Cheadle Hulme, Cheadle SK8 5EX
The play is set in the fictional mill town of Hindle in Lancashire in England, and concerns two young persons, Fanny Hawthorn and Alan Jeffcote, who are discovered to have been having what would now be called a “dirty weekend” during their holiday, during the town’s wakes week. Class is a major plot point in the play; Fanny is a mill-hand in the factory owned by Alan’s father and their respective fathers once worked together before Mr Jeffcote senior rose to owning a mill, while Mr Hawthorn continued as a mill worker. After initial reluctance on the part of Mr Jeffcote senior, and the outright opposition of his wife (who suspects Fanny of being a gold-digger), the families pressure the couple to get married. Greatly to the surprise of everyone (including Alan) Fanny refuses. She makes it clear that she regarded the dalliance with Alan as “a bit of fun” and considers him a poor choice for a husband. She is disowned by her people but expresses confidence that her skills as a weaver will allow her to support herself in the future.
Characters (4m 5f) Mrs Hawthorn, Christopher Hawthorn, Fanny Hawthorn, Mrs Jeffcote, Nathaniel Jeffcote, Alan Jeffcote, Sir Timothy Farrar, Beatrice Farrar, Ada the Maid