by Peter Gill
Crucible Youth Theatre
Crucible Studio, Sheffield, 1 June 2002
Thoughts from the Director:
When Michael Grandage was planning the Peter Gill Festival he asked me if I would direct Friendly Fire. It's a great chance for Crucible Youth Theatre (CYT) to join in as part of Sheffield Theatres' main programme with a play written specially for young people.
The challenges the play presents to young performers are firstly those of acting; getting to know the characters really well and all the subtleties of their feeling. The play is very true to young people's lives. The style of writing seems very naturalistic at first, and you have to grasp what's not being said as well as what's being said. Then there are moments when the play surprises you: the characters sometimes break out into heightened speeches, which are very exciting but have to come believably from them and the situation they are in. The stylistic challenge is very exciting — naturalistic but heightened.
The language, as written, is very Essex in rhythm, but Peter has agreed that we should go for a northern version. It will be interesting to see whether it translates completely or whether there are still some lifestyle differences between South Yorkshire and Essex.
Gary, Adie's straight friend, has a real crisis — he has no idea how to deal with his best friend fancying him. He has to maintain his masculine dignity in front of the other lads. Meanwhile, their female friends are caught in the crossfire; they're going 'what's going on here? don't we get a look in?'
Nick Nuttgens, March 2002
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