‘Bully Boy’ by Sandi Toksvig is the next production from the Huddersfield Thespians, running in the Lawrence Batley’s Syngenta Cellar from 11-15 March.
This highly contemporary drama focuses on two characters, an Army Major and a young soldier, both of whom are damaged by warfare. They seem very different people. But as the play progresses, they discover more about each other…and about themselves.
Experienced director Alistair Cheetham has chosen to stage the play using a very minimal set and has added in film and television footage which will be shown on two screens. This is a contemporary staging of a very contemporary play that deals with challenging themes.
We caught up with Alistair:
What made you want to direct ‘Bully Boy’?
As soon as I started reading the script I was hooked. I’ve always been a fan of Sandi Toksvig, and her writing style is very natural, with language – though strong and explicit – that sounds right coming out of two men who have spent their adult life in the army.
It’s a war play, isn’t that depressing?
Well, it depends on how you look on things. If you want theatre to challenge you, to make you think, to shake up the status quo – then no, it isn’t depressing. I hope that audiences will find it a breath of fresh air.
‘Bully Boy’ was premiered less than three years ago, but is this a modern play in style as well as age?
Absolutely, it is a contemporary story, based around events we think are very recognisable. However, the play challenges our perceptions of war, mental illness, institutionalism and the chain of command. Even the title isn’t all it seems. The play is written for a contemporary audience, and as a director I have seized upon this style and moved it on, so as to present the play in a very twenty-first century way, using the latest audio visual techniques available to a society such as ours. We’ve used projection and screens on the main stage at the LBT, but for this production I’ve brought them into the Cellar.
Any more comments?
Please come and see ‘Bully Boy’, we have a great script, two fantastic actors and a massive amount of hard work that’s gone into producing a wonderful Thespians production. Remember also that with the special offer on at the moment, you can book a ticket for ‘Bully Boy’ and ‘Quartet’ (our 7-10 May production) for just £20. That’s great value for fantastic local theatre that’s been 94 years in the making.
And if this production inspires you, come and join us. Check out the ‘get involved‘ page on the website.
Below are s0me images from a recent rehearsal taken by David Wright of David Wright Images