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Le Grand Return

Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th MAY 2024
Curtain 7:30pm
Erin Arts Centre, Port Erin


These notes are to provide more background information to the play
than we are able to fit in the paper programme

Director’s Note

Welcome to the Rushen Players’ production of Le Grand Return by Alan Stockdill.
Here are a few thoughts from our director, Catie Angus.

e-Mail received 1st May 2024 by

Name:    Alan Stockdill
E-Mail:    ***********
Subject:    Le Grand Return 
Message:    Thank you for directing my play ‘Le Grand Return’. I wish I could fly over and see your production (a first for me on the Isle of Man) but we are performing it ourselves on a tour. It’s been picked up by a cruise line and we will be performed it off the Normandy beaches on the 80th Anniversary of D Day.
I hope you’ve had lots of fun (and a tear or two) in rehearsals. I wish you every success. Please let me know how you get on. If you could let me have a photo or two that would be lovely - I’ll add them to my LGR collection. If you need any last minute advice (or background information for the programme) please let me know.
Very best wishes


TALKING STOCK PRODUCTIONS was formed in 2013 by Alan Stockdill and Catherine Pasek with the mission of producing compelling theatre with a loving heart and a loud voice.

Since then we’ve written and toured many productions which have had consistently good reviews. We like to describe ourselves as a ‘philanthropic theatre company’ due to our keen social conscience and continuing commitment to raise funds for local branches of charities close to our hearts and plays.

Over the past ten years we’ve raised over £36,000, benefiting Marie Curie, Help for Heroes, Alzheimer’s Society, Childline, NSPCC, Overgate Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Dementia UK, The Royal British Legion, Age UK, Bradford Cathedral Artspace, Manorlands Hospice. Ravenscliffe High School, Sporting Memories Network, St John’s Hospice, Dogs for Good, Wolds Valley Churches and Bloodwise. We’ve helped fund Memory Cafés in West Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and Dementia Friends groups in Ilkley, Bingley, Keighley, Idle (Bradford) and Hebden Bridge.

We’ve also won awards at drama Festivals and Fringes for writing, acting and production.

More recently, we’ve been employed by the NHS Leadership Academy and various NHS trusts to perform our powerful dementia play, The Last Memory, as a training and awareness-raising exercise for clinical, care and office staff and chief executives. We’ve also done similar work for the Leeds Health & Wellbeing Board.


Alan Stockdill is an actor, director and published playwright. He has written nine plays, all of which have enjoyed successful Talking Stock tours. Alan won the coveted ‘Best New Writing’ award at the Greater Manchester Fringe in 2015 with his play Le Grand Return. His plays have been performed by a number of different companies in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France.

Catherine Pasek is a writer/editor, actress and producer. She studied drama at the University of London’s Goldsmiths’ College in the early 1980s and has played a wide range of characters on stage since. One of her most challenging roles was baring all to play the infamous Mrs Robinson in The Graduate - but nothing has been as satisfying as playing Lynne in The Last Memory, a role which was inspired by the complex tapestry of her personal life helping to care for her father who had Alzheimer’s.

Alan Stockdill

Alan Stockdill

Alan had a wealth of experience in drama, acting and directing before he began to write. “Having a lifelong involvement in community theatre certainly helped me to write plays and gave me an important insight into what audiences respond to,” he says.

His favourite playwright is Jimmy Chinn. “I like the way he combines serious drama with comedy,” explains Alan. “There are tears as well as laughter. It’s what I’ve tried to do with my own writing and it seems to be working so far! I love going to see my plays being performed by other companies, it’s a joy to sit in an audience watching, seeing their reactions. Without a director and actors, and all the other people in a theatre who work hard to create the drama, a play is just a collection of words arranged in a neat order, it’s only when it’s put in front of an audience by others that it comes to life.”

Alan’s theatre company - Talking Stock Productions - has toured all of his plays, raising money for various charities along the way.  Stagescripts has published three of them:  ‘Give A Little Love’, ‘Le Grand Return’ and ‘Dark Sky’.

Give A Little Love’ won Best Play at the Partington Festival in 2014 and also at the Scottish Community Drama Festival in 2020.  ‘Le Grand Return’ won Best Play and the Audience Award at the inaugural Woodbridge Drama Festival in 2015 and was a finalist in the All England Winners competition later that year.  Alan went on to win the prestigious Best New Writing award for ‘Le Grand Return’ at the Greater Manchester Fringe in 2015.

Alan’s plays have been performed in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France.

'Le Grand Return' is more than just a play; it's a journey of resilience and friendship that resonates with every viewer.
Since its premiere at the Viaduct Theatre in Dean Clough, Halifax, in February 2015,
the play has not only won hearts but also the prestigious Best New Writing award at the Greater Manchester Fringe,
standing out among numerous contenders.

Critics and audiences alike have lauded the play for its exquisite writing, emotional depth,
and perfect blend of humor and poignancy.

One judge beautifully encapsulated the essence of the play, remarking,
"It's a beautifully written and touching play, funny, yet also so poignant.
It ticked all the boxes for us. Everyone who saw it raved about it."