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Play Premier - Stuff ’em an’ kip ’em Safe

Published by: G.D. Mills on 16th Oct 2017 | View all blogs by G.D. Mills

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Strange goings on and a silver romance form the subject of a new, inventive play by Forest of Dean playwright Maria Edey. Stuff ’em an’ kip ’em Safe presents a macabre new world in which space at the graveyards is at a premium and where loved ones are stuffed and preserved to ‘live’ alongside those who can’t bear to be without them. As Maria explains: “The idea came to me when I read about the graveyards becoming full and I knew someone who just sat there like they were stuffed.  The story was formed. It is a darkly funny comedy, not for the sensitive or faint hearted.”  Explored within the play is the question of who will go for this new mode of living and how it will affect the progress of their lives.

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The play abounds with Forest of Dean humour and springs from the playwright’s long association with the area, which she has served as both local councillor and business owner. She currently operates a very popular dog grooming business which gives her plenty of opportunity to absorb the local dialect, or ‘Vorest Spake’, captured so well in the play’s musical dialogue. The plot follows a gentle romance as it blooms (their stuffed spouses in the background!) between wordly outsider, Charles Collard, and timorous Forester, Ethel Price. Ethel’s bluntly spoken old friend (awld butty) Gladys Jones, meanwhile, is always on hand to spice things up.

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Performed by a large, professional cast the ensemble is led by seasoned performers Penelope Wildgoose (recently Margaret Thatcher for Channel 5's Inside Balmoral), Anna Liddell (Jane Austen in the feature film The Dinosaur Hunters) and Paul Maguire (television credits include Casualty and Buffalo Girls). A comical yet grizzly presence, the stuffed spouses  - dressed, of course, to suit the décor - are played by Birmingham School of Acting graduate Alex Ranahan and local Lynne Murch. Supporting roles are filled by Sammy J Turley, Christian Rowbotham and Geoff Mills. At the artistic helm is veteran director Sue Bennett.

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Maria Edey is ambitious for the production and hopes it will play at other performance venues. You can catch the opening night at Lydney Town Hall on November 11th.

             Event listing here.                         Buy tickets online here

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