It was back in 2019 when Wirksworth Community Theatre first started rehearsing two short plays by Chris Thompson; a local script writer with a national reputation, both for his work on radio with The Archers and also for TV's Emmerdale. Chris had begun directing Skeggy a script he originally wrote for BBC Radio 4 and had also written a new play, Tess, for the company. Then the pandemic intervened; plans were put on hold and, sadly, Chris died without seeing them come to fruition. But WCT were determined to go ahead and perform them as soon as it became possible.
Skeggy and Tess: Two versions of radio
The double bill will form a celebration of Chris' work and include a conversation with Chris' wife Ann. Skeggy will be presented as a recorded play, enhanced with images and music; a format which has allowed work to go on over the past year and presented the company with interesting new challenges. It tells the story of the intertwined lives of three very different couples brought together by their attachment to Skegness, the Skeggy of the title, and by their encounters with a young runaway there.
Meanwhile Tess will receive its world premiere in a 'live radio' format. This story of a woman steering her way towards independence and self-reliance takes its inspiration from Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Poor Tess, abandoned by her husband, besieged by suitors – where will she turn? But this Tess is no helpless victim.
Performances 9th-11th March, Wirksworth Town Hall 7pm. Tickets £10 can be booked online at ticketsource.co.uk/ wirksworth-community-theatre