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Residents at a Poole care home were able to enjoy a very personal drama last week as they watched Emmerdale actress Fiona Wade read a play via video calling service Zoom.

The residents at The Laurels care home in Foxholes Road – all regulars at the bi-monthly community tea dances at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, watched as Fiona, who plays Priya Sharma in the long-running soap, read Quicksand, a ten-minute play about a 12-year-old girl who walks out of school.

Playwright Chloe Moss adapted her work so that the action was set in Poole and mentioned Canford Cliffs, Haven Road, the library and the beach, where the girl meets an old lady and her dog and discovers her life might not be so difficult after all.

“It’s a lovely thing to do, I really enjoyed reading the play,” said Fiona, who has also appeared in Silent Witness, Grange Hill and Tracy Beaker Returns. “It’s a great project and I’m really glad to be part of it.”

The reading was a pilot for the Come To Where I Am caller service from celebrated new writing theatre company Paines Plough. The digital response to the coronavirus pandemic has seen a number of actors including David Bradley, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Lisa Hammond and Sally Dynevor read newly commissioned works to isolated audiences with no access to digital and on-demand culture. 

Come To Where I Am is a spin-off series of Paines Plough’s existing App-based audio play library that holds more than 160 short pieces on the places we call home.

The company builds local ties on its national tours including an annual collaboration with Lighthouse in the Roundabout festival of new writing.

(Photo of Fiona Wade is a screen grab from Zoom.)

Published 13 May 2020