A HEARTBREAKING play raising awareness of stillbirth will be staged in Chester after a successful run in North Wales.

Chester and Wrexham based theatre company Tip Top Productions is to host the staging of play written by a Flintshire playwright which aims to raise awareness of child loss.

Suitcase Theatre Company will present Dancing in The Wings at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, on March 20 and 21 at 7.45pm, following on from performances at Theatr Clwyd, Ty Pawb in Wrexham and Galeri in Caernarfon.

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Written by Philippa Davies and directed for Suitcase Theatre Company by Chris Dukes, Dancing in the Wings tells the story Rachel and her desire to have a family of her own. The play follows Rachel in her quest to become a mum and how despite the medical marvels of the modern age, this simple dream was snatched away from her. Alone, and faced with the crippling adversity of losing a child, Rachel finds much needed help in Julia, a counsellor at the local hospice. The play is based on the real life experience of Philippa and her Partner whose daughter Sam was born asleep eight years ago. Having already lost one baby in early pregnancy, they sadly went on to lose another three of Sam’s siblings at different stages of pregnancy afterwards.

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Philippa, who lives near Mold, said: “I want to raise awareness of baby loss for the thousands of parents having to face this and resulting mental health conditions. Losing my children turned me from an outgoing and happy person into someone who was angry and introverted. I was depressed and had PTSD. Every healthcare professional I came into contact with tried to do their best to help me but people struggle with the subject of baby loss and I needed specialist support."

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Writer Philippa Davies. Image: Twitter

She added: "In the end, a fantastic nurse from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd told me about a charity they worked with, Ty Gobaith or Hope House. My time with their bereavement counsellor empowered me to write Sam’s story for the stage and my play was created with help from Betsi Cadwaladr health board, Ty Gobaith (Hope House), Sands, Theatr Clwyd and UNISON Cymru Wales.”

Speaking about Dancing in the Wings which contains strong language and themes which some may find distressing, Chris Dukes added: "This moving play is based upon writer Philippa Davies’ own struggles with stillbirth and child loss. The play aims to raise awareness of these issues and reach out to those facing similar hardship and show them that they are not alone. Some of the proceeds from the production will be donated to two charities, Ty Gobaith (Hope House) and Sands who support sufferers in this area."

Brian Fray, chairman of Tip Top Productions, said "We are pleased to be hosting this important piece of drama at The Forum Studio Theatre and by doing so, lend our support Philippa's aim of raising awareness of this heartbreaking subject to as wide an audience as possible".

For information on all upcoming shows at The Forum Studio Theatre visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk where tickets can also be booked online. Alternatively, contact the Box Office on 01244 341296.