All I needed to do was stand firm like the rest, take a breath and I’d’ve been fine. Break heart, drop blood, done. Always take a breath Jim. Always take a breath.
Weald is a terse and delicate dissection of male emotions from a rural perspective: fathers and sons, honour and legacy, molasses and mud. This poignant world premiere by Daniel Foxsmith is directed by Bryony Shanahan of critically acclaimed shows Operation Crucible and Bitch Boxer.
After eight years away Jim arrives ‘home’ to a remote livery yard in rural England. He’s in need of work. It didn’t end so well last time, but he’s sure that this time it’ll be different…
Sam, as old as the fixtures and fittings themselves, reluctantly agrees – there’s work to be done after all. As the men attempt to pick up from where they left off, fresh cracks appear beside old wounds. Things have changed. But the world can only be held at bay for so long before the two men will have to answer for their actions.
Writer Daniel Foxsmith comments: “I’m interested in men’s identity in a modern world, one that is slowly leaving traditional gender roles behind. What does it mean to ‘be a man’ nowadays? Does it even matter anymore? With Weald I’m asking why men (including myself) struggle to be emotionally transparent, particularly with each other. My frustrations with my own shortcomings have found their way into the writing, and the ideas I’m keen to explore are told through the relationship between father and son; what we give to each other and what we take away, the unspoken bond that cannot be replaced and how men of all ages attempt to bridge generational gaps.”
In 2014, there were 4,623 male suicides in the UK (figures collated by the Campaign Against Living Miserably), the second highest number in 15 years and the equivalent of 12 deaths a day. Weald looks at the importance of a support network for the vulnerable and the need for men to articulate their emotions and redefine gender roles.
Weald is in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and supported by BBC Performing Arts Fund Legacy Grant. It is Daniel Foxsmith’s third full-length play. Bryony Shanahan along with Charlotte Josephine are co-Artistic Directors of multi award-winning Snuff Box Theatre.
Supported by Arts Council England.
by Daniel Foxsmith
Writer Daniel Foxsmith
Director Bryony Shanahan
Producer Jake Orr
Artistic Collaborator Charlotte Josephine
Lighting Designer Seth Rook Williams
Production Designer Christopher Hone
Sound Designer Peter Rice
Cast: David Crellin and Dan Parr
Performance Dates Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 27th February 2016
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees 3pm (Saturdays from 13th February)
Running time 80 minutes
118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Twitter @SnuffBoxTheatre, @dan_foxsmith, @Bryony_Shan, #Weald