Director makes debut with romantic play

(left to right), Sally Hartley, Rosie Carter, Dan Finch, Peter Woodward. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves  (113177-4)
(left to right), Sally Hartley, Rosie Carter, Dan Finch, Peter Woodward. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (113177-4)
Ria Jones in Sunset Boulevard

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A tale of romance and uncertainty is to take place at The Spring, Havant, as the Bench Theatre Company put on Chris Chibnall’s Kiss Me Like You Mean It.

As Tony and Ruth first meet and fall in love, Edie and Don are upstairs celebrating with a party.

First premiered in 2000, the play was short listed for the Meyer-Whitworth Award and Chibnall is mainly known today for his work on BBC’s Torchwood, Doctor Who, Life On Mars and ITV’s Law And Order UK.

Callum West, the director of Bench’s production, may not have the same experience as he undertakes his directorial debut with the amateur company, but he’s confident that everything is going well.

He says: ‘I have done a one off production before, but that wasn’t with Bench, and that was my first time at directing.

‘Rehearsals are going very well. We started in early August so we’ve have quite a good amount of time to prepare.’

Callum admits that it’s a dream come true to be directing this particular play.

‘I fell in love with this play ever since I read it,’ he explains, ‘I was doing auditions for drama school and another guy had a speech from the play and I said “that’s fantastic,” so I looked it up. I have wanted to direct it ever since.

‘I put it forward a couple of times but it was hard to get across how fantastic it is. It was difficult to get people to see.’

But it’s hard to hint at the stories plot without giving the game away.

He adds: ‘It’s a really romantic play. The first half is set around the outside of the house where Tony and Ruth meet for the first time. The first time they meet it’s love at first sight and they always get interrupted when they start to get closer.

‘Finally we meet the older couple who are having their own party. I’m just very excited and I’m looking forward to finding out how an audience feels about it.’

The production stars Peter Woodward and Sally Hartley as Don and Edie, and Dan Finch and Rosie Carter as Tony and Ruth.

It will include adult language and smoking.

Tickets cost £7 to £8 from The Spring, Havant on (023) 9247 2700 or visit