KEIGHLEY Playhouse promises to take its loyal audiences behind the scenes for its penultimate play of the hugely-successful current season.

The theatre group is staging classic drama The Dresser, written by Ronald Harwood and directed by Robin Martin, from Monday to Saturday, May 6 to 11.

The great actor and star known as ‘Sir’ is taking Shakespeare to the provinces and he’ll be showing that he is truly a colossus of the stage.

Tonight it’s King Lear - or is it Othello? Is Sir getting too old and forgetful for any of it?

Sir is having great difficulty remembering who and where he is, let alone Lear’s lines - and as what cost to himself?

Backstage, only faithful, insignificant Norman seems to be able to hold him together at all these days.

The Dresser follows an evening’ s performance in the Principal Dressing Room, wings and backstage corridors of a provincial English theatre.

The backstage conversations continue from Sir, the last of the great but dying breed of English actor-managers, as he struggles through King Lear.

Norman is Sir’s dresser, protector and confidant.

A former play-as-cast actor, he was plucked from the wings by Sir and has since spent his career solely in his service.

He exults in his status as the man closest to Sir, which strains his relationship with the others in the company.

When Sir is taken ill, it is Norman who steps into the breach to lead the company and strives to get him on stage. He has given his life to Sir, a debt that can possibly never be repaid.

A Keighley Playhouse spokesman said: “The Dresser is a funny, beautifully observed portrait of a shabby backstage ego at odds with the glamour and greatness of Sir’s presence on stage; and the man who makes the ultimate sacrifice.

“The tragedy is that Sir loves himself and his art above all else. He pursues perfection - even as his faculties begin to fail him.

“The director of The Dresser, Robin Martin, gives the audience a finely tuned production, transporting with a sigh the years of frustration, whilst demonstrating how the compassion and valour have not slipped away.”

The play begins at 7.30pm each night at the Devonshire Street theatre.

Email or call 07599 890769 to book tickets for The Dresser.