James Bolam  Anne Reid

FRACKED! Or: Please don't use the F-Word

A new play by Alistair Beaton

Minerva Theatre
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Alistair Beaton's brilliant new comedy is in lockstep with the times. The issues are as urgent as ever. Terrific fun

Daily Mail

'How would you feel about sitting in front of that nice old village pub on a sunny afternoon while convoys of 40-ton tankers roll past six feet away?'

Deerland Energy's plans to drill for shale gas in the pretty village of Fenstock are going well. The company is looking at big profits.

They can count on the support of distinguished scientists working in University departments funded by the energy companies while at local level, Councillor Pilbeam, Chair of the Planning Committee, seems to be open to lucrative offers.

The only slight snag is a ragged band of protesters, reluctantly led by retired academic, Elizabeth Blackwood. Surely she's just another 'mad old biddy', as she's characterised by ruthless PR guru Joe Selby?

This new razor-sharp black comedy by Alistair Beaton takes a timely look at the conflicted core of planetary energy and earthly power. Beaton is a much-praised political satirist whose television work includes the BAFTA-nominated The Trial of Tony Blair, and such classics as Spitting Image. His plays include the award-winning Feelgood in the West End and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Chichester (2012).

Richard Wilson directed Simply Disconnected for Festival 1996. His acclaimed work includes Blasted at Sheffield Theatres where he is also an Associate Director. As an actor his recent work includes Krapp's Last Tape (Sheffield Theatres).

A distinguished cast includes James Bolam playing Jack, returning to Chichester following many previous appearances including roles in Semi-Detached (1999) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2005). Anne Reid plays Elizabeth. Acclaimed for her many roles in theatre, television and film, her credits include Last Tango in Halifax (BBC). Her previous work at Chichester includes Out of This World (2004).


Alistair Beaton's brilliant new comedy is in lockstep with the times. The issues are as urgent as ever. Terrific fun

Daily Mail

Very funny. Richard Wilson’s fast-moving production is a buoyant addition to the swelling ranks of environmental dramas


With good British humour and buckets of pathos, public anger is put under the spotlight to perfection

i newspaper

Alistair Beaton’s well researched and funny satire on Hydraulic Fracturing reflects current issues with Brexit, Boris and even Southern Rail


Cast & Creatives


Cast List

James Bolam


Anne Reid


Oliver Chris


Vanessa Emme

Emma and Young Woman

Andrea Hart

Jenny and Lady Mayor

Freddie Meredith

Sam and Young Man

Sam Otto


Steven Roberts

Waiter and Policeman

Michael Simkins


Tristram Wymark

Professor Wakeman and Neville

Creative Team

Cast List


Alistair Beaton


Richard Wilson


James Cotterill

Lighting Designer

Johanna Town

Sound Designer

Ian Dickinson for Autograph

Video Designer

Tim Reid

Casting Director

Gabrielle Dawes



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Running Time
2 hours and 20 minutes including the interval