The Winsford Academy is teaming up with local author, filmmaker, and scriptwriter, and now playwright, Alan Fleet, to produce a stage version of his novel, Woollyback.
A cast of 18 actors, young and old, from the Cheshire/North West region is being sought to perform in a stage adaptation of the novel, Woollyback, which is due to be performed at the Academy’s theatre in October 2014. Any local actors, directors or sound/lighting technicians who would like to be part of the production team are invited to an open call out at The Winsford Academy at 7:30pm on Thursday 1st May when the cast and wider production team will be assembled.
Woollyback was acknowledged nationally when it was selected and sponsored by the UK Film Council for a tutored adaptation at the prestigious Bournemouth Film School and went on to be a finalist in the UK screenplay competition at the London Independent Film Festival.
Of his play, Alan Fleet describes it as:
“’Romeo and Juliet’ played out across two generations of Winsford, the older Over and Wharton generation and the younger ‘Woollyback’ and ‘Scouser’ generation, both of which latter terms were highly offensive at the time, but now give the story a particular resonance.
‘Woollyback’ tells the story of an estranged son’s return to his father’s deathbed and their last night together. It is a night where both men finally tell their own stories of love tainted by misunderstanding. The son remembers open-air swimming baths, girlfriends and hope, whilst the father is at odds with his violent past. In their lives both experienced prejudice for their choice of women who would be their wives, and yet it was ultimately those choices that led to their estrangement.
The father needs help to die, but can the son forgive? When the final part of their story is revealed, will they remember a time when they were close?”
On the partnership with Alan Fleet, the Academy’s Principal, Andy Taylor-Edwards added:
“I can think of no better venue for the first performances to be held than in the outstanding theatre at the Winsford Academy; how apt that a story of old Winsford should be told in perhaps the newest of Winsford’s buildings. However, people should not think that this is a tale of yesterday, far from it; at the heart of the story is a controversial issue. The story will make you laugh and it will make you cry”.
Like all good writing, Alan Fleet hopes the play will stir reflection in actors and the audience: “I hope ‘Woollyback’ will make people realise how much better it is to accept change rather than fight against it. In life, change is the only constant”.
In addition to the play, Alan Fleet is also looking into the possibility of filming a documentary of the staging of Woollyback from inception to first performance with a view to entering the documentary category at film festivals.
Alan Fleet: Brief Biography
Alan was educated at Winsford High Street County Primary School; Winsford Verdin Grammar School; Mid-Cheshire College of F.E.; and Manchester University. He trained as a marine geophysicist and has travelled extensively but, apart from three years away at university, he have always lived in Cheshire.
Alan began writing in the mid-nineties and it was his third novel, Woollyback, which was the first to be published in July 2000.