AWARD-winning Yorkshire Theatre company, Talking Stock Productions, is bringing one of its most successful plays to Skipton Little Theatre and Ilkley Manor House next month as part of a tour to mark the 80th anniversary of D Day.

‘Le Grand Return’, by Calderdale Playwright Alan Stockdill, is a gentle comedy drama about love, remembrance, war and peace. Set in 1994 at the 50th anniversary of D Day. Tommy, Alf and Edwin are incarcerated in Coldrick Nursing Home.

In spite of his ever-worsening heart condition, plucky veteran, Tommy, is determined to break out and rejoin his old comrades on the French beaches and visit the grave of his best friend George who died at the scene. How he gets there and what happens along the way makes for a charming and compelling piece of theatre loved by all who see it.

The play premiered at the Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax back in February 2015 and went on to perform at various venues, including Bradford Cathedral, raising money for Royal British Legion and the Artspace. It beat off stiff competition at the Greater Manchester Fringe that year, coming away with the the Best New Writing award.

“‘Le Grand Return’ is a really beautifully written and touching play, funny, yet also so poignant,” said one of the judges. “It ticked all the boxes for us. Everyone who saw it raved about it.”

The play has toured several times with Talking Stock’s original cast - Keith Royston, Roy Byrom, Stuart Davison and Giselle Herbert - who will all be back in their roles for this latest tour. The play has now been published and performed by theatre groups all over the UK.

The performances will be at Skipton Little Theatre, on Friday, May 17 and Ilkley Manor House on Friday, May 24 starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 and £6 for under 16s. It lasts 75 minutes and will be followed by an optional question and answer session with the writer, producer and actors.

Talking Stock has been invited by Ambassador Cruise line to showcase the powerful piece of drama on two of its special D Day 80th anniversary cruises in June.

The first cruise, which sets sail from Bristol on June,2 means ‘Le Grand Return’ will be performed off the Normandy beaches on June, 6 the actual evening of the 80th anniversary celebrations.

The performances will form part of Talking Stock’s short preview tour to various locations in North and West Yorkshire before the cast and production team embark on the cruise ships.

“We are honoured to have been chosen to be a part of these historic celebrations,” says Alan Stockdill. “We very much look forward to the preview performances in Skipton, Ilkley, and beyond.”

Tickets for the Skipton Little Theatre production on May 17 :, or Box office: 0752 714 1176 And on May 24 at Ilkley Manor House, Castle Yard, Ilkley at https://www.ilkleymanorhouse.prg/whats-on/ or Box office 07480 064142