Wythenshawe writer’s bid to show the lighter side of death
Wythenshawe playwright, Sarah Cassidy is making a dramatic bid to get us all to become less grave about death.
The writer, who lives in Baguley, has penned a new black comedy called, “Bleeding with Mother”. Set the night before a funeral, it centres around a family vying to get their hands on a fortune – stashed under their dearly departed mum’s coffin.
Sarah will be known to listeners of, Wythenshawe FM 97.2, having hosted a show for the community radio station for three years before taking a break.
Sarah wrote the play using her experience of grief when losing all of her grandparents over an 18-month period, and the sudden loss of a very close friend when she was in her 20s.
“Grief affects people so differently and I wanted to explore this in both a sensitive, yet comical way. The characters in Bleeding with Mother depict both sides to grief,” said Sarah.
“The play focuses mainly on a brother and sister who are mourning the death of their mother. On the one hand the brother is at his mother’s house to try and find money, and the sister is having a real hard time coming to terms with her mum’s passing.”
Memories of the warm and friendly environment at Sarah’s grandparents’ home in Preston, Lancashire is one of the inspirations for the play.
“I used to love spending time with my grandparents. Whilst writing this play I visualised their living room and kitchen area,” said Sarah. “They knew everybody on their street, and would always leave their back door open for any of the neighbours to pop in for a cup of tea. It’s certainly not like that where I live now, and that sense of community is certainly lacking from my kids’ childhood.
Bleeding with Mother very much has a sense of nostalgia in its tone. From twitching net-curtains to everything being solved with a cup of tea, this kitchen-sink drama certainly reflects a lost-era of family and community, whilst tackling mortality with morality.
“Although I’m currently taking a sabbatical from hosting a regular radio show, I will be back on the airwaves and talking to the community again later this year,” said Sarah.
The black comedy is Sarah’s debut play and stars Louise Wilson (Doe and Hollyoaks) Pete Gibson (East of Heysham, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Prey) and Dave Jordan (Various fringe productions and The Actor’s Lab showcase, The Lowry). Audiences will also be introduced to Sheffield Crucible actor, Jennifer Derbyshire.
Bleeding with Mother is being staged by Room 5064 Productions – formerly Lass Productions.
“Some of the characters in Bleeding with Mother would be quite at home in an Alan Bennett work” said producer Gareth Kavanagh, “They are recognisable and certainly very funny. But beneath the folksy Northern-ness there is a sharp edge and a keen sense of morality and insight which everyone in South Manchester will recognise.”
Friday 27th May 2016 – 7.30pm Joshua Brooks, 106 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6NG
Saturday 28th May 2016 – 7.30pm Nexus Arts Café, 2 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 1JW.
Ticket are £6 from Fatsoma Productions and there will previews at Gullivers in Manchester on May 21 and 22, priced £5.