Rebecca’s tribute to real women

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OUT with the old and in with the undies – that is the philosophy behind television star Rebecca Wheatley’s touring show which is set to “reveal” itself at Theatre Royal Wakefield next month.

Rebecca – who is almost unrecognisable from her character Ann Howard on BBC’s Casualty after dropping 12 stones in the last five years – has taken the reins of writer Louise Roche’s show Big Pants & Botox.

The one-woman show – in which Rebecca stars as the main character Barbara, while also playing a string of her friends and family – tackles, moans at, and flashes the inner demons of the mature woman.

Rebecca said: “It is the day after Barbara’s 50th birthday, and she is at a point in her life where she has a disastrous relationship with her husband, who went out for a cigarette one night and never came back. She is not close to her daughter any more, has a love-hate relationship with her mother, and a close friend she can’t stand. Well, we’ve all been there!

“It’s all about the experience coming up to that age where we feel we have to buy pants that hold us in but stop us breathing.

“I can relate to certain parts of her character, for example, she talks about the millions of fad diets she’s tried.

“I went through a similar experience when I was trying to lose the weight, so playing this part, it has been really nice to represent a real woman.”

Roche – author of novel Girls’ Night – based the play on a true story discovered while researching a television documentary 20 years ago.

Rebecca added: “The writing is so honest and painfully funny that the reaction we get from the audience is pretty unique.

“I think the show is really inspirational and people will leave feeling like everything is alright and we are normal after all!

“There are elements of stand-up in the show and there are hilarious moments which lead to my big reveal, those underpants aren’t just a prop they are going to be a big part of the play!

“Even if you are not big theatre goers this show will be a perfect night out, and we have found that at the end of the show we have problems getting everyone to leave which you wouldn’t expect from some theatre shows.”

Big Pants & Botox hits the stage at Theatre Royal Wakefield on March 8 and March 9 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost between £13 and £17. To book, visit www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk or call the box office on 01924 211311.

GEORGINA WATSON