Scorch | Theatre Preview
The MAC, Belfast • 02 – 07 May 2017
By Scott Boldt
“You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view.” I am reminded of this quotation from Eric Roth in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as Scorch makes its return to Belfast after opening here in 2015 and then travelling to the Fringes of the world to collect one award after another.
Scorch was written by Belfast talent Stacey Gregg who also wrote Shibboleth and has penned drama for radio and television. Where Shibboleth explored how Belfast’s peace walls operate inside people’s heads, Scorch delves into some of the dividing lines between sexuality and gender through the person of Kes – a troubled teen-ager who acts on her despair with revealing and challenging consequences. The drama has a balanced measure of humour and poignancy which serves to humanise without moralising.
Directed by Prime Cut’s Emma Jordan (The God of Carnage and The Conquest of Happiness), she said: “This is an important play by an important Northern Irish playwright and audiences will experience a pretty special script performed with an engaging energy.” Set in the round, this energy is provided by Amy McAlister playing Kes who shares her fears and intimate secrets seasoned with a love-filled hopefulness while weaving between the audience.
The MAC continues to showcase locally produced talent and work which challenges and entertains audiences with contemporary and relevant themes. Scorch is brought home with the assistance of Ciaran Bagnall (Set & Lighting Design), Enda Kenny (Costume Design) and Carl Kennedy (Sound Design).