YORK Settlement Community Players present The Direct Approach 3, a showcase for new work, in two instalments this month upstairs at The Eagle and Child pub, High Petergate, York.

"This autumn term there's been a flurry of activity for Settlement," says chair Helen Wilson. "Play readings and workshops have already taken place but the highlight of the season comes next.

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The Price to pay: David Phillipps rehearsing his role as Chris. Picture: Sam Taylor

"Last autumn, we decided to encourage directors to put on a short play, written by a local writer, and charge £5 on the door to the public. It was so successful that we repeated it in the summer and now we're doing it again. Last time, quite a few audience members weren't regular theatre goers and I think it's important to bring theatre to where people feel most relaxed."

Hence the upstairs room at The Eagle and Child will play host to Alexander King's Safe As Houses on November 14 and 15 and Sophie Buckley's The Price on November 21 and 22, when doors will open at 7pm for the 7.15pm start. "If you want a seat, get there early," advises Helen.

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Thomas Jennings and Joy Warner rehearsing The Price. Picture: Sam Taylor

James Phillips, director for Rowntree Players' production of Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce earlier this year, is directing Ruben Wollny as Glasses, David Phillipps as Cortina, Paul Mason as Bambi and Alyson Marks as Dodger in Safe As Houses, a black comedy thriller about a motley group of gangsters on a mission.

Jim Paterson, who is to star in Kiss Me, Kate at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre next February, directs David Phillipps as Chris, Jess Murray as Penny, Liam Godfrey as David, Joy Warner as Sarah and Thomas Jennings as Theo in The Price, a drama about the Bitcoin cryptocurrency and its impact on people's lives.

Looking ahead, Settlement will hold their second Autumn Play Reading on November 29 – script to be confirmed – at The Loft, Miller's Yard, Gillygate, York. Refreshments and scripts will be provided, with admission free for YSCP members and £3 for non-members. "Let Helen Taylor know if you 're planning on coming along by ringing or texting 07951 834102 or emailing hmt@cabrimeth.uk," says Helen.