Addressing barrier of larger sizes on screen

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A brand-new one-woman play, based on the life of legendary comedy actress Hattie Jacques, will travel to two Lancashire village halls in May.

“Becoming Hattie” from Proteus Theatre Company will travel to Arkholme Village Hall on Wednesday May 4 at 7.30pm, followed by Aughton Village Hall on Thursday May 5 at 7.30pm.

Tickets for the show, which is suitable for ages 15 and above, are available by contacting the venues directly. The numbers to call are 07519281305 for Arkholme and 01695 422423 for Aughton.

“Becoming Hattie” is a thoughtful, funny, warm and nostalgic, one-woman show that takes an affectionate look at the life and career of Hattie Jacques and a witty, caustic look at modern life in show business and its cultural attitudes toward larger women.

It’s 1974 and eight-year-old Jo is idly watching the telly when ‘Sykes’ comes on. There, on the screen, is a woman unlike anyone else – that woman is Hattie Jacques.

Forty years on and Jo has followed in Hattie’s footsteps; she too is an actress. But why is she cast as the nurse, never the surgeon? And why is she too fat to play Lady Macbeth?

The play has been written by Maihri Grealis and stars actress Ashley Christmas. Speaking ahead of the tour, Grealis spoke about her inspiration for writing the show:

She said: “I was immediately intrigued by the idea of looking not only at the wonderful Hattie Jacques but what it means to be a woman in the acting industry today.

“If you look at what we see on our TVs, in our cinemas and on our stages, it’s clear that there is an issue that needs to be addressed: there are few women of size, playing parts that they should have no barrier to playing.

“I hope that this piece will entertain, above all, but also offer an insight into an issue which, for the sake of us all, we should take a long hard look at.”

The Lancashire dates form part of Spot On Lancashire’s spring season of touring, taking professional arts events to rural venues and libraries across the county.

For more information about the shows or to see the full Spot On season programme call Sue Robinson on 01254 660360 or email hello@spotonlancashire.co.uk.