6:12 theatre aim to serve up pint-sized perfection

6:12's Michael Garside and Judy Kenley preparing for their new production.
6:12's Michael Garside and Judy Kenley preparing for their new production.

The latest play to be presented by adventurous Harrogate theatre company 6:12 is Two by Jim Cartwright.

Running at Harrogate Theatre Studio from July 10-13, it is set in a pub where the events of a single evening reveal the private worlds of some of the locals , the landlord and his wife.

Without the help of two real-life pubs, it’s doubtful the show could have gone ahead.

To get an authentic pub feel, 6:12 have undertaken some tricky in-depth research.

This has necessitated a pub crawl around the bars of York in order to find the location for their publicity photographs!

Michael Garside, director of 6:12, said: “As you can imagine, it was a very difficult day for us but we persevered and managed to visit a dozen pubs before deciding upon the one we would like to use.”

This turned out to be Ye Olde Starre Inn on Stonegate.

Michael said: “It’s a listed building so has plenty of nooks and crannies, but yet has been renovated recently – which is exactly what has happened to the pub in the play.

“Adrian, the manager, and his deputy Chris could not have been more helpful and allowed us to go in before opening time on the day of the shoot so that we could work without interrupting their clientele.

“Naturally we also had to do more research into the ales on offer afterwards!”

And the link with local hostelries has not ended there.

6:12 has had to find new rehearsal rooms and, with a very limited budget, this proved difficult.

They even explored the option of working in a self storage lock-up.

At the last minute, to the rescue came a Harrogate pub - The Regency.

Michael said: “When I met him, company director, Jason Asquith, explained his philosophy he shared with his business partner Stephen Thorpe.

“He said that they wanted to reflect the old values of what pubs used to represent – the centre of the community and there to help out when people needed something – be it just a cup of sugar or a rehearsal space. And that is just what has happened. “

As a result of The Regency’s generosity, 6:12 will be in the function rooms for the rest of their rehearsals until the play is on in July.

Michael said: “We can’t thank them enough, but feel it our duty to help out with their profits after each rehearsal!”

Tickets are on sale for Two from Harrogate Theatre Box Office on 01423 502116 or book online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk (booking fee applies).