Charting bride and fall

Polly Lister
Polly Lister

Just weeks after entertaining families in The Dukes Christmas show, an award-winning actor returns to the Lancaster theatre in January to perform a very personal play.

Polly Lister is currently appearing in The Dukes production of Beauty and the Beast which runs until January 2.

And just 26 days later, her funny, powerful one woman play – I Was A Wife – will open in The Round.

I Was A Wife is a show for anyone who has ever loved, lost and who wants to love again and will run from January 28 until February 6.

It depicts Polly’s personal journey through the comic highs and painful lows of the most difficult part she has ever played... a wife.

I Was A Wife charts the rise and fall of Polly’s marriage told through the prism of the roles she played during that time – including the Witch in The Dukes outdoor production of Hansel and Gretel in 2014 –- and is set in various theatre dressing rooms.

It blends songs with story-telling and high energy performance in an intimate exploration of love, loss and the search for answers.

The play, which is the first Polly has written, is a result of Kick Start, a Dukes initiative which allows audiences to offer feedback on new plays in development.

It is the brainchild of Dukes artistic director, Joe Sumsion who has recently won a Writers Guild Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Award and who will direct I Was A Wife.

Joe said: “So many small cities, like Lancaster, have lost their producing theatres in recent years so encouraging new work is key to staying relevant and indispensable for our area.”

While at The Dukes last year, Polly spoke to Joe about her idea for a play charting her marriage breakdown and he thought it would suit the Kick Start project.

Last spring, an early script was tested out in front of an audience whose response was impressive. “I feel so lucky that a theatre believed in me enough to take a chance on me,” said Polly, who recently won the 2015 UK Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Play for her role as Beverly in Keswick Theatre by the Lake’s production of Abigail’s Party.

To book tickets for I Was A Wife, age guidance 12 plus, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org.