A STAGE play of the charming film Ladies in Lavender, opens at Bolton Little Theatre on Saturday, (May 11).

It is 1936 and elderly sisters Ursula and Janet Widdington, played by Margaret Marks and Irene Smith, live lives of quiet routine in the peaceful Cornish fishing village that is their home, helped only by their maid Dorcas, played by Julie Burrell.

However the sudden arrival of an enigmatic handsome stranger, Andrea, washed ashore after falling overboard from a passing steamship sends ripples chasing across the quiet rock pool of their


Andrea, who is played by Nicholas Eccles, does not at first speak English and is dependent on the sisters for everything.

The intensity of the relationship as Andrea develops his independence and leads to a strong bond of affection between the three but one Ursula mistakes for true love giving rise to humour and pathos in equal measure.

Unrequited love is also mirrored in the wooing of neighbour and artist Olga Danilof by Dr Mead, played by Meredith Collinson and Stephen Knowles, although the doctor does come to his senses

and realises he’s been a silly old fool as the relationship between Olga and Andrea blossoms and she encourages his musical talent.

What happens next is known by all who watched and loved the 2004 film version with Judie Dench and Maggie Smith.

Carol Butler said:”We can’t recreate the Cornish scenery and it’s difficult to tackle something so well known and loved but the cast have risen to the challenge brilliantly and we can showcase the

characters, the humour arising from misunderstanding, the heartache and of course the love.’’

Ladies in Lavender runs until May 18.

Performances are at 7:30pm with a 2pm matinee on May 12. Tickets from the box office on 01204 524469 or on boltonlittletheatre.co.uk