Curtain up for Square John at the Waterside Theatre on Thursday night

Bill Waters
Bill Waters

A Derry actor has revealed how he’s been given just a week to learn his lines in a new psychological play performing at the Waterside Theatre.

Scottish man Bill Waters, fresh from his recent role in ‘From the Camp to the Creggan’ where he played a schoolboy, this time takes on a very different role as a psychiatric nurse in the Vin McCullough play ‘Square John.’

“I’m hoping the character of Mick isn’t jinxed, because I’m the third one to take it on,” said Bill.

“Firstly it was taken by someone else, then a friend of mine who had to drop out due to work commitments.

“So when I got the call offering it to me last week, I was very excited. Until I was told I had just a week to learn my lines.

“I’ll get them though, there’s no way I’ll be out on that stage on Thursday night without knowing them.”

In a cast of eight, Bill plays opposite Karl McCarron from Muff who’s in the role of protagonist Square John.

They’re joined by another patient Skibereen (McCullough) and nurse Gerry played by Jim McClenaghan.

What makes the play even more intriguing is that Square John is actually based on a real character.

At times farcical, at times poignant, this new comedy by Vin McCullough (Why Am I?) examines the hidden world of the mental health hospital, an environment very familiar to the author who has over 30 years experience as a mental health nurse and patient.

Set somewhere in Northern Ireland, Square John has been institutionalised for over 40 years and his ‘One in Six’ theory blames his breakdown on his 13 sisters’ ‘weemin’s troubles’.

His nurse and friend, Gerry McGann has championed this theory despite the scepticism he encounters from his colleagues.

“Vin does a monologue at the end,” explains Bill.

“It’s a wonderful play and written by a very clever man who himself spent times as a psychiatric patient and later went on to become a nurse himself.”

The play will be on at Waterside Theatre on Thursday and Friday night and is presented by ‘Here We Go’ Theatre Co and directed by Carl Campbell

Square John is the latest in a long line of successful HereWeGo productions in association with GSCA and developed through HereWeGo’s Creative Writing/Drama classes which are facilitated by Carl Campbell and Jim McClenaghan on Monday nights in Galliagh’s ‘’4Block’ building. Curtain up at 8 p.m. Tickets cost £10.00, £8.00 Conc. Opening night offer 2 for £16.00