Wife After Death - performed February 2013

By Eric Chappell

Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French

Director - Kate Sheffield

The title suggests anything but comedy. However the theme, in the 'hands' of Eric Chappell who wrote TV's Rising Damp, displays much humour as friends and colleagues gather to pay respects to 'national treasure' comedian, David Thursby.
Underlying the circumstances which develop is the question Harvey, who wrote Dave's scripts, asks; 'Do we really know anyone?'
Finding out about Dave is what we hope the audience will enjoy, The cast and crew have demonstrated real commitment in getting to rehearsals in spite of the weather. I am not sure that Dave would have been so committed!


(in order of appearance)

Laura Thursby
Rosamund Pettett
Vi Barrett
Jan Watkins
Harvey Barrett
Adrian Bolton
Kevin Prewitt
Glyn Hill
Jane Prewitt
Amanda Rowe
Chris Sadd

Production Team

Kate Sheffield, Derek Butcher, Jude Hussey, Bruce Emeny, Andy Terry, Gloria Streames, Yvonne Cobbold, Val Taylor, Patience Ling, Viv Wheatley, Amanda & Nigel Rowe, June & Alan Wheeler, Steve Sadler and other volunteers not mentioned.

Awards & Nominations

The Play

Dave Thursby's friends are gathered at his funeral. Their memories of him are very different and often clash. When the mysterious Kay arrives to drop her bombshell everyone endeavours to keep up appearances for the sake of the widow. Later, when the time comes to dispose of the ashes and Dave's secret life is finally exposed, tempers and ashes fly.


Funerals are not usually the jolliest of events, but Wife After Death provided the backdrop to one of the most funniest and most laughter-packed evenings at Manningtree's Manifest Theatre. Penned by Eric Chappell, one of the country's most successful writers, it was almost a laugh a minute from the beginning of this two-act play, best described as black comedy. The storyline revolves around the sudden death of a successful TV comedian. As his widow, friends and colleagues gather for his funeral, they are forced to face the fact that they may not have known him as well as they thought they did.
Staged by the Manifest Theatre Group in front of packed houses over five nights, the first chuckles soon became loud laughter, but it was not just the words or actions. Those on stage, under the direction of Kate Sheffield, conveyed even more through expression. This was particularly true of Adrian Bolton, a founder of the talented group some 35 years ago. On stage almost the entire play, he gave another magnificent performance. He was ably supported by Jan Watkins as his wife, while Rosamund Pettett, as the widow, hammed it up to perfection.
Lesley Pallett

Photo Shoot

(click on an image below to view a larger photo - arrow keys navigate through the set)

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