12 Jan 2012

The Say Can Blues

The Say Can Blues, performed during the Not Part Of Festival from July 11th-15th 2011, was the first production from Scytheplays, in collaboration with Happy Days Productions.  Above is a rehearsal photo from the production taken by Brainne Edge.

The original poster.  Main photograph by Elysian Photography
A black comedy written by Kevin Cuffe, who had previously penned the acclaimed Slowly, Vignettes for the 24:7 Festival in 2007, the show tracked the descent into madness of tragi-comic hero Haydn Trowl, a man so prey to neuroses about the state of the real world that he first alienates his wife into leaving him, then becomes lost in a fantasy life as an American private detective.

Veronica (Jane Leadbetter) and Haydn (Daniel Thackeray).  Photo by Brainne Edge
Mr Trowl (Daniel Thackeray) and Miss V (Karen West).  Photo by Brainne Edge

Directed by the acclaimed Brainne Edge (JB Shorts, Russell T Davies' Midnight) with support from Sam Al-Hamdani, The Say Can Blues was a big success with critics and audiences due to its clever mix of emotional drama, film noir thriller fiction, and social and environmental paranoia, and won a 5 Star Award from Large Manchester at the close of the festival.  Click on these links to read reviews from The British Theatre Guide and The List.

The Say Can Blues was popular not least with its venue, the Lass O'Gowrie, which is where the next Scytheplays producution, The Ballad of Halo Jones, would be staged.

It is fair to say that without Kevin Cuffe's inspiration to stage The Say Can Blues in the Not Part Of Festival and his permission to let his brilliant script be produced under the Scytheplays name, there would have been no The Ballad of Halo Jones or any subsequent productions from this company.  Scytheplays owes him an unrepayable debt.