From directing to directed for Sales Director

Date: 14/11/2023

CHRISTMAS came early this year for YLF Sales Director John Miller who found himself taking to the stage for the first time in nearly 50 years.

A trip to the local panto at the start of 2023 reignited John’s interest in acting, something he hadn’t done since high school. Reaching out to his local thespian community, John found himself signed up not only for the coming panto season but also having an earlier stage debut in October in A Christmas Carol.

Here he took on three roles: Dick Wilkins, Mr Fezziwig’s apprentice, John, the husband of Scrooge’s former girlfriend Belle, and Topper, a friend of Scrooge’s nephew Fred. The production by Grenoside and Birley Carr Players ran for three nights plus a Saturday matinee from October 18. Some 500 tickets were sold raising about £1,100 for Weston Park Cancer Charity.

“I last trod the boards in 1974, aged 14, playing young scrooge at school,” recalled John. “A lot of time has passed since then, but I had 60 odd lines to learn and it was good to see I still had the necessary memory retention for lines.”

He added: “My concern was that I didn’t want to let anyone down. I wasn’t nervous at all on the first night but the nerves set in on the second. After that I was fine again. I knew my lines and provided they fed me the correct line, all was good.”

With some 40 characters in the play, most of the acts taking part had at least two if not more roles.

“It went really well and I enjoyed it thoroughly,” said John who is now in rehearsal with Grenoside Players for their upcoming panto Pinocchio.

“The panto runs for five evenings plus two matinees in January. It was watching the panto last January that sparked my interest in getting involved and now I’m in the chorus. I don’t mind singing and will have a go at dancing but doing the two together at the same time, that’s proving more of a challenge!”