A DRAMATISATION of the fight against fracking in Sussex has sold with more than 10,000 buying advance tickets.

Fracked! Or: Please don’t use the F-Word stars James Bolam and Anne Reid as unlikely anti-fracking campaigners.

In real life, James Bolam and his wife Sue Jameson were part of a successful campaign to oppose plans by Celtique Energie to explore for oil near their home village of Wisborough Green, near Billingshurst.

All 33 performances of the new work by BAFTA-nominated author Alistair Beaton have sold out more than three months before it opens at Chichester Festival.

Chichester’s 350-capacity Minerva Theatre said the play sold out within a few weeks of tickets going on sale in early March.

A spokesman added: “It is not unheard of for plays to sell out before the opening night but I would say for a whole run to sell out quite so quickly is unusual.

"People are very interested in the subject and the play has two very well-known and well-loved actors in it.”

Keith Taylor, A Green MEP for the South East and a vocal anti-fracking campaigner, said:

"This is great news; it just shows how strong the feeling against fracking is in the South East - as it is across the UK. It doesn't hurt that Alistair Beaton is a fantastic talent or that the story rings true to life for lead actor James Bolam, who successfully campaigned against fracking in his own community in West Sussex."

"With UK Oil and Gas recently announcing their proposals to drill more than 2000 wells in the South East, people in the South East are, rightly, concerned about the environmental and health impacts of fracking and unconventional oil extraction.

"Whether it be through public meetings, demonstrations or entertainment, people clearly want to find out more about the process and understand what they can do to oppose it.

"The scientific consensus on climate change has never been greater and we are being told that the best chance we have of averting catastrophe is by leaving large reserves of oil in the ground.

"The extraction of fossil fuels in the South East not only risks damaging our environment and health, it is a distraction from the work that must be done to build a sustainable future based on a low-carbon, democratic energy system.”