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Playwright David Martin says: This play (we’re starting to realise) is something very special. It’s hard when you’re the writer to know exactly how it will be received, but the feedback from our preview performance in Bath has been exceptional. People have been moved and absorbed by how the play handles the themes of mental health, psychological disturbance, guilt, abandonment and repression. Less noted, but just as present throughout the play is the importance of your name and of belonging, the evanescence of love and the conflict of the very human need for both presence and isolation.
The themes and sub-themes often emerge around pivotal lines in the script, such as "it's not an event, it's a process", "good weight, but no substance", "everything we touch changes something", "I'm hanging on your every word" and "you can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can sure as hell make a new ending."
The hilltop setting for Fragile Man is perfect for the dramatic opening and has allowed us to introduce plenty of metaphorical references; such as being on the edge, staring into the abyss, the fading of the light and the setting of the sun.
However, the ‘real’ story is told through a series of flashbacks which take the men (and the many characters they portray) off the hillside and into a number of other locations in time and place. This shifting between the flashbacks and the hillside creates a real dynamic, with an accompanying, original soundscape, which helps transport the audience and projects the story forward with great pace and poignancy. One audience member commented “deep issues, beautifully communicated”. Thank you - it’s my favourite!
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