Timing is key in theatre so Huddersfield Thespians must be cheering at how good theirs is.

Next week, the company opens at the town’s Lawrence Batley Theatre in its latest play.

And that play, The Weekend, which opens on the LBT’s main stage on Tuesday (January 28) was written by one of television’s biggest names, Michael Palin.

Coincidentally, the Sheffield-born actor and writer, is currently returning to his acting roots here in his home county.

Now 70, Michael Palin is to take on his first leading role in a TV drama for more than 20 years. It’s called Remember Me and he’ll be recording some of it in Huddersfield.

And for Huddersfield Thespians, that bit of good timing is great news and quite a boost for the actors who will be saying Palin’s words on stage all next week.

After all, the man who has dominated our screens for many years, particularly with his popular travel programmes, started out just like them – as an amateur actor.

Palin, 70, said: “This is my first lead role in a TV drama series since GBH.

“It’s also a return to Yorkshire, where I was born, brought up and learned my acting in amateur dramatics.

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“I was attracted to Remember Me not only by the northern setting, but also by a good, strong challenging role, something I could really get what remains of my teeth into.”

Huddersfield Thespians have certainly been getting their teeth into a play written by Michael Palin.

The Weekend was the first play he’d written and was premiered in London’s West End in 1994.

It starred two terrific actors, Richard Wilson and Angela Thorne with Wilson playing the kind of role which he became famous for.

In The Weekend, he was cast as Stephen, a character described as cantankerous, misanthropic, miserable and world-weary. In short, he’s crabby which sounds rather like another character we all know Richard Wilson for. Victor Meldrew.

The character Stephen just wants to be left alone. But to his horror, his long-suffering wife Virginia fills the house with guests – for the weekend. And we can all guess how Stephen deals with that.

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The Thespians have put together a strong cast and an experienced director who is no mean actor himself.

Keith Royston is an award-winning actor who is just as much at home in the director’s chair.

His cast for this features the talents of Stuart Davison as Stephen with Susan Saville as Virginia.

There’s a wealth of experience in the company which also includes Louise Cooper, Michael Sutton, Paige Shaw, Andrew Rea, Miriam Marsden, Matthew Fairhead and Lynne Whitaker.

And in the piece itself? Expect humour of many shades and a poignancy that might just catch you out.

Performances run each evening at 7.30pm until Saturday with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm.

Tickets from the LBT box office on 01484 430528.