Director Jane Wilton had no qualms about making her cast of three feel uncomfortable during rehearsals for Belper Players’ latest production.
Rehearsing in a dark, cramped toilet cubicle was just one way of challenging her cast, whose characters have been taken hostage in the Lebanon in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me.
Frank McGuinness wrote the play in the wake of the hostage crisis of the late 1980s, when Terry Waite, John McCarthy and Brian Keenan became household names.
But it is not a factual piece and it is not political.
Instead, it explores the dynamics between three men who have been forced together in exceptional circumstances.
In an introduction to the play, Brian Keenan had this to say: “Though he had no information on which to base his play, I could see he had the touchstones of emotional truth.”
Belper Players will be performing Someone To Watch Over Me at The Strutt Centre, Belper, where it will run from Wednesday, May 8 to Saturday, May 11,at 7.30pm.
Jane Wilton says: “I’ve been in love with this play for a very long time.
“I’m fascinated with how humans cope when they have been thrown together after periods in solitary confinement, and how they behave under duress in a terrible situation.
“The process has been emotionally challenging for everyone involved.
“The three characters are in a desperate situation and they are often at each other’s throats.
“But the human will to survive leads to some uplifting moments, and others which are surreal and darkly funny.”
The cast of Tom Makinson, Nick Mothershaw and Terry Stevenson were last seen together in Belper Players’ production of Nickleby – A Tale For Christmas, which is currently up for a NODA award for Best Drama.
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Tom took the title role but this could be his last appearance with Belper Players for a while as he has his sights set on drama school.
Jane adds: “As always I’ve had a committed team behind me, and I’m really pleased that we will be performing this play during the first Belper Arts Festival, which is happening throughout May. Belper is a very exciting place for the arts at the moment.
“I also hope this production goes some way to helping all of us cherish and appreciate our freedom.”
Tickets for Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me are available from Joyce Towle on 01335 370827 or via the Belper Players website at www.belperplayers.com. More information about Belper Arts Festival can be found at www.belperartsfestival.org.