promenade shelter, stepping down onto the sandy beach is all that is needed to conjure up the heyday of a British seaside holiday.

This is a simple play about simpler times – so poignant at the moment – that will leave you with a smile on your face.

September in the Rain continues at Salisbury Playhouse until October 9. For tickets, visit or telephone 01722 320333.


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