Bench drama brings TV actors to Lowther

Graham Cole and Diane Keen who star in You're Never Too Old at Lowther Pavilion
Graham Cole and Diane Keen who star in You're Never Too Old at Lowther Pavilion
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Two familiar faces from the world of TV have teamed up for a touching play coming to Lowther Pavilion.

Diane Keen and Graham Cole play Ada and Tommy, two elderly people who meet on a park bench and share their stories and secrets in the two-hander You’re Never Too Old.

The play’s touring the UK following a ‘celebrated critical response’ at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, visiting the Lytham theatre tomorrow

Diane, best-known as Fliss Hawthorne in The Cuckoo Waltz, Jenny Burden in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries and Julia Parsons in the BBC soap Doctors, said: “You find out all sorts of things about Ada and Tommy during the course of the play as they get talking.

“It’s very funny and full of pathos with a huge twist at the end which I’m not going to tell you.

“It’s always a shock and surprise for the audience - they love that it comes, and we hear them going ‘Oh’. It’s really nice, but there mustn’t be any anticipation about it.”

And there’s the challenge of taking to the stage with just two of you to tell the story, heightening the drama of the piece.

“There’s no hiding place in a two-hander,” she added. “You have to trust each other which we do, and be there to help out if someone goes wrong.

“It is quite a short piece and once we get going it just flows along and before we know it we’re at the end.”

As both Diane and her co-star Graham, famed for his role as PC Tony Stamp in the long-running drama The Bill, are more used to the busy sets of a TV shoot - there’s a real contrast in being on the road for a two-man play, accompanied only by a technician.

“There are so many more people with TV,” Diane said. “There are just the three of us wandering round the country.”

While theatre ‘doesn’t pay’ to the same degree, Diane’s a true fan of live performance.

“It’s our natural heritage and tradition,” she said. “We have had theatre in this country for centuries in one form or another.

“To lose the art form [because of funding] would be very, very sad, but there’s a startling figure of theatres or companies closing.”

* You’re Never Too Old, Lowther Pavilion, Lytham, tomorrow, 7.30pm. Call (01253) 794221 for tickets.