‘Cathy’s War’ by Claire Booker won actress, Helen Duff, a Notable Contribution Award in the Lost Theatre’s 29th annual One Act Play Festival last month. The production gained accolades from Paul Vale, Theatre Critic for The Stage, who adjudicated 18 plays over six nights.
“A deeply humane script. It blew me away,” he told the audience. “One of the highlights of the whole Festival has been the performance by Helen Duff in the role of Cathy.”
Cathy’s War is set in Belfast during the 1980s. When Cathy’s young husband is shot dead in army cross-fire, she decides to take revenge into her own hands. But is there one rule for women and another for men in this deadly game of vengeance?
Alexander Forsyth turned in a powerful performance as Cathy’s brother, Gerry, who struggles to understand Cathy’s ‘hands-on’ approach to killing.
Claire Booker was mentioned in dispatches – notable contribution award (writing) – for the script. The production was ably directed by Joanna Greaves, who is one of the founders of the Bread and Roses theatre and has recently launched the Skylight theatre: http://www.skylighttheatre.co.uk
“Claire Booker’s play is not about the Irish question as such, though it colours the whole concept enormously,” reads Paul Vale’s formal adjudication. “This is a play that delves much deeper into the psychology of grief, one of the prevalent themes in this festival and perhaps the most successful play this week at dissecting the process. We mourn the dead but how do we grieve for the living? . . . The pain of loss and ultimately the fear of death resonate throughout Duff’s bravura performance and the strength of her characterisation shapes the play.”
Thanks go to The Betsy Trotwood and Bread and Roses pubs for their kind provision of rehearsal space. Also grateful thanks to Lost Theatre for the use of the photos in this post.
For more information about The Lost Theatre please click on the following link: http://www.losttheatre.co.uk