Lawrence soap opera revived in north Staffordshire
A “kitchen sink drama before its time” will be revived this week in a “perfect location”—a theatre in-the-round.
Set in a Midlands mining village, D H Lawrence’s The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd will be staged at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme in an area rich in mining heritage.
Joanna Croll, who has worked with some of the biggest names in showbusiness, will play Lizzie Holroyd.
She was directed by Clint Eastwood in Hereafter and starred alongside Peter O’Toole in Venus.
The play details how miner’s wife Lizzie Holroyd is just about at the end of her tether: she’s trapped in a loveless marriage to the boozing, violent Charles, she’s fearful for her children and worn out with work and worry.
When she finds herself drawn to an attentive young electrician from the pit, it’s not long before she’s dreaming of a different life. But, as anger and desire, resentment and betrayal explode into violence, tragedy threatens to engulf them all.
The cast also features former Hollyoaks actor Oliver Farnworth who takes the role of Blackmore.
Director Fiona Buffini, who has produced work for the RSC and the National Theatre, said, “I’m really happy to be directing The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd at the New Vic as I feel it’s the perfect play to do in-the-round.
“And to do it in North Staffordshire is brilliant, given the area’s mining heritage. The play isn’t just a drama—it speaks about the people of these mining communities, about a way of life and the difficulties of it for men and women.”
She added, “Around 100 years ago when this play was written it was so ground-breaking nobody knew what to make of it.
“Lawrence wasn’t lauded as a great British playwright but his work was kitchen sink drama before its time.
“The voices in The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd still ring true and we’re still able to connect to the experiences of those people.”
The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd runs at the New Vic from Friday (28 September) until Saturday, 13 October.