Bolton Little Theatre to launch new season with Willy Russell comedy

Alison Whittaker as Pauline and Kev Walsh as Dennis in One for the Road

Alison Whittaker as Pauline and Kev Walsh as Dennis in One for the Road

First published in The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Entertainment reporter

A THEATRE group’s new season kicks off later this month with a 1980s comedy set on a northern housing estate with pretensions.

One for the Road, by Willy Russell, will be staged at Bolton Little Theatre from Saturday, September 13 to Saturday, September 20.

Director Simon Mott said: “Taking on a play that’s set in the mid-1980s, you immediately think ‘OK, so a modern play then?’

“Until the realisation hits that we’re talking about 30 years ago! How did that happen?

“The themes of the play are, however, timeless — social climbing, the desperate attempt to haul oneself out of the drudgery of working class, the angst of middle age, the dissatisfaction with life in general, the materialistic society, the homogenisation of culture and the sale of plastic containers at parties!”

While Pauline schemes to keep up with smug neighbours Jane and Roger, who are determined to uncover the culprits responsible for vandalising the estate's garden gnomes, Pauline's husband, Dennis, is approaching his 40th birthday with dread.

He feels utterly trapped in the warren of identical roads and dormer bungalows, stifled by all the things he is supposed to be striving for.

Dennis aspires to tunnelling out of his kitchen like a prisoner of war but knows that, for him, there will be no escape.

How did his dreams of freedom become subsumed into a world of John Denver records and poshed-up cottage pie?

The play was first performed at Manchester’s Contact Theatre under its original title, Tupperware Man.
Following legal threats from the Tupperware company, it was changed to Painted Veg and Parkinson while the author struggled to come up with an alternative and it was his wife, Annie, who later suggested One for the Road.

One for the Road opens at the Hanover Street theatre on Saturday, September 13 and features Kev Walsh, Alison Whittaker, Simon Mott and Charlotte Cain.

For tickets, phone the box office on 01204 334400/ 01204 524469 or visit 

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