Janice Fryett, who played the scheming, designer label-loving Mrs Herod in the 2013 cycle of the city's medieval plays takes the role of another over-bearing wife, Clara Soppitt, in the Priestley play.
She said: “It’s a gift of a part, Clara is unrelentingly nasty, casting side swipes at the working classes, men in general and Herbert Soppitt, the archetypal hen-pecked husband, in particular.”
The farcical comedy, set in 1908 and directed by Peter Swingler, centres around the silver wedding celebrations of three couples, the Helliwells, the Parkers and the Soppitts, all married on the same day by the same young curate in the fictional town of Clecklewyke near Bradford.
Having moved up in the world, the six are smugly satisfied that they have become pillars of Yorkshire Edwardian society; so the bombshell that the young curate may not have been legally qualified to solemnise their marriages gives rise to philosophical and comic fall-out.
The play includes finely-drawn cameo and supporting characters including Nancy, the Helliwells’ love-struck niece, played by Harriet Jones (Mary Magdelene in the Chester Mystery Plays). Peter Marnell leaves behind his swaggering Anti-Christ to play Fred Dyson the hapless reporter from the ‘Yorkshire Argus’, who goes to interview the ‘happy couples’ only to find all three marriages unravelling in the Helliwells’ drawing room.
When We Are Married is at the Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, from 3-12 April. Tickets from