The Boy on the Bridge
As I director I read a lot of scripts. Some are good, some are less so, but very few grab you and do not let go like Gareth Pilkington's "The Boy on the Bridge". When I read his play for the first time it touched me deeply and I immediatelly realised that I wanted to stage it. It revolves around an "autistic" boy, Ziggy, who befriends a spiritual but somewhat unhappy and emotianally damaged Jonjo.
Jonjo is a the son of a wealthy family, well-spoken and educated but forced out of his home by his mother's neglect and his father's untimely death. He starts to live on the bridge in the hope of finding some answers and inner peace in meditation and solitude. That's however not what fate has in store for him! An encounter with Ziggy and his psychologist friend, Linda; and the return of an old travelling companion, Malc, with his new romantic interest, Kathy, disturbes his peace and quiet. Now, Jonjo, who claims that he doesn't care for anyone, has to undertake responsibilities, accept that he needs others and face the "threat" of serious emotional attachments.
"The Boy on the Bridge" is a play about loyalty and human relationships at the deepest level. It is particularly relevant today when society becomes more and more individualistic and when people become less connected with each other. The Internet, complex technologies and easily available entertainment forces us into the illusory world of exitement and imaginary adventures while true, real relationships often get left behind. Luckily, there are still bridges in this world that connect two shores or two people!
The location in Gareth Pilkington's play is highly symbolic—the entire action taking place on the forgotten, unused railway bridge. It becomes a home, a shelter and sometimes a safe haven for the characters. It is a place of destiny where nothing can be said or done without poignant meaning.
With the help of our talented and dedicated cast, together with the unique athmosphere of "The Rose", where the production took place, we feel we brought this bridge to life. And we would like to think that something quite special once more bloomed at "The Rose".
The Rose is London's most historic theatre,
the first Elizabethan Theatre on Bankside and home to
many of Shakespeare's and Marlowe's first productions.
The cast: Steve Clark, Anna Tarsh, Charlie Cussons, Bobby Hirst, Frankie Meredith
Written by Gareth Pilkington
Directed by Dimitry Devdariani
Performed at The Rose, Bankside, London from 11th to 29th October 2011