Commissioned by New Perspectives (1999)
Published by Nick Hern Books (e-book)
In 1950’s Nottingham, John Player’s girls have the best jobs, the best wage and the best hairdos in town. And now, there’s a new face on the Navy Cut machine as 15-year-old Mae comes fresh from the country for her first job at the tobacco factory.
Mae lodges with Aunt Glad who sits alongside her on the production line but keeps her assignations with the young factory foreman to herself. Led by workmates Cyn and Vee, Mae takes her first steps into the world of the Player’s Angels: where a young girl can lose her halo and find her wings.
Nottingham’s John Player & Sons was part of the Imperial Tobacco Group with Bristol’s W.D. & H.O. Wills. Both dominated the UK cigarette industry in the 20th century.
Player’s Angels was rewritten as The Wills’s Girls for Show of Strength Theatre Company. It was performed in the Tobacco Factory (2002-2003), one of the few surviving Imperial Tobacco buildings in the UK.
The Wills’s Girls was produced as a BBC Radio 4 15 Minute Drama, directed by Sara Davis and featuring members of the Bristol production.