Reading of Jack Rosenthal's last play will be centrepiece of Chai's virtual dinner

Cancer charity chair finds late playwright's script in lockdown clear-out. David Baddiel and Howard Jacobson will be among those taking part in reading


A recently unearthed manuscript of the last play written by the late Jack Rosenthal will be read by a star-studded cast as part of the Chai Manchester virtual dinner on Thursday night.

The play, Tell Me On A Friday, was written for and performed to an audience of 250 at a Chai Cancer Care dinner in 2002, 18 months before the playwright died from cancer.

For the online dinner - a replacement for the fundraiser Chai’s Manchester committee stages every two years - Mr Rosenthal’s widow, Maureen Lipman, has put together an ensemble including David Baddiel and Howard Jacobson. The event is being streamed live on Facebook and YouTube and is the first time the work can be viewed by a wider audience.

Chai Cancer Care chair Louise Hager said that “during lockdown, like everyone else, I’ve been clearing through papers and stumbled across the script. I immediately shared it with Maureen and we decided that it just had to be seen by as many people as possible.

"The play, although short, highlights the impact of a cancer diagnosis from five family members' perspective and the support an organisation like Chai provides.”

Ms Lipman said: “Chai Cancer Care is the most dynamic charity I have ever come across and they give the best loving care for their clients. We have to keep their flame burning.”

Post-lockdown, there are plans to record a full production as a testimony to the playwright and Ms Lipman as a patron of Chai.

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