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Where will we be this time next year? Who knows, but it’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves many times over the last year and this week we look back to where Lighthouse was just 12 months ago... 

We were fighting for our lives, is the short answer. Starved of income from audiences and with little prospect of it returning for quite some time, we faced the greatest existential threat we have ever known. At this point last year, we still didn’t know if applications for Government aid had been successful, let alone when the funds would come through. 

But the need to create is strong, so we turned our focus to the things we were able to do and this week last year we were preparing our first care home play reading via Zoom. 

The residents at The Laurels care home in Foxholes Road – all regulars at the bi-monthly community tea dances at Lighthouse – were able to watch Emmerdale star Fiona Wade, 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 part of the Come To Where I Am caller service from celebrated new writing theatre company Paines Plough in a digital response to the pandemic that saw 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.  

(NC) 

Published 14 June 2021