Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society's latest production, Ariel Dorfman's award-winning Death and the Maiden opens next week and Daily Info sat down with the show's director, Mark Wilkin, to discuss this exciting revival and what audiences can expect from it.
Daily Info: What's Death and the Maiden all about?
Mark Wilkin: Paulina Escobar's husband brings home a man who she believes she recognises as someone who raped and abused her. What should she do? What would you do?
Death and the Maiden is set in a country transitioning to democracy after several years of brutal dictatorship. It explores the feelings and needs of one the many people who suffered under the excesses of the past and in doing so, it brings into stark relief the moral dilemmas of those trying to lay the foundations for a peaceful future.
DI: What can audiences expect from this production?
MW: A faithful retelling by three well-matched actors in a setting which is ideally suited to experience such a dynamic and explosive drama.
Death and the Maiden explores some powerful subjects. How do you grapple with these?
MW: We don't hold back! To truly immerse the audience in this story, each of the characters has to be totally believable. We have spent considerable time exploring the motivations and needs of each of the individuals caught up in this drama in order that they should be accurately portrayed.
DI: How has the play aged in the 32 years since it debuted? How does the production approach this for a contemporary audience?
MW: Only two things that have really changed are relevant to this story. We no longer use cassette recorders and, most of us now have mobile phones. Otherwise, the play could have been written now. Sadly, the sort of abuses suffered by Paulina Escobar continue to be carried out by the forces of brutal regimes around the world.
DI: Can you sum the show up in three words?
MW: Compelling, intense, gritty.
Death and the Maiden is at the HAODS Studio from Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th October. Tickets can be booked here.