Recently single, the world uninspiring, a dead-end job and a weak relationship with his father, he relies on the moments of solace with his best friend. One day his best friend takes his own life, Alquist wonders how men text friends to say that they’re lonely…where men go to grieve?
The catalysts for writing IN THE SHADOW OF THE BLACK DOG are based on true events. My best friend died. Soon after, I became ill and was sitting in a hospital emergency room, alone and scared believing I wouldn’t have long to live. I felt unable to call anyone for support to be with me. Months later, I was chased down by two men on a moped, wielding knives, threatening to kill me and I narrowly escaped. After the experience of these events a thought has stayed with me I haven’t been able to shift: I don’t know if I can save myself, harbouring fears about being a man or not a good enough one.
This story is about confronting fear, embarrassment and pain, learning it doesn’t work if we keep avoiding the root causes and staying quiet. We can’t just put on a mask and convince ourselves everything will be OK. The way to break this cycle of hurt and suffering and be able to move on is to engage with others. Only then can a better life be possible. No longer trying to survive each day and starting to live.
In the Shadow of the Black Dog at Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre
In the Shadow of the Black Dog at Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre from Tuesday 25th February to Wednesday 26th February 2020.