By Gaye Poole

Directed by Anna Tolputt

Human Story Theatre DRY

11-26 January 2018

Touring Oxon, Bucks & Glos.

Life in the Cotswolds is good, and hard working James and Ellen Wilson enjoy relaxing with a drink, or two, or three, and often entertain friends with good food and quite a few bottles of good wine. Where does this drinking stop, or does it? And how does teenage daughter Chloe cope with the cracks appearing in the formerly smooth running household? A one hour play with music, which takes a hard-hitting look at the insidious drinking habits many of us have succumbed to. Full of partying, laughs and also hard hitting facts, the Wilsons may well benefit from reducing their alcohol consumption.

Touring in ‘Dry January’, DRY is a new one hour drama with music, commissioned by the NHS.


Running time 50 mins.
Followed by a 20 minute post-show Q&A with guest professionals from Turning Point and other specialists from local organisations addressing issues explored in the play.

An informal atmosphere is created for the Q&A, facilitated by the two actors, with local specialists able to signpost people to their local services. Building on the story within the play, the audience is also encouraged to share their own experiences, both to ‘offload’ and also to help support fellow audience members, if appropriate.

Joanna Trollope


"I was so impressed, and really moved, by DRY. It is a stunning piece of theatre, both in the writing and the acting, and should be seen nationwide. It’s also a most effective marriage of theatre and therapy."

Michael Billington

Theatre critic

"Much taken with DRY by Gaye Poole, which I caught in the basement of St James's Piccadilly and which offers a salutary warning about the dangers of middle-class alcoholism. Presented by a lively Oxfordshire company […]"

Lucy Askew

Chief Executive & Producer, Creation Theatre

"Human Story Theatre's production of DRY was thought provoking, well executed and certainly leaves it's audience with a lasting legacy of thinking about our relationship with alcohol in a new light. As with all Human Story Theatre productions the post show talks are far more than an add on and an integral part of the production. For DRY the post show talk I attended was incredible, the audience fully engaged in the topic sharing their own experiences in a moving and inspiring way."

The Oxford Times

"Humour, pathos, shock, pain are provoked as you watch the drama unfold. […] Yet despite the serious nature of the subject matter, it doesn’t lecture. I laughed, was close to tears, and at times also deeply uncomfortable.”


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