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The Distance at Orange Tree Theatre

Daniel Hawksford in rehearsal for The Distance.
Daniel Hawksford in rehearsal for The Distance. Credit Johan Persson

The Distance written by Deborah Bruce, is an Orange Tree Theatre and Sheffield Theatres co-production. The play had its première at the Orange Tree Theatre October 2014 and was the play for which Bruce was named one of the finalists in the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2012/13.

The creatives for the production are: Director: Charlotte Gwinner; Designer: Signe Beckmann; Lighting Designer: Mark Doubleday, Sound Designer: Max Pappenheim; Casting Director: Louis Hammond CDG

The cast for Deborah Bruce’s The Distance are: Charlotte Gwinner directs Michelle Duncan (Bea), Charlotte Emmerson (Alex), Daniel Hawksford (Dewi), Charlotte Lucas(Kate), Timothy Knightley (Simon), Steven Meo (Vinnie) and Joshua Sinclair-Evans (Liam).

The production opens on 3rd November, 2015 at the Studio, Sheffield Theatres and then returns to The Orange Tree in the run up to Christmas.

Good friends should be there for one another – no matter what. But when Bea returns home after five years abroad having made a bold choice about her life, old friends struggle to support her. Or even to understand. One night in Brighton, things threaten to slide into chaos…

A sharply funny play about motherhood (and fatherhood); about keeping control and letting go.

Daniel Hawksford who plays the role of Dewi recently took time out to answer a few questions.

The Distance is a new play by Deborah Bruce. How did you get to be a part of this production and was there anything in particular that attracted you to it?
I auditioned for the part a year ago and so I was drawn to Dewi because of his whole back story and the challenge of conveying that to the audience.

You play the role of Dewi. What can you tell us about his character and how he fits into the storyline?
Dewi is married to Kate and they have a baby called Iris. They are very well off as a family as Dewi used to be the lead singer in a band from Wales. The band are no longer together and since the birth of Iris he’s been a wonderful house husband.

Do you have a particular process that you go through when learning your lines?
My personal process is to continuously go over my lines in rehearsals and to also listen carefully to the actor I am working opposite as I can then use what they say to inform my response.

What is at the heart of The Distance?
At the heart of The Distance are unsaid truths and how these will affect the friendships of all the characters involved if, when and how these are revealed.

Why should everyone get along to see this production?
It is a brilliant play about relationships and the writing is great. There are different elements that people will find both funny and moving and a taboo is exposed that will shake all the characters to their core.

The Distance is only on for a short run – what next for you after this?
When this finishes its back to gardening, unemployment and auditioning. And Christmas!

The Distance
By Deborah Bruce
Studio, Sheffield Theatres: 29 October – 14 November
Press night: 3 November at 7.45pm
Orange Tree Theatre
26th November – 19th December, 2015
Running time 2 hours 10 minutes approximately


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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