Rep re­turn in one-act play se­ries

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

Ruther­glen Rep are re­turn­ing with a pair of one-act plays.

The pop­u­lar am dram group will present their dou­ble-bill at Kirkhill Halls in Cam­bus­lang on Fri­day, April 8 and at Stonelaw Par­ish Church the fol­low­ing night.

On of­fer will be the tense thriller Am­bush, writ­ten by Bernard G High, and the drama Such A Par­cel of Rogues, writ­ten by Is­abella C Rae.

Is­abella ex­plained: “I don’t want to give too much away about Am­bush, but it’s full of sus­pense.

“The main char­ac­ter, Vi­o­let, owns a cot­tage in the woods, in the wilds, and there’s only one neigh­bour nearby when some­one ar­rives say­ing they’re the niece of Vi­o­let, but the owner doesn’t recog­nise her.

“There’s a few twists in it, and the owner of the cot­tage re­ally ends up at the mercy of this per­son, so there’s a lot of sus­pense and it’ll keep you guess­ing.”

Is­abella’s own play took the po­lit­i­cal back­drop of the in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum to weave a tale that jumps be­tween two time pe­ri­ods.

She added: “It goes be­tween the early 1700s and from about 2013 to 2015, with the ref­er­en­dum de­bate hap­pen­ing all around.

“In the first part, it’s about a poor fam­ily who are suf­fer­ing from the af­ter ef­fects of the Dar­ian Scheme and they’re dirt poor.

“It’s about how the state of the coun­try af­fects this sim­ple fam­ily. Then it flicks over to the other side of the stage, where Scot­land’s not in a good state be­fore the ref­er­en­dum – the youngest son in the fam­ily has fin­ished univer­sity and can’t get a job, the older brother has lost a good job and his flat – the younger son and his sis­ter are very for in­de­pen­dence, the older son isn’t, and the mother is sit­ting on the fence and says she won’t vote, which hor­ri­fies ev­ery­body. So you have fam­ily prob­lems with them on op­po­site sides.”

Given how emo­tive the ref­er­en­dum can be with peo­ple, Is­abella ad­mits it was a tricky sub­ject to write about.

She said : “For the play I wanted to go a mid­dle path and show the bad from both sides, be­cause the two boys do end up shout­ing at each other and it gets very vi­cious, so there is strong lan­guage in it.

“I found it harder to write the more re­cent sec­tion than the older one, be­cause I knew too much about it – I’d seen it on TV till it was com­ing out my ears and it was a mat­ter of hav­ing to prune it all down and mak­ing sure you had a be­gin­ning, a mid­dle and an end to work as a play.”

How­ever the work paid off when the play was re­cently awarded the Best Scot­tish Life and Char­ac­ter award at the Scot­tish Com­mu­nity Drama Awards.

The Rep are also set to start cast­ing their next play, which will be The Mur­der Cot­tage and is writ­ten by Gerry McCar­tan.

More info on the Rep can be found at www.ruther­glen­rep.org.uk and tick­ets for their up­com­ing shows are priced at £7 (£6 con­ces­sion) and can be pur­chased by tele­phon­ing 0141 646 0017

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