Adge amd Reg
Alex Dunbar (left) as Adge and Andy McGillan as Wurzel Reg Chant.

Since our two hugely successful, sell-out script-in-hand performances of this musical nearly four years ago, co-writer Tom Henry and I have consistently had many enthusiastic responses from people who were actually in the audience, or just heard about it afterwards, and want to know when we are going to have a show ready for them to come and see. We have had to disappoint them.

We have had many positive meetings with theatre makers in Bristol area. Adge Cutler remains a greatly loved local hero, and ‘Wurzel’ tribute bands do good business performing his songs. However, no-one in the arts world that we can find is prepared to actually support a new production of the show to a level that we can engage with as two writers without the resources of a well-funded theatre company behind us. Two years ago, Arts Council England granted us a significant sum towards a production, and co-producers were keen to offer support in terms of venues etc; but we simply could not raise the necessary money to deliver a production. When the arts world talks enthusiastically about broadening the audience for live performance, this seems very sad and a missed opportunity.

One wonders whether, if there were a figure of a similar stature to Adge Cutler in the local folk culture of say Belfast, Liverpool or in Scotland, the community they grew out of would be able to find the resources to celebrate their local hero? I suspect they would have done so long ago.

So, to end on a more optimistic note, if anyone has any ideas about how we might move this great show forward, please .

In the van

The Wurzels in their van, heading to Abbey Road Studios to record their first album. Reg wears a pretty skirt and top because there was no time for Gwen to make the fast change from playing Yvonne, Adge’s wife, in the previous scene. As one of the Wurzels ad-libbed ‘Ah, see you’m dressed up special to come to Lunnon then Reg.’

Curtain Call

Taking their very well-deserved curtain call – notice the raised cider glass in the front row – are (left to right) Ben Crispin, Rowan Talbot, Joe Hall, Alex Dunbar, Gwendoline Thomson and Andy McGillan