Ladies of Letters starring Tessa Peake-Jones and Gwyneth Strong
May 24th - May 28th
An Yvonne Arnaud Theatre production
Ladies of Letters
by Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman
Adapted by Jonathan Harvey (Coronation Street, Gimme Gimme Gimme)
Starring Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Grantchester) and Gwyneth Strong (Only Fools and Horses, EastEnders), and directed by Joanna Read.
Irene and Vera meet under a table at a wedding, after consuming too much sherry. Over the ensuing years, they form a hilarious, barbed long-distance friendship.
Tessa Peake-Jones plays Irene, a retired medical receptionist with a flair for taramsalata, and Gwyneth Strong is Vera, an ex-mobile librarian, embarking on a new relationship with Bill. Between them they battle the big issues of the 21st century, for better, and worse. From climate change protest and drug trafficking to accidental imprisonment, they freely vent their views on their ungrateful children, how to find love at 60, and, on each other.
Ladies of Letters is a riotously funny, sharply observant comedy, packed with acidic detail that women (and men) navigating ungrateful families and M & S in an unforgiving world know so well.
Since Only Fools and Horses ended in 2003, Tessa and Gwyneth have had busy careers. Tessa is well known as Mrs Chapman in ITV’s Grantchester. Her other credits include Unforgotten, Marchlands, Doctor Who, and Poirot. Gwyneth has appeared in numerous classic stage productions and TV shows, with screen credits including roles on Eastenders, Silent Witness, A Touch of Frost, and Casualty, to name a few.
Created by Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman, Ladies of Letters became a staple of BBC Radio 4 drama, running for 13 years. It was later adapted for ITV and is still running on ITV3.
This production is adapted by multi award-winning Coronation Street writer Jonathan Harvey, who will also be well known for his BAFTA winning sitcom Gimme, Gimme, Gimme. It is directed by Joanna Read, Director and Chief Executive of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.
‘New boyfriend, eh? I read about this woman in the Daily Mail who abandoned all her friends for a new fancy man. And then an illegal immigrant fell off the wing of a jumbo jet and landed on her. So let that be a lesson to you.’