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Stars of Doctor Who and Star Trek take to the stage in Winsford this summer

Sylvester McCoy and Robert Picardo will be acting in a new ‘existential comedy’ on August 11-12

Sylvester McCoy and Robert Picardo will be acting in The Joke

TV science fiction icons Sylvester McCoy and Robert Picardo will be coming to Winsford in Cheshire this summer.

They will be joining award-winning Winsford actor Richard Oliver for the first time on stage for a new three character ‘existential comedy’.

The Joke, written and directed by Dan Freeman, explores the commonalities between comedy, stories, music and life.

Production manager Deb Waters explained: “Three characters, apparently born into a void, try to work out where, when, who they are and whether the joke is in fact on them.”

This is the first time that Freeman, who created audio dramas The Minister of Chance and The Light of September, has written for stage.

McCoy, who acted in Doctor Who and The Hobbit, Picardo of Stargate and Star Trek Voyager fame, and Oliver, who was named best actor at the NYC Indie Film Awards 2016, have all worked with him before.

Waters said that Freeman, who also hails from Winsford, has ‘always had a fascination for comedy’ and had been working on the idea of the play for a while.

“The availability of the cast was a factor too as they all have work commitments around the world,” she said.

“So when there was an opportunity to get them all together, Dan leapt at the chance to stage the play.”

There will be two preview performances in Winsford at the newly opened Theatre Space on Dingle Walk, Winsford Shopping Centre.

They will take place on Friday, August 11, and Saturday, August 12, before the play heads to Edinburgh Festival from August 14 to 26.

“Cast member Richard Oliver has been instrumental in creating this new performance space in his home town,” Waters said.

“Performing there will not only benefit the cast, who will have a chance to put the play before an audience for the first time, but it’s also hoped that it will help the venue by attracting people who may have not yet visited the new space.”

The play, like Freeman’s audio productions, was financed by the public through an online crowd funding programme which offers perks to contributors.

“The crowd funding concept means that those contributing feel a very real sense of ownership and an online community has built up across the world through these previous productions,” Waters said.

“One of the perks offered is a ‘cinema ticket’ which gives the buyer access to an as live recording which will offer the flavour of the theatre experience wherever they many be around the world.

“Other perks include receiving a voice mail message recorded by the cast, a birthday card from the stars and even the shoes worn by the actors in the performances.”

The team has so far raised £4,650 of their £7,000 target to put on the production.

Tickets are strictly limited to four per person and include a unique programme autographed by all cast.

For tickets to the show or to contribute to the crowd funding click here.

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