From the Writer

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I was asked to join a group of women walking in the London  Moonwalk in May 2003 as one of their number had dropped out of their 'Cheshire  Cats' team. It proved to be an unforgettable experience for all. On the  train back home to Chester I casually said ‘Someone should write a play about this weekend…’ and ‘Cheshire Cats’ was the outcome  !

‘Cheshire Cats’ is a comic drama that pays tribute to charity walkers, race organisers and marshals everywhere. My mum, sister in law, and a good friend had suffered from breast cancer. Sadly all three are no longer with us, and they were my original reason for both walking that walk in 2003, and for subsequently writing the play.

I persuaded my local am dram group to perform the play as a fund raiser for our local hospital breast care unit and for the ‘Walk the Walk’ charity, and directed and acted in Guilden Sutton Players world premiere of ‘Cheshire Cats’ in the Village Hall in November 2005. We then took a shortened version of the play to the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2006 to support the very first Edinburgh Moonwalk that summer. The show sold enough tickets to officially become a “Fringe sell out Show 2006”, and was later performed at the Gateway theatre in Chester November 2006 for the local hospital Be Positive appeal. The group were a fund raising tour de force ! Silverdale Players from Cumbria subsequently performed the play in April 2007 to sell out audiences as a fund raiser for their various chosen charities, and the play was also performed in Summer 2008 at the Hilary Tucker Performing Arts Centre at Warrington Collegiate in aid of St Rocco’s hospice, and was directed by Jenny Radley.

Despite sell out shows and fund raising success, publishers did not show a lot of interest. Ironically it was my own personal diagnosis of breast cancer in September 2009 that made me really take the bull by the horns and persevere. The perseverance paid off, and I am thrilled that the play is now available from Samuel French for any group to read and perform world wide.

‘Cheshire Cats’ is a comic and heartfelt tribute to ordinary folk who walk together en masse in amazing events like The Moonwalk all over the world to produce such extraordinary results for charity. Performing groups are keeping up that charitable approach which is absolutely brilliant!

Break a paw folks

Gail Young
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