A NEW play explores the brief and defiant life of the writer of hit 1980s comedy Rita, Sue and Bob Too. The play by Bradford teenager Andrea Dunbar was famously filmed in locations including the city’s Buttershaw estate and Haworth.

Lisa Holdsworth has now written a stage adaptation of Adelle Stripe’s acclaimed novel Black Teeth And A Brilliant Smile. The production features an all-female cast and is presented by Bradford-based Freedom Studios.

Lisa, who wrote episodes of TV shows Ackley Bridge, Waterloo Road And Call The Midwife, has fictionalised Andrea’s life. The setting is Buttershaw in 1990 as Andrea struggles with her latest work, her aching head full of voices, stories from her past which have to be heard.

Andrea’s first play, The Arbor, which premiered at the Royal Court in London when she was just 18, originated as a CSE English assignment. She was, according to one tabloid newspaper at the time, ‘a genius straight from the slums’.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1982) was also a hit at the Royal Court and was subsequently filmed by the director Alan Clarke. Dunbar wrote one more play, Shirley, and died of a brain haemorrhage in 1990. She was 29.

Lisa said: “It is both a great pleasure and privilege to be writing this play. It will not only be a celebration of the life, work and unique spirit of Andrea Dunbar, but also of Adelle Stripe’s extraordinary book which brings out Andrea’s humour and bravery.”

The play is at the Ambassador, 90 Sunbridge Road, Bradford, May 30-June 8; Buttershaw Youth Centre, Bradford, June 17; The Holbeck, Leeds, June 30.

Visit freedomstudios.co.uk to book tickets.