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Chesterfield theatre stages charity production in memory of young playwright

Posted by
04 Mar 2011

Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre is staging a special production for charity on Saturday 19 March in memory of local playwright Richard Woolley, who died from leukaemia in 2009, aged 26.

All proceeds from the performance of Tabasco, one of several award-winning plays written by Richard, will be donated to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research - the charity dedicated to finding better treatments for all blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma – and Anthony Nolan.

Richard, a news journalist for Johnston Press, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in 2008 just days before his 25th birthday. He underwent six courses of chemotherapy at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital but, sadly, after going into remission the disease returned and he died in October 2009.

Richard’s father, Michael Woolley, who is supporting the theatre’s fundraising efforts, paid tribute to his son: "He was an amazing guy. The treatment meant that he lived in hospital for three to four weeks at a time but as he was due to get married, he made sure it happened.

"After going into remission he decided to run the London Marathon in 2009 to help others. But the cancer returned and he was unable to run. I’m immensely proud of him. I miss him like hell; he was more than a son to me, he was my best friend."

Tabasco, a comedy focusing on a chance encounter between two strangers and a man intent on suicide, which won Richard the Pomegranate Theatre’s annual New Playwright Competition, will be performed at 3:00pm on Saturday 19 March.

During the afternoon the audience will also hear a stage reading of another of Richard’s plays, St. Christopher, plus extracts from Leukaemia: My Marathon for Love, the journal Richard kept throughout his treatment which was published in February 2011 and is being sold in support of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Anthony Nolan.

Michael says: "The aim behind all of this is very simple: to try and find a solution, a cure, for this awful disease. Leukaemia affects young and old, wrecking families. It has to stop".

"Please buy a ticket and come along, Richard was a great talent and had a superb knack for comedy. It’ll be a great afternoon."

Buy a ticket for Tabasco

Tickets for Tabasco are priced at £10 and can be purchased by calling the Pomegranate Theatre Box Office on (01246) 345 222

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