Poet Joy brings swinging sixties to life in new play

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THE former Cheshire Poet Laureate is bringing her new play to Macclesfield library.

Joy Winkler, 69, who lives in Macclesfield and regularly runs poetry sessions at the library, has written a 1960s drama ‘Lightening under their Skirts’ which captures the social and cultural shift from the monochrome 1950s to the vibrant early sixties.

Joy, who has lived in Macclesfield since 1989 with her husband John and family said: “I got the idea for the new show from old photos and family memories of Saturday night dances in 1960s Barnsley, where I grew up.

An awful lot happened in 1961. We think of the sixties as that iconic era of flower power and The Beatles, it’s just that little time before that that I’m trying to capture in the play, when all that was just starting to happen.

“Expect singing, flirting, fighting, making up, the stealing of lipsticks, jealousy, fear, and lies – family tensions as real now as then.”

Joy also facilitates creative writing workshops in Cheshire, and it was during her time working with female prisoners at HMP Styal in 2005 that she was appointed Cheshire Poet Laureate.

She said: “It was brilliant really, I started off doing writing workshops and encouraging people to read books.

“Once people on the outside knew what I was doing there they kept offering their services so we had all manner of things that come under the general umbrella of the arts.

“People were keen to come in and share that with the women, it was empowering for them to see what there was on the outside that they hadn’t met before.”

Joy left her job at the prison in 2008 to focus on her writing, and set up a creative writing group in Macclesfield in 2011.

Joy said: “We get a real across-the-board group, people who have never written before, people who have been published or been on the radio.”

Joy will perform her new play alongside CBeebies actress Josie Cerise at various venues across the North West and Barnsley in May.

Julia Bullock, manager at Macclesfield Library said: “We are delighted to welcome a professional show by a local prizewinning writer.

“The evening includes ‘A Taste of the Sixties’ so we’re getting ready for plenty of fun from the decade.”

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