Writers inspire virtual lockdown film series to help theatre fundraising

A Blackpool scriptwriter has been whipping up some drama at home for a special film project, highlighting the work of those in the theatre industry, while doors remain shut on treasured venues.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 7:00 am
Actress Sue Hilton features in a new short film part of the One Voices project

Barbara Wilcox is one of 30 writers taking part in the ‘Our Voices’ short film collection inspired by Chorley Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society (CADOS), who own and run Chorley Theatre.

Retired nurse Barbara, who studied a BA Honours in drama and theatre before a Masters in screenwriting at University of Central Lancashire in 2015, has created a piece of work featuring actress Sue Hilton which will be shown as part of the series produced by Robert Walsh and will be premiered online.

The first films will be shown on July 31.

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Barbara, originally from Chorley, who worked at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “This piece fired me back up a bit. Bobby Walsh had asked me to take a look and I offered to edit it and I just thought it was such a great idea.

“The script had a lovely structure to it - which made it easy to work with and add bits from lockdown that had made me laugh.

“The story is all about a grumpy old lady being shielded in lockdown - I think it will resonate with a few people.”

In total 18 short films, a collection of monologues, have been written, directed, recorded and performed by CADOS members and will be released over six weeks.

Actress Hannah Liddle features in a new short film, part of the One Voices project

CADOS member and producer Robert Walsh,said: “This a selection of unique performances of new and exclusive writing.

“Ranging from hilarious, comedic musing to poignant, dramatic pieces these have all been specially created for this project. We want to be able to provide relief and entertainment both for our audience and our members.”

“Not being able to perform at our beloved theatre has been a devastating consequence of the current situation. Not only have we been starved of our passion for theatre but we haven’t been able to entertain our loyal local audience. This is when idea to start Virtual CADOS came to life.”

The works have been created using socially-distant measures with directors, writers and actors collaborating over the computer to produce the finished pieces.

Laina Grimshaw Brown features in a new short film part of the One Voices project produced by CADOS

Robert added: “We want to be able to provide relief and entertainment both for our audience and our members.

The films introduce stories of characters in lockdown, including the daughter who’s left her parents, to shop cashiers, curtain-twitchers, care workers, the perils of social media and complicated love stories.

Three films will be released each week and are free to watch but viewers are asked to make a donation to the theatre’s crowdfunding appeal www.gofundme.com/f/chorleytheatrefund Barbara’s film will available on the theatre’s YouTube channel, website and social media.

Jack Vardy features in a new short film part of the One Voices project