Harry and Meghan prompt online drama of Wallis Simpson's time in Felixstowe

Wallis Simpson & King Edward VIII

Wallis and Edward in the 1930s - Credit: PA WIRE

A play examining the time Wallis Simpson spent living in Felixstowe while waiting for her divorce to allow her to marry an English royal is being performed online.

Felixstowe theatre group Black & White Productions is presenting the play which focuses on Mrs Simpson’s stay at Beach House in Undercliff Road East at the height of the abdication crisis before she wed Edward VIII when he gave up the throne.

The plaque at the site of Beach House commemorating the stay of Wallis Simpson.

The plaque at the site of Beach House commemorating the stay of Wallis Simpson - Credit: Archant

Playwright Suzanne Hawkes said: "Although we have been in lockdown with theatres shut and performances cancelled - we have not been idle."

She said the group had been working hard to put together an online version of her critically-acclaimed play Mrs Simpson in Felixstowe, which had originally been performed at The Orwell Hotel in 2016 to mark the 80th Anniversary of the abdication.

Playwright Suzanne Hawkes as the Cook 

Playwright Suzanne Hawkes as the Cook - Credit: RICHARD HAWKES

She said: "The recent events surrounding Harry and Meghan have brought these events once again into sharp focus.

"An American divorcee, a besotted Prince and a constitutional crisis - sound familiar? But this was 1936!

"For two years the country was in uproar over the Prince of Wales' relationship with the married American socialite Mrs Simpson but Edward refused to give her up.

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"This production looks at the six weeks Wallis lived at Beach House on Felixstowe seafront waiting for the divorce court proceedings at Ipswich Court."

Beach House, Felixstowe, where Wallis Simpson stayed during the abdication crisis

Beach House, Felixstowe, where Wallis Simpson stayed during the abdication crisis - Credit: JOHN KERR

Mrs Simpson detested the five-bed detached house in which she stayed and complained that people in Felixstowe avoided her and that she was isolated and too far from the glamour of city life.

Edward used to visit her while she was at Beach House – his plane would land at Brackenbury Cliffs and he would go to the Fludyers Hotel near the house to have a few pints with the locals.

Dennis Bowron as Ernest in the online production of Mrs Simpson in Felixstowe

Dennis Bowron as Ernest in the online production of Mrs Simpson in Felixstowe - Credit: RICHARD HAWKES

The play features Petra Risbridger as Mrs Simpson, Dennis Bowron as Ernest, Suzanne Hawkes as Cook, with Stephanie Stoddart on vocals as Gloria Swansong and Bill Stoddart on keyboards.

Tickets are available until Friday, April 30 - they cost £5 and people can watch as many times as they wish. For full details and to purchase tickets click here.


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