Creating interesting, challenging work for women actors in their 50s and 60s

A new play aimed at creating interesting, challenging work for women actors in their 50s and 60s will be presented as a rehearsed reading.

Lucy Hornak
Lucy Hornak

The one-act play will be followed by Q&A with cast and writers.

The False Self will be performed by Paula Tinker (Crazy For You, 84 Charing Cross Road), Nicola Dewdney (Holby City, Judge John Deed, Crazy For You), Deborah McMahon (Three Musketeers, Peter Pan, Blithe Spirit) and Lucy Hornak (Never Say Never Again, the BBC’s Bleak House, Four Weddings and a Funeral).

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Written by Lucy and Deborah under the tagline “Four Women who have it all.... but is it all?”, it will be presented on Sunday, November 21 at 3pm at The New Park Community Centre Chichester. Tickets in advance £5:

Lucy said: “I started writing it about five years ago. I was an actress. I did a lot of work in TV and film in my 20s and I gave up when I was about 30 and had a family and then I trained to be a psychotherapist and that’s what the play is about, why I called it The False Self, about trying to find out who you are.

“I have gone back into acting. I’ve got an agent and I’ve been doing a lot of auditions. I started acting when I was 18 and did lots of modelling and lots of commercials, and I just loved acting. I was away from acting for about 15 or 16 years and went back to it about five years ago and it has been really, really interesting. I got my first professional job since returning, working for Channel 4 recently. I have done lots of bits and bobs, but trying to get back has been hard.

“And that’s what this play is about, women in their 50s and 60s, what happens in their lives when their children have left.

“It’s about trying to find something that is for you. And I don’t think that there are many good parts for women my age, women in their 50s and 60s.

“I think it’s an imbalance. There is more for men.

“There is a campaign called Acting Your Age, a lot of women saying that there are just not enough parts for women of their age, women who are just sick of the lack of opportunities.

“I have always liked to be creative, doing my own stuff rather than just waiting for my agent, and that’s what this is about.

“It is about a coffee morning. It is four rich friends that went to boarding school together.

“They have not seen each other since Covid. They kept in touch but now they are meeting up for the first time properly together.

“It runs for an hour and 15 minutes and there is something big that happens but I won’t say what because I don’t want to ruin it!

“But something comes out. The women spend their lives boasting about their husbands and their wealth but there is one character called Bibi who is much more down to earth.

“Bibi has done a counselling course and she is married to a teacher. She has not married a very rich husband. She looks at her friends and sees that they are so boastful about their husbands and their lives and she is sick of it. And she starts a therapy session around the table...

“I just want to get this play seen and to get the feedback from the audience, to see whether they think it works and what they think about it.

“It is the first time that we have done it in front of a live audience and it is better that they are honest about it rather than not, but I hope that they will enjoy it.

“We want people to ask questions and just to be very easy going with it and say what they think.

“I would love a producer to come down and see it and want to put it on.

“I’ve really enjoyed writing it and I just want to see something happen with it. I would love to see it get picked up.”