Drama on the road

Stephen Wymark (aka Stephen Lawless) - writer of Fragments

Stephen Wymark (aka Stephen Lawless) - writer of Fragments

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Blackpool based actor and writer Stephen Wymark is taking his recently premiered play Fragments to fringe events in Buxton and Manchester.

After performing his work in intimate surroundings on the Fylde coast he is now confident the work is ready for wider exposure.

The play came about after the loss of both of his parents, most notably, his mother, to Alzheimer’s disease.

He also became ill, and was diagnosed with severe depression.

“I felt that I had lost all direction and it seemed I would never be capable of acting or writing again,” said Stephen. “I was told it would take some time before I would feel better. It actually took over two years.

“The desire to write something came first, just to get things down on paper seemed good.

“As it began to take shape I realised that I ‘needed’ to do this. I think having something tangible to focus my thoughts and energy on was cathartic.”

Fragments is a challenging play, at times funny, emotional throughout and chillingly intense.

“It is an edgy and provocative work – a different theatre experience,” says Stephen.

Fragments premiered earlier in the year at the gallery space of Blackpool artist Adrian Pritchard, and was also part of an experimental project taking live theatre into local people’s lounges.

“I wasn’t really sure how things would work out as the play is quite unconventional in its approach,” he said. “But after the reaction to the first show I realised that I had something quite special in my hands. I am hoping that the Buxton and Manchester Festival audiences will be equally as excited and generous.”

Blackpool born Stephen (right) trained in theatre at Blackpool and the Fylde College, Whittakers Dance and Drama Centre and Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre.

“My play is quite unlike most others as it does not seek a large audience, in fact, small is best,” he says.

“I want to maintain an intimate connection throughout the play, so that the audience goes on the journey, become part of the play.

“Fragments is about the audience, as much as it is about the performance.”

n Fragments can be seen as part of the Buxton Festival Fringe 2011 at the Underground Venues (Barrel Room) tomorrow and again on July 11, 18 and 20 (details http://www.undergroundvenues.co.uk) and also as part of LassFest 2011 at the Lass O’ Gowrie Pub, Charles Street, Manchester (The Salmon Room) on July 26 and 27 (details http://www.lassfest.co.uk)