Joy's play on Wigan words

A new play with Wigan links is set to tour Lancashire next month with a big-name cast and crew.

Monday, 17th April 2017, 10:34 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:56 pm
Joy Winkler, whose father is from Wigan, credits her family background as the basis for her latest stage play

New 1960s drama Lightning Under Their Skirts will embark across the county in mid-May, taking in St Anne’s, Edgworth and Calder Vale.

The story is about two siblings who want to escape their humdrum mother-dominated lives in an end terrace rife with secrets and lies. It is about growing up and moving on.

More though, it is about the feeling of breaking free and starting a new life, all set amongst a backdrop of all things Sixties.

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Lightning Under Their Skirts was written by Cheshire Poet Laureate Joy Winkler.

Joy, who lives in Macclesfield, but whose father was from Wigan, told how her upbringing inspired the story.

“I got the idea for the new show from old photos and family memories of Saturday night dances in 1960s Barnsley where I grew up,” Joy said.

“Expect singing, flirting, fighting, making up, typing on old typewriters, best friends, the stealing of lipsticks, jealousy, fear, and lies – family tensions as real now as then.”

Joy was working as a writer with women prisoners in HMP Styal, south Manchester, when she was appointed the first woman Cheshire Poet Laureate in 2005.

This is her fourth play with award-winning director Kevin Dyer, who has directed theatre companies across the UK for 20 years and has a special interest in working with poets.

She also performs in the play alongside TV actress Josie Cerise.

The Chorley actress has appeared on CBeebies and starred in the BAFTA-nominated Ha Ha Hairies.

The show will tour with Spot On Lancashire, which brings professional theatre, dance, music and family shows to rural venues across the county.

Lightning In Their Skirts will open at St Anne’s Library on May 11, before heading over to The Barlow, Edgworth on May 12 and culminating at Calder Vale Village Hall on May 13.

For more information and for tickets, visit