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Preview: The Frights at Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre

Alphabetti Theatre presents The Frights
As a Double Bill with Your Ever Loving and The Response Plays
Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre
Wednesday 11th – Saturday 21st May 2016

The Frights
Alphabetti Theatre and Theatre N16 have come together to produce two intense and thought-provoking plays to be performed as a double bill. In a time when terrorism and radicalisation are at the forefront of western media The Frights has never been more relevant. 

Exposed to the violent experiences of captivity and effects of radicalisation on young men, the audience are taken on a journey through some very real and prominent issues our society faces. Your Ever Loving compliments these themes as we hear the story of Paul Hill, wrongly accused of a heinous crime and the terrors he too had to face, but this time at the hands of our own justice system. 

In an exciting twist where north meets south, Jamie Eastlake, originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, returns to the North East with his London-based theatre company to direct Your Ever Loving. Newcastle-based Alphabetti Theatre returns the favour, where founder, southern-born Ali Pritchard, will direct The Frights at Theatre N16.

The Frights
Written by Louise Taylor & Directed by Ali Pritchard

Activist Hanny is finally back where she belongs, walking the streets of her hometown with boyfriend Luke. But her three months of captivity overseas is proving difficult to leave behind. The remnants of her time away claw their way back to the surface as we are taken on a journey through her experiences of terror as the characters take on multiple roles, highlighting the violence and aggression that she was faced with.

However, Luke begins to spot the cracks in the stories Hanny has shared of her ordeal - and their reunion is rudely interrupted by a pair of curious bystanders eager to make an escape of their own. Has Hanny embellished her ordeal to gain her cause some extra column inches? Or is she hiding what she’s really been through in order to ease Luke’s conscience?

The Frights is a twisting, darkly funny play that explores the shades of right and wrong and asks: is there ever a right time to look the other away?

Christina Berriman Dawson,
James Hedley,
Jacob Anderton,
Sally Collett

The Frights is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Reviews for The Frightsin March 2015:
“Alphabetti's…mission statement says that it wants to make theatre which will ‘leave the audience thinking at the end’ and this play certainly does that.” British Theatre Guide March 2015

“An intelligent and often witty play not set back by off-stage drama.” Narc Magazine March 2015

Your Ever Loving

Written by Martin McNamara and Directed by Jamie Eastlake

1974, Guildford. Pub bombs in Guildford and Woolwich murdered seven people and shocked the nation – but why were the wrong men arrested? Forget Making a Murderer – this new play by journalist and playwright Martin McNamara uncovers the holes in our own judicial system through the story of Paul Hill and the Guildford Four, directed by Jamie Eastlake.

After the Guildford and Woolwich bombings, Paul Hill and the Guildford Four were arrested and jailed for 15 years for crimes they did not commit, their convictions based solely on confessions extracted during brutal interrogation. Forensic evidence and witnesses that pointed to their innocence were never disclosed at the original trial. Detectives used violence, intimidation and threats to extract the confessions. It would take 15 long years of campaigning before the Four were exonerated and their convictions quashed.

Inside, Paul was beaten and brutalised; he was 'ghosted' (moved from prison to prison without notice) more than 50 times and spent a total of five years in solitary confinement. But he never gave up hope. Using the letters Paul sent to his mother and family over the course of his imprisonment, Your Ever Loving charts his fight to maintain

his dignity and prove his innocence, as well as uncovering one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

Paul Hill says, "It appears nothing has been gleaned from miscarriages of justice, especially those with political overtones. We live in an age where you can be subject to torture, while Ivy League educated politicians play verbal gymnastics with the meaning of the word."

Stefan McCusker
James Elmes

“Jamie Eastlake is going to break the big time and do the North East proud"
(The Newcastle Chronicle)

“McNamara’s dialogue is well–observed, sparklingly comic” (British Theatre Guide on Martin McNamara’s The Magic Hour)

Running Time: Approx. 2 hours & 15 mins including a 15 minute interval in-between each play

Alphabetti Theatre
Wednesday 11th – Saturday 14th May, 7.30pm
Ticket Price (for both plays): £12 / £10 (concession)
0191 261 5906
The Basement of 16 New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW

The Frights is running until Saturday 21st May at Alphabetti Theatre with The Response Plays as a double bill. 30 writers have been selected to write a short response to The Frights, inspired by any aspect of the production. Alphabetti have commissioned the two best responses to be performed following The Frights. This project is supported by New Writing North and Apples & Snakes.

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