THE 1966 Aberfan Disaster provides a poignant and heartbreaking backdrop to the latest Bolton Little Theater production.
Set months after that terrible day in 1966 when a mudslide from a mine dump devastated the tiny Welsh village, Anthony Neil Docking’s play brings the stories of four bereaved mothers to life as they attempt to take control of their lives.
The play takes a look at these characters eight months after the disaster as their support group meets in a room above a local hotel.
They cry, laugh, chat, and just try to live their life the best they can – but ultimately have to admit “they really, they let themselves go a little bit”
At the idea of inviting a Revlon representative to give them some makeup advice, they fear that the rest of the village will find them frivolous for having dared to make an effort with their appearance.
Director Sandra Simpson said, “I’ve wanted to produce it since I first saw it.
“It struck me so much as a very human story and the playwright is good enough at weaving unexpected moments of humor into the plot to counter what is clearly a very sad story.”
Charlotte Ashworth, who pays the eponymous Revlon Girl, added: “It’s a remarkable story – especially since it is of course based on real life events. The characters were naturally dramatized – but by rehearsing them we really got a feel for the lives of these women. ”
The rehearsal process was not without incident, however. Tara Haywood, who plays Jean, had to step in two weeks after Charlotte Carlin – who had rehearsed the role for the past six weeks – broke her ankle.
“It’s not an easy thing to step into a role and create a character that the other cast members are already used to – but luckily they’ve all been a great support,” Tara said.
Lisa Barlow, Lindsay Farnworth and Meredith Collinson round out the cast.
Sandra said, “It’s the kind of game that needs a really solid cast, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group.
“It’s such a shame that Charlotte is missing the race after all of her hard work, but I am very grateful to Tara for learning the role in such a short time.”
The Revlon Girl will run from Monday January 17 to Saturday January 22 at the Bolton Little Theater, Hanover Street, Bolton BL1 4AH.
For tickets visit www.boltonlittleheatre.co.uk