A famous author arrives for a live television interview to talk about his career, unaware that the host has evidence he may have plagiarised his latest book. During the heated exchanges, in front of a studio audience and with the world watching live, the author has to fight not only the journalist but also his own sanity. Memories and secrets that have been locked deep inside his mind refuse to stay hidden any longer and spill into the studio. The author faces a battle to keep his secrets hidden.
In a world where pre-planned and heavily coached interviews are the norm, this play looks at the difference between the answers people like to give and the truth hidden behind these answers.
"this is a production of the highest quality. An original piece of writing, this is intelligent and disarmingly powerful theatre."
"beautifully written; heartfelt and poignant"
Since graduating from the University of Central Lancashire in 2014, Sean has performed in works including an interactive horror experience and a Theatre in Education World War Two based production of “No Bravery Without Fear.” Sean also teaches acting skills to children and young adults at summer schools. Sean’s most recent play credit was working solely with UCLan graduates in “Food For Thought” with Front Row Theatre Company, based in Preston.
Dean recently graduated from The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. Before relocating to Manchester, Dean worked as an actor for both stage and screen. Most recently he performed at The London Theatre playing the role of ‘Valet’ in ‘No Exit’.
Jennifer is one of the founding members of From the Mill. Primarily an actor, Jennifer also writes, directs and produces for the company.
Jennifer is very passionate about acting, and has been performing from a very young age. After growing up in Macclesfeld, working with local theatre groups and the National Youth Music Theatre, Jennifer moved to Manchester, and performed in a range of productions with the Royal Exchange Theatre for a number of years.
Jennifer has also worked with Punchdrunk and Adam Curtis, while performing in ‘It Felt Like a Kiss’ in the 2009 Manchester International Festival. More recently, she has performed with Just Add Water Theatre Company at the Lowry, in ‘Bobby’.
Jennifer is also very passionate about physical geography, and is currently studying a PhD, researching past environmental change in Morocco at the University of Manchester. Her other hobbies include reading, swimming, going to the theatre and the cinema and going to see live music.
As well as being one of the founding members of From the Mill, Tom also acts, writes, produces and directs for the company.
After having a year out working in Canada, Tom went to Liverpool University and directed “The Shape of Things” for Liverpool University Drama Society, going on to win ‘Best Director”.
Tom has undertaken periods of training with LIPA and LAMDA.
In his spare time, Tom enjoys running, live music and films
Clare loves visiting the theatre; it’s fun. Clare’s favourite plays are ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare, ‘Educating Rita’ by Willy Russell and ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ by Richard Bean.
As the performers of Life’s Witness marched around the stage, sitting down and then shifting positions as music played, I was worried that it would be an overly ambitious concept piece. I needn’t have had any worries at all; this is a production of the highest quality. An original piece of writing, this is intelligent and disarmingly powerful theatre, and deserves a fuller audience in the pleasant setting of the United Reformed Church.
The story itself is simple, not over-ambitious, but it is beautifully written; heartfelt and poignant. A critically acclaimed author, Nathan, is being interviewed, and gradually he is exposed for both the mistreatment of his younger lover, a history student, and his own lack of originality. We see flashbacks of his life, and understand the pressures that his publicist and critics put him under, as well as his own sense of failure. The links between the interview and scenes from Nathan’s life were clever and fluid, each character written with real sensitivity. Even the interviewer, who gradually shifts from pleasant TV personality to purgatorial guilt confronting Nathan, was written with a degree of subtlety. Nathan himself, in less capable hands, would gradually be exposed to be totally unlovable; a fraud with no redeemable virtues. This was not allowed to happen, however, and he was, even in all his wrongs, pitiable as a man who had lost everything in trying to prove his worth.
The acting was excellent and assured all round, but Dean Bramall was outstanding as Lee, the wronged history student. He had an understated charisma, and played my favourite scene brilliantly, where he meets Nathan for the first time by accident. The awkward flirtatious conversation was so well observed that, even being aware of the tragedy to come, I wanted to smile at the encounter. Indeed, I often found myself smiling at the very quality of this production, and left quite moved. Nathan wishes he could write a quality novel, unlike his spy thrillers. If only he could have written something as good as Life’s Witness, we might have avoided some events of this beautiful tragedy.