Emily plans a hen party as her musical tours

Emily with Gussy
Emily with Gussy

New musical the Pecking Order is running in the Harrogate area this week. The show is written by Emily Roberts who lives in a rural community close to Kirkby Malzeard.

Emily’s musical Going Grey was performed for 15 nights across three productions in North Yorkshire. The theatre group, Drip Drop Theatre, played to full houses every night.

“My main aim in writing and putting on a musical is to entertain the audience with the song,” said Emily.

“In The Pecking Order, there’s a musical mix of gentle ballad, upbeat comedy, everyday pop, traditional folk and even a whiff of classical.

“The lyrics in many of the songs relate to the rural setting.

“Having lived in rural North Yorkshire for the past 11 years, I’ve not been short of inspiration for the show. There’s a line in the song ‘That’s Farming’ which begins ‘When the wind is gale force 10, and the power’s off again’. I actually wrote those lines by candlelight during a 27-hour power cut.”

The Pecking Order tells the story of 17-year-old Amy who moves to rural North Yorkshire from York along with her parents. Initially opposed to the move, Amy begins to enjoy the outdoor life, helped by her blossoming friendship with young farmer Ben.

“There are two main themes running through the story: one is what it is to be perceived as “incomers” into a rural community in which families have lived for generations, and the other is the strange hierarchy that exists between the female characters. There are many references to chickens throughout the show, including the title song the Pecking Order which deals with the overall theme of always being at the bottom, no matter what you do.”

It is on at St John’s Church, Sharow, on Thurdsday November 22; Town Hall, Ripley, on Friday November 23 and Mechanics Institute, Kirkby Malzeard, on Saturday November 23. A 7.30pm start. Tickets: Harrogate Theare box office: 01423 502116) or in person. Profits will be donated to the British Hen Welfare Trust.