The Stevenage Lytton Players performed Sand Castles at The Lytton Theatre on Saturday 14th October as a mass World Première (part of the BT Biennial 2000 festival) simultaneously with about a hundred other groups around the country.  We then did repeat performances from Wednesday 18th October 2000, until Saturday 21st October 2000.

BT Biennial 2000

BT Biennial 2000, the UK's largest amateur dramatics festival, was in full swing.  On October 14th 'Sand Castles', a new play by top TV comedy writer Bob Larbey, was premièred simultaneously at theatres across the UK.

BT Biennial provides new plays for local amateur dramatic groups across the UK, being designed to encourage them to perform new works and develop membership and audiences. The BT Biennial 2000 was the fifth of the series and ran from 14-21 October 2000, when a specially commissioned play was performed by amateur societies across the UK who had registered to take part.  Stephen Serpell, head of BT's community partnership programme said "BT Biennial is the heart of our commitment to arts in the community, and we are delighted to be involved in promoting amateur theatre".

Sand Castles by Bob Larbey

Bob Larbey famously wrote 'The Good Life' (with John Esmonde).  Other hits include the TV comedies 'A Fine Romance' and 'As Time Goes By', the plays 'A Month of Sundays' and 'Building Blocks', and the dramatisation of the 'Darling Buds of May'.  Of 'Sand Castles', he says, "It's about chaos on a British beach, full of strong characters and hopefully a damn good laugh".

The Stevenage Lytton Players and BT Biennial

This was the second time that the Stevenage Lytton Players took part in the BT Biennial festival.  Having participated some years back with Debbie Isitt's 'Nasty Neighbours', we again took part along with about a hundred other groups around the country.


William and Margaret Patterson are a relatively elderly couple who have holidayed in the same place for years, and own their own beach hut. They await, without much enthusiasm, the annual arrival of the awful Billet family, whilst wondering also what has happened to the Woodersons who haven't been seen for a few years. 

The Billets duly arrive, bringing with them not only Stan's mother, but Bernice's sister Pauline, on the rebound from a failed relationship. Then, to everyone's surprise, come not the Woodersons but 'renters' - the affable Doug and his two nieces (or are they?). They have no idea of the 'hutters' unwritten rules, but under Stan's guidance soon learn about 'ownership' of space which isn't in fact theirs to own.

Meanwhile a few stray 'beach' people have tried to assert territorial rights over the space immediately in front of the huts. Confrontation is inevitable, and solutions are looking impossible to find. Then Doug hits upon an idea……

This gentle comedy will appeal to all, and we will readily identify with the characters and have a good laugh at their predicament.