Jury service for Groundlings director led to tough play

Sir Bruce Forsyth has died aged 89

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Set in Latin America, Death And The Maiden, isn’t a play for the fainthearted.

Paulina Salas is taken as a political prisoner, and is repeatedly raped and tortured by a man known as the Doctor. Years later, when her husband accidentally bumps into him after being helped home, they tie him up and decide to make their own trial.

Artistic director Richard Stride, who plays the character of the mysterious Doctor, says he choose it because of his own experiences with jury duty.

He says: ‘I found it incredibly eye opening. I did two trials, and it made me realise there must be a lot of people in prison who are innocent, and a lot of people out there on the streets who are guilty.

‘You can never find out the real truth, and we had so much trouble deciding. I wanted to do a play that reflected how I felt about that.’

Starring alongside Richard is Celia Muir and Ed Owen-Jones, and with only three cast members, he is happy with how it’s coming along.

Richard explains: ‘We’re all born and bred from Portsmouth, even though Celia doesn’t live here anymore.

‘So it’s just nice to have some local talent back on local ground.’

The play shows on September 26, 29, 30 and October 1.

Tickets cost £9.50 to £11.50 from Groundlings Theatre, Portsea on (023) 9273 7370 or visit groundlings.co.uk.