A PLAY that depicts the rich history of Dorset, highlights the importance of community theatre in the UK.

This Friday, Monmouth comes to Shelley Theatre, in Boscombe.

The Marine Theatre Players, based in Lyme Regis, head from West Dorset to tell the story of the Monmouth Rebellion which began in 1685 as told through the eyes of Alice. The play is written by Lyme born writer Andrew Rattenbury (Doc Martin, Casualty, Tempest of Lyme).

John Simpson, one of the cast members, highlighted the importance to take this historic story on tour.

“We wanted to perform in areas of significance to tell the whole story,” stated John. “We are playing in six venues. We have already performed in towns and cities such as Minehead and Exeter. Whilst Bournemouth is not directly involved, the Duke of Monmouth tried to escape to Poole, when defeated.”

“Taking this around the south west, is the natural thing to do. However, not many community plays actually go on tour.”

The community theatre is something that the Marine Theatre Players have embraced and give credit to the stalwart of community plays, Ann Jellicoe, who died at the end of August. “We owe a great amount of thanks to the hard work of Ann, who brought the importance of community plays throughout the UK since the 1960s. She wrote a play about the Monmouth rebellion, The Reckoning in 1978. She inspired thousands of people to do things they had never done before.”

With the performance, this week, what does John want people to take away?

“As well as to be entertained, it provides a glimpse into our deep history in Dorset. For instance, the Monmouth rebellion, was the last pitched battle on home soil.”

“We tell this story through conflict, the narrative of the day and what happened within the Monmouth Rebellion.”

“What the Shelley Theatre provides, is a sense of intimacy and everyone to be a part of the experience. We have 23 people performing as well original music, that just adds to the whole atmosphere.”

“We cannot wait to showcase this to everyone. We have loved every minute of this journey.”

The play is from 7.30pm this Friday evening (29th September). You can buy tickets from www.shelleytheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01202 413600