Preston Drama Club’s production of The Dangers of Tobacco – which starts at the city’s Playhouse tonight – will attract a particularly interested audience during its four-day run.
The play, written by the late Alistair Hewitt, will be seen by a coachload of Mr Hewitt’s former fellow Southport Dramatic Club (SDC) members.
By day, Alistair was Assistant Headmaster and Head of Performing Arts at Maghull High School, but he was also a highly regarded actor and playwright, who studied under Jack Rosanthal, and was a longstanding member of SDC.
In 2008, he wrote a series of sketches built around events at the 2008 Grand National which was cancelled due to an IRA bomb scare. These were performed as part of that year’s Liverpool Capital of Culture as ‘Tales from Melling Road’ and again a year later by the SDC Youth Theatre at Southport’s Little Theatre.
By then Alistair had written The Dangers of Tobacco, which was presented as an SDC Bar Production. This proved so popular it was performed again in May 2012. In 2011, Alistair was made Vice-Chairman of the SDC and he was also Co-Ordinator of the first Maghull Arts Festival.
In 2013, he took over a Chairman of the SDC but on October 22 he died suddenly of heart failure. He was just 53 years old.
Now, Preston Drama Club has chosen to feature ‘The Dangers of Tobacco’ for their Spring production and the SDC have hired a coach for their members to come along in support of their former chairman, a gesture greatly appreciated by Alistair’s widow, Anne.
The play concerns three sisters, Marie, Cissie and Eva, who have each led very different lives but have one thing in common – the philandering Rory Tobacco
The Dangers of Tobacco’ is a well-written comedy that will keep the name Alistair Hewitt alive for generations to come. Jack Rosanthal would have been proud of him, don’t miss it.
Tickets £8 (£7 concs) including refreshments. Box Office: 01772 744771 or bookonline at www.prestonplayhouse.com