Go see ‘Sea Lavender’

SEA LAVENDER by Andy Hinds
SEA LAVENDER by Andy Hinds

Derry author Andy Hinds is preparing to showcase not only two new plays but two new books.

This weekend the author takes to the stage in his own play Morning and Afternoon,’ he has also been busy directing a second play ‘Sea Lavender’ which opens at The Playhouse this evening and runs until Saturday.

In early 2014 two of his books ‘Acting Shakespeare’s Language’ and ‘Translations: Four Greek Tragedies’ hit the book shelves.

The author who grew up on Baronet Street has carved himself a stellar career in theatre production. Hinds has directed at the Abbey, Gate, Druid, Glyndebourne, Wexford Opera, and Scottish Opera among other locations.

The stage is central to his character. In fact as far back as he can remember he recalls a fascination with theatre production. Andy told the ‘Journal:’ “Even before I had gone to the theatre I remember being consumed by making small theatres and cut out characters in order to tell stories. I was no age and making model theatres. My first experience of the theatre at St. Columb’s Hall then blew me away. I just loved it.”

His first acting experience followed what some might describe as his first acting out experience.

Andy explains: “I was expelled from St. Columb’s College for trying to organise a Student representative council. I had to attend St. Colman’s in Strabane and went on to play Fagan in the Parent Teacher Association production of ‘Oliver.’ Until this year that was the last time I was on stage.

“I felt like a new challenge so acting has been a sort of new departure for me,” he confessed.

It has obviously been a healthy departure as Hinds’ one man play ‘Morning and Afternoon’ was nominated for a 2013 Fringe First Award in Edinburgh.

“That was very gratifying. Considering the break I have had in my acting ‘career’ I was delighted to be nominated,” laughed Hinds’.

It perhaps shouldn’t have been that surprising as Hinds has taught acting, and in particular Shakespeare, at RADA for several years. In early 2014 his book ‘Acting Shakespeare’ will be published by Oberon Books. It will quickly be followed up with ‘Translations: Four Greek tragedies.’

“I thought the tragedies needed livening up. I did the translations and they were overseen by a Greek language scholar. I felt the original texts had more to offer than previous translations had brought to them.”

That project has led to Andy writing more. “I sat down and thought I’ll try this for one evening and loved it. I wrote solidly for the next eight months.”

When asked about ‘Sea Lavender’ Andy describes it as: “an adventure love story. It deals with the severance and healing in the aftermath of the Siege. These issues are still topical today.”

The Siege is a recurring theme in Hinds’ work. “I wrote a large open air drama which used the Walls as their backdrop for the 300th anniversary of the Siege. I think it is an event which still resonates in the city and country to this day.”

‘Sea Lavender’ follows a Yorkshire cobbler awaiting execution for trying to gain entry into the besieged city and an embittered aristocrat, the cobbler’s rival in love. As the men’s stories unfold, the reality of the Siege, and the consequences of obsessive love swept up in the tide of history come vividly alive.

The author then treads the boards himself in a special one off performance of ‘Morning and Afternoon.’ Those who attend on Saturday night will see both productions for the same entrance fee.

Tickets from Playhouse box office on 028 71268027.