DRY, an edge-of-your-seat drama about the couple next door, it is coming to Didcot.

Originally commissioned by the NHS, the one-hour play deals with the issues surrounding alcoholism.

The play covers parenting, disappointment and middle-age drinking, all with music and a dramatic storyline.

The play focuses on the Wilson family who are middle class and middle aged with a far from middling alcohol intake.

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The family work through their issues to try and keep them together as they struggle with alcohol.

DRY’s writer, Gaye Poole, said: “I wanted to develop something that showed in a very real way what many of us have seen or experienced ourselves. What can seem like a social norm can turn people against each other and change personalities. I’ve also introduced topical subjects into the play, such as Brexit, which people use as an excuse that ‘drives them to drink’.”

DRY’s national tour is supported by Turning Point, which delivers drug and alcohol recovery services across the UK.

Turning point is there for people who want to make a positive change in their lives.

Oxford Mail:

After each show there will be a Q&A where professionals from Turning Point and other organisations will discuss the issues of the play, the impact of alcohol on communities and where to find help.

Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive at Turning Point, said: “Every person has the possibility of change and at Turning Point we are inspired by that possibility. We can and do help people on their journeys to recovery. Turning Point supports DRY because it brings an awareness about the harm that alcohol addiction can do to individuals and society.”

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Professor Marion Lynch, deputy medical director, NHS England South, who originally commissioned DRY, said: “DRY was commissioned because of its potential to show medical professionals and the general public some of the real issues behind alcohol abuse. Performing it in Parliament will take this a stage further to an audience that can really help make a difference to the way in which we view and treat alcoholism.”

He continued: “Art and culture contribute to our health and drama such as DRY will make a huge contribution to the current alcohol crisis. Many health professionals know that cultural and community activities can make a much more positive impact than medical intervention alone. DRY’s performances in spaces like church halls, libraries and schools go to the heart of communities and will make a lot of people think about alcohol in a different way.”

Oxford Mail:

The broadcaster, Adrian Chiles, who has seen DRY and attended its Q&As, said: “All credit to everyone involved, and whoever it was in the NHS who had the imagination to commission it in the first place, and to Turning point for supporting a national tour. It works as a wake-up call to those who may be more dependent on alcohol than they thought. But, importantly, it’s less of a health warning than a positive pointer in the direction of all the help that is available out there.”

See DRY at Didcot’s Cornerstone Arts Theatre at 7.30pm on January 16.