A CENTURY ago a respectable middle-class family became the centre of a national scandal as they fought against the State for justice for their son found guilty of a crime he did not commit.

The events of this cause célèbre were dramatised by Terence Rattigan into his play The Winslow Boy and you have a chance to see this gripping and moving family drama performed by Wimborne Drama Productions at the Tivoli Theatre from 15th to 17th February.

When 14-year-old naval cadet Ronnie Winslow is expelled from the Royal Naval College at Osborne for allegedly stealing a five-shilling postal order, his family are pulled apart by the repercussions of this charge, as they fight to clear his name or face social ostracism as the case becomes a national scandal. Driven by the father’s passionate belief in justice whatever the personal cost, the family battle for the truth, played out under the media spotlight, testing themselves to their very limit.

The play, directed by David Pile, stars Chris Durham as the father, Judy Garrett as the mother, Tracey Nicholls as their suffragette daughter and Sam Moulton as the eminent barrister they hire. Twelve-year-old Oliver Brunt, a pupil at Dumpton School, plays Ronnie. Also in the cast are Calum Hearne, Gary Paine, Colin Pile, Chrissie Neal, Ann McColgan-Clark and Rob Cording-Cook.

Terence Rattigan is regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century, a supreme theatrical craftsman and a master at showing the deep emotion that often hides behind the stiff upper lip of his characters.

There are performances on Thursday February 15, Friday February 16 and Saturday February 17. Evenings at 7.30pm (£12.50) and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm (£10.50). Telephone the Box Office on 01202 885566 or book online at www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk (booking fees may apply).