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Thursday, 14 March 2024

QuartetThe Long Road is just around the corner

Little Theatre: 8-13 April

With knife crime all over the national news, Hebden Bridge Little Theatre's second Centenary production could hardly be more topical.

The Long Road, by Shelagh Stephenson, which explores the emotions of a family that has lost a member via a stabbing, is being staged between April 8 and 13. 

When 18-year-old Danny is fatally wounded in a random knife attack by a drug addict, his family struggles to find meaning and forgiveness. His mother Mary's determination to understand the atrocity "no matter what the cost" brings her face to face with his killer, forcing the family to confront the bitter senselessness of their loss.

Rachel Doyle-Richards (see left), who is directing the production, says "I was really interested in the idea of creating space to listen to those who have caused you harm, and this production takes a gritty and emotional look at the complexity of responses to bereavement and violent crime. 

"Fortunately, I have the type of exceptionally talented cast necessary to highlight the emotional claustrophobia being felt by the characters they are portraying, and I couldn't be happier with the way things are shaping up in rehearsals. This promises to be a real masterpiece."

Kate Shackleton (see above in the centre), who plays Mary, is particularly thrilled to have the chance to bring this character to life in view of the first-hand experience she has of the devastation caused by addiction.

She says "She is a devoted mother and wife who, despite suffering bereavement and despair, is determined to find a way to navigate her family through the darkness. I am working hard to strike the right balance between severe hurt and bitterness and strength and hope for the future. Her complex relationships present a real challenge."

As the first Centenary play, Hay Fever by Noel Coward, was a complete sellout – with some nights selling out well in advance – those wishing to book tickets should be taking action now.

Tickets for The Long Road (April 8 to 13) cost £11/ £9 and can be obtained online at www.hblt.co.uk.