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06 June, 2012

By Paul Brooks and Don de Silva

Jamiyla Ocasio will dazzle and beguile as fabulous story-teller Canta Dora
Jamiyla Ocasio will dazzle and beguile as fabulous story-teller Canta Dora
The enduring and ancient power of story-telling is imaginatively used in the Guildford theatre company, LynchPin Productions’ latest show Consider This.... Consider This... a new multimedia play supported by Initiatives of Change UK and produced by LynchPin Productions

The show is a multimedia extravaganza involving storytelling, song, movement, live music, and still and moving image and will be premiered at The Electric Theatre, Guildford, on 20-22 June.

The dramatic play is based on actual, moving stories of change, forgiveness and reconciliation. It is written by LynchPin founder and director, Jack Lynch.

The play follows a chance meeting between two strangers, a storyteller, Canta Dora, and the secretive and tortured Pews.

Their meeting forces Pews to examine his life as he tries to come to terms with a troubled past he’s desperately trying to escape.

The play examines difficult topics of forgiveness and reconciliation, and how accepting forgiveness and welcoming reconciliation can bring about healing and personal and social transformation. But there are humorous inter-actions between Dora and Pews, as well.

Ensemble member Philip Voyzey helps John House as troubled traveller Pews confront his past
Ensemble member Philip Voyzey helps John House as troubled traveller Pews confront his past
Consider This… superbly captures real life stories of change from The Forgiveness Project, a global charity that explores issues of reconciliation and conflict resolution, and some from Initiatives of Change. The narrative is interspersed with filmed interviews by acclaimed film-maker Lloyd Miller and original, and live music by the talented composer Razia Aziz.

A recent play reading of Consider This…kept the audience enthralled from start to finish. The moral and dramatic sensitivity of the script is moving as any play on the British stage today.

The ambitious new work has already attracted serious support, with a £10k grant from the Arts Council and additional financial support from several organizations, including Initiatives of Change UK and Guildford Borough Council.

Ensemble member Sarah Finigan teases another secret story from John House as Pews
Ensemble member Sarah Finigan teases another secret story from John House as Pews
Consider This… is something of a labour of love for its writer and director.

‘I first came across The F-Word: Images of Forgiveness exhibit of The Forgiveness Project in 2004,’ says Jack Lynch. ‘And I was deeply moved by its stories where victims and perpetrators related sometimes horrific acts of violence, then in very simple terms explained how they managed to forgive the perpetrators or themselves and move on. And ever since I wanted to devise a theatre event around the subject of forgiveness.

‘Some eight years on we’re finally in the middle of rehearsals where wonderful things are happening and we’re all very excited to be bringing Consider This… to life.

‘We feel privileged to be able to tell these powerful, challenging, moving and inspirational stories. The process is very humbling. The next phase of the project is a national tour. It’s exciting stuff.’

These are exciting times for LynchPin. Founded in 1999, they are now tackling their biggest project to date.

‘LynchPin has built up an impressive body of professionally-staged work over the past decade, culminating in last year’s The Women of Lockerbie, which won rave reviews from all quarters,’ adds LynchPin co-founder Edie Campbell.

Musical Director Sufia Manya and ensemble member Philip Voyzey will provide the music
Musical Director Sufia Manya and ensemble member Philip Voyzey will provide the music
‘Consider This..., however, will be the biggest and most ambitious project we’ve ever undertaken. Its moving stories of transformation and change make it an utterly compelling project to be involved in. And we’re hoping our audience share our enthusiasm.’

There are also Talkbacks after each performance chaired by BBC Radio’s Jeff Thomson, with special guests including Marina Cantacuzino, and representatives from The Cordoba Foundation and Initiatives of Change UK. And audience feedback about the show and its themes will be an integral part of these events.

A big and ambitious multimedia event with dialogue, live music, song, movement and original film, it promises to be a moving, challenging and inspiring evening to remember.

Each performance will be followed by a Talkback:

Weds 20th – Marina Cantacuzino, founder, The Forgiveness Project; Dr Nicholas Beecroft, Consultant Psychiatrist; and Matt Goodridge, Local Police Commander for Guildford Borough.
Thurs 21st
– Amjad Saleem, The Cordoba Foundation; Charlie Ryder, Outreach Worker, Wormwood Scrubs Community Chaplaincy; and Razia Aziz, composer for Consider This…, Interfaith minister.
Fri 22nd – Anita Amendra, Project Manager, Sustainable Communities, Initiatives of Change UK; Andrew Hillas, Assistant Chief Officer for Restorative Justice, London Probation Trust; and Dr Joan Smithies, a Psychiatrist who works with people detained under the Mental health Act, including mentally disordered offenders

(Photos by Edie Campbell)

Consider This… is at the Electric Theatre in Guildford on 20-22 June.
Tickets: £14 & £12 concessions.
Box office: 01483 444 789
www.electrictheatre.co.uk
Performances start at 7.45pm.

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