Gallery Players Present Regional Premiere of Laura Wade’s New Play ‘Colder Than Here’.
Gallery Players have established a reputation in the eastern region not only for excellence in performance but also for choosing material that is exciting and innovative. Following the recent success of their production of Stephen Sondheim’s rarely performed musical ‘Passion’ at the New Wolsey, they have chosen to stage the first regional production of ‘Colder Than Here’ by newly acclaimed playwright Laura Wade. The production can be seen at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich from 8th to 11th November and promises to be another stunning Gallery first.
Without sentimentality or melodrama, this beautifully observed play evokes the tension and heartache of a family facing up to the imminent death of a loved one. Myra, the mother, has bone cancer and is terminally ill. With the reluctant help of husband Alec and two grown up daughters, Jenna and Harriet, she is planning the perfect funeral. As the four of them chat, bicker and debate which woodland site Myra should be buried in, Laura Wade gives us a portrait of a family facing change and loss.
But there is nothing chilly about ‘Colder Than Here’: humour keeps breaking through the cloud that hangs over the play. Much to the shock of her family, Myra gives a power point presentation of how she wants her funeral to be and wants an eco friendly coffin. Steve Wooldridge who directs, says that this is one of the great strengths of the play, ”It balances raw emotion with black humour. One moment you have a tear in your eye and the next you are laughing. However, the play also highlights issues around palliative care and having a good death, issues which at the moment are quite topical”.
Laura Wade’s play opened at the Soho Theatre in February 2005 to huge critical acclaim. Less than a month later she enjoyed a unique double when ‘Breathing Corpses’ opened at the Royal Court. She thus had two plays running at each of Britain’s leading writing venues.
‘Colder Than Here’ runs from 8th 11th November at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich and brings together some Gallery favourites. Linda Bailey, who took on the challenging role of Fosca in ‘Passion’ plays Myra, Phil Cory plays her husband Alec and Kate Wooldridge and Abbey Butlin play the daughters.