THE talented and enterprising Churchill Productions have chosen Alan Bennett’s play People for the spring production, on stage at the Tivoli in Wimborne from 23rd to 25th March, nightly at 7.30 with a 2.30 Saturday matinee.
The action is set in the decaying stately home of impoverished aristocrat Dorothy Stacpoole, one of the many caught in the land-rich-cash-poor trap. Once a successful fashion model, Dorothy lives in her moth-eaten fur-coat and plimsolls, huddling round a tiny fire for warmth.
Her younger sister, a bossy archdeacon, wants to hand the family home over to the National Trust, but Lady Stacpoole has other ideas. Exploring the options, she considers selling the house to a sinister commercial concern whose ethos is that ordinary people spoil things.
She also calls in old friends and rents it out as a location for a porn film to a company basking in the name Reach for the Thigh. The great house’s four-poster beds are a perfect setting!
This hilarious play is full of Bennett’s trademark social comment, relishing the detail of the lives of its protagonists. And there is an unexpected twist before fate takes a hand.
This challenging play has not been seen outside London, so the Churchill cast, which includes Tony Harrison (nephew of Rex Harrison), Sammy Upton, Jan Wyld and Simon Janion, is looking forward to bringing it to Dorset.
Churchill plays usually sell out at the Tivoli, and Bennett is always an audience magnet. For more details, telephone 01202 885566 or visit the website, www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk