Let It Run And Set It Black
This is a 1983 play about Northern Ireland which I rewrote in 2004. The new version was, like the first, rejected by the Abbey. The play is set in a Dublin newspaper at the time of Bloody Sunday and the Aldershot bombing, events also described in Pity for the Wicked. For me it’s interesting on two counts: primarily, of course, as a political statement, but also structurally. A great deal of what is said on stage is quoted directly from reports published in newspapers on the days referred to, so the play is essentially a documentary. In other words what is usually background is here foreground. One consequence of this is that the characters are deliberately veiled – they are, of course, to the forefront but hidden by what is happening.
The play was commended in the 1984 O.Z. Whitehead Play Competition, but as yet is unproduced.