Northern Outlet Theatre Company brings a double bill to the Lantern this week as part of a mini tour of North West fringe venues.
John and Mark is a new play by George Gunby about a musical legend and his killer. Set in the cell of a New York maximum security prison, the play sees Mark Chapman visited by John Lennon; the man he shot dead years earlier outside the Dakota building.
Touching on issues of love, loss, faith and obsession, the play gives Lennon the opportunity to ask the question that has riddled millions of people across the world since December 8, 1980.
The production sees Lee Joseph taking on the role of John Lennon. “For me, the play is about two complete strangers who are connected by one horrific moment – a very bloody brief encounter – which still haunts them. With George Gunby’s script we find a Lennon that the world has never known – a Lennon who is here to confront his killer. It’s about how they face their own personal demons.”
Completing the cast is Matthew Howard-Norman, who will be making his professional debut in the role of Mark David Chapman, and Tracy Gabbitas who will be playing The Woman.
The second play in the double-bill is the UK premiere of Naked Old Man by Tony and Academy Award-nominated writer Murray Schisgal.
Performed by Richard Sails, the play follows the ageing playwright and co-writer of the film Tootsie, as he is joined for the evening by three of his closest friends, all of whom happen to be deceased. “I confess to being the eighty-two-year-old man”, says Murray in an accompanying note to the play, “and the three guests that come to share the evening with me are, even today, among my closest friends. What inspired me to write the play? A deep, emotional need, the only reason to write anything.”
The double-bill is directed by Paul Blinkhorn, and you can catch it at the Lantern from tomorrow (November 6) to Saturday (November 8).