GIBRALTAR’S own international playwright and a full cast of local actors put on their first ever play in London at a theatre where Ian McKellen regularly performs.
Julian Felice called the moment his ‘Blue Whale’ aired at the ‘Space’ theatre in the British capital, ‘the highest point of my career as a playwright’.
His Dramatis Personae drama company performed on the same stage Ian McKellen and soprano Marie McLaughlin regularly frequent.
Gibraltar’s Ministry of Culture supported the production.
It marketed ‘Blue Whale’ as ‘a dark comedy of love and despair in an online world’.
The plot of the story speaks of Lewis, a 30-year-old who goes through a number of challenges to try to court an online date called Tash.
This process is full of humour and drama, can be reflective as well as trivial, a balance well orchestrated by Felice’s script.
Its title is a reference to the suicide game played by teenagers that spread from Russia to the Ukraine and the US.
It involved 50 challenges with the last one being a call to suicide.
Even though Dramatis Personae has taken part in festivals in the UK as well as Gibraltar, it is the first time they perform on a London stage.
Felice added to the idea after reading an article on strategies men use to attract women and those who teach them.
“I’m interested much how people behave and the relationships between them”, he said.
“I think almost all the time we are playing a role, especially when we meet someone new.
“It is a mask that we put on and, over time, when we are more comfortable with that person, we are start being ourselves.”
Felice has won several prizes on the Rock for his productions.
He has done some Llanito comedy but also tackled serious issues about teenage life in his plotlines.
Sam Bush plays Lewis in the production, Natalia Bonavia acts out the part of his internet lover Tash while Chris Ablitt plays Lewis’ friend Karl.
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