Lee is the writer of our upcoming production Old Ground
Attempting to bring the story of one of Manchester’s darkest legacies to the stage was not an easy decision, and one I have carefully considered for a number of years. It jars so vehemently with everything else that is normally celebrated and associated with our city (arts, music, football etc) and the culture of its’ people; many of whom still feel understandably raw and emotional about its’ uncomfortable ramifications or simply ashamed (or disinterested) about the possibilities of looking beyond what they already know; facts and clarifications often just giving-way to ignorant aversions or, worse, careless embellishments of forgotten truths. Inflammatory fictions only crudely distort the already unthinkable realities, and they should have no place in any assessments or examinations of such cautionary circumstances.
I believe there to be no such thing as ‘morbid fascination’. Rather, more an interested in the highly unlikely – a curiosity in the unexplainable, the baffling and the absolute bizarre – and should never be deemed ‘unhealthy’, or ‘shameful’. Fact is often stranger than fiction and many millions of people have contributed to internet viewing-figures; some of the highest being footage of human atrocities such as 9/11 or the holocaust for example, not to mention documentations of true crimes. It is how and why we approach such historical matters that determine what we might take from it intellectually, or emotionally, afterwards and the reasons remain entirely within the individual. The human ‘condition’ consists of many complications, and to look into the unimaginable is, sometimes, only an attempt to understand them better; though satisfactory conclusions may never be fully achieved.
To remember only the names and faces of the two perpetrators in this story is to only pick at the old, septic wounds and is, ultimately, to allow their crimes to be committed over and over again. In short, unacceptable and irresponsible.
The plight of the two mothers in this particular period of the story I have chosen to convey is my true fascination, for they prove that hope, above all else, can (and should) never be diminished – no matter how despairing and catastrophic out circumstances might be. Equally, their children deserve to be remembered by name; their tragedies should not become their significance – and their lives, though short, should be acknowledge – and with respect.
Bringing OLD GROUND to the stage depended on one thing : finding the appropriate professionals to treat, understand and execute it with great sensitivity and care, on all levels.
I found them.
I have complete faith in all members of production involved and, most importantly, I respected everybody’s individual concerns, questions and doubts before saying ‘yes’ to shouldering the responsibilities required in attempting to lift this idea off the page. Less of a ‘cast and crew’, more of a ‘fellowship’, and one in which I feel fully supported when anticipating any uncertain appeal and reactions to the story we will be presenting to our audiences.
To be on stage in not necessarily to entertain – it is to learn, connect and educate.
To see more information on Old Ground and book tickets for the show, visit our website –http://www.organisedchaosproductions.co.uk