Bettys to host tasty theatre production

A bite of success - Tucking into a Fat rascal are Harrogate Theatre Young Company cast members, from left: Zoe Carey-Williams, Fin Blaxhall, Serena Gosling (S)
A bite of success - Tucking into a Fat rascal are Harrogate Theatre Young Company cast members, from left: Zoe Carey-Williams, Fin Blaxhall, Serena Gosling (S)

For fans of both theatre and Bettys, it really couldn’t get any better than a show based around the famous tea room’s popular confection - the Fat Rascal.

And that’s exactly what Harrogate Theatre Young Company have lined up this July in their debut production, I Could Murder A Fat Rascal!

The talented youngsters will perform in the stunning Imperial Room at Bettys’ town centre tea rooms in a show which combines whodunnit with dining experience.

Written and directed by Phil Lowe, one of the main figures behind Harrogate Theatre’s hit pantomime each year, it’s believed it will be the first time the famous tea rooms have been used in this way.

Hannah Draper, Education Workshop Leader at Harrogate Theatre, said: “Dinner theatre works well because it’s scripted but there’s a lot of room for improvisation, allowing the five young actors to put their own stamp on it.

“It’s really exciting – every night will be different.”

The HTYC production is well timed. Bettys’ unique recipe for the Fat Rascal, the celebrated plump scone bursting with fruit, turns 30-years-old this year.

Adapted from a traditional recipe for ‘turf cakes’, adding a ‘face’ made from cherries and almonds, the bestseller has become so synonymous with Bettys that they own the registered trade mark for it.

The theatre group’s show is based on the alarming premise that the secret recipe for the delicious, domed tea cake has been stolen by persons unknown and sold to local rivals Trev’s bakery.

As the plot turns into a murder-mystery, the audience are invited to tuck into their own supper - Parmesan chicken (or pea and mint tortellini) and a fast rascal, of course.

The show seems set to be a hit as tickets are selling like, well, like fat rascals themselves.

The company provides opportunities for rising talent slightly older than the norm for youth theatre.

Hannah Draper believes it’s a great way of showing off fresh talent in the best environment.

She said: “ Traditionally the cut-off point for youth theatre has been aged 18 as people leave Harrogate to go off to university.

‘I wanted to provide something to bridge that gap between youth theatre and getting your first acting job. Setting up a young company felt like the right way to take that forward.”

The five young actors for HTYC’s first production are: Lizzy Blacker (21), Fin Blaxhall (19), Dan Boyle (18), Zoë Carey-Williams (19) and Serena Gosling (19), all former Harrogate Youth Theatre members, who are continuing their studies in arts and drama.

Remaining tickets for this event can be booked securely online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or through the Harrogate Theatre Box Office on 01423 502116.