Play written 29 years ago to get Buxton première

Published: 15 July 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

Bessie At Midnight, Alone Credit: Michelle Mahoney

A one-woman play is to première at Buxton Fringe—29 years after being written.

Manchester-based Blue Masque Theatre will stage Bessie At Midnight, Alone which was penned by Derek Martin, a former protégé of playwrights agent Peggy Ramsay. He was encouraged to write it in the early 1990s to develop his skills at creating female characters. Earlier in 2022, the script fell into the hands of theatre director Rhonwen McCormack who was looking for a one-woman play.

Bessie is a harlot, waiting outdoors for a late client. Martin’s script jumps around the centuries, not fixed in time or space. Bessie engages with the audience, has conversations with various characters from her past and undergoes a transformation in her understanding of her world. Lancashire-based actor Janelle Thompson plays Bessie.

Bessie At Midnight, Alone will be performed at Underground at the Clubhouse from Monday 18 until Thursday 21 July.