`Serious grisly hands over your eyes stuff so be warned!'
A mad, bad journalist is at the centre of Nakib Narat's new multi-media noir play, Psychopathy and The Single Girl, which opens at the King's Arms Theatre on June 22nd. Apparently, scientific psychological profiling of journalists reveal traits of clinically diagnosed psychopaths... `ruthlessness, charm, focus, mental toughness, fearlessness, mindfulness, and action'...
"I was a journalist for many years, so I have met many professionals in journalism" explains Nakib, the play's writer and producer "The fact is, especially with the production of serious news and important community based newspapers like the Salford Star, journalists are a vital part of our democracy.
"They are attracted to the profession because they care about society, they want fairness, openness, justice and are absolutely vital for healthy communities and a decent country" he says "My thought was `What if a journalist who was in the vast majority of these normal, responsible, professionals turned bad - how much damage could they do - in a fictional entertaining sense of course!' That is what started my development of the play...
"There is no denying that certainly people like nationally read columnists or political interviewers need to have the superficial charm, the narcissism, self-belief in their opinions, and an absolute determination to get the story at all costs" he adds "Which are all useful traits for a serial killer!"
The production is set in modern Manchester in the city's newsrooms and in the Beetham Tower where a lethal cat and mouse game of wits is played out between journalist, Anne Dry, and city lawyer, Judge Mikael A Still, with an added serial killer's touch.
"It is a black comedy with some horrifically unsettling dramatic stage effects" says Nakib "We also have two noir short films plus a soundscape of music and noises from our city which are integral to the stage production. Our brilliant, young, director, Emily FitzGibbon, has cut her teeth on somewhat gory productions like Medea, and our story is about a serial killer so, although tongue in cheek and a comedy, it is a black comedy with stage fighting scenes that are not for the faint hearted.
"It is also billed as 'putting the hot in psyc-`hot'-ic and the `sexy' in `psychopathy', so the audience knows it is going to be as much about sexy witty, one liners as action" he adds "I would say that there is definitely a sexy vibe to the production - needless to say we have three very good looking actors to start with..."
Beth Hunter plays Anne Dry, and, amidst loads of other tv parts, plays twins Pam and Trish in the upcoming Brit film, Dusty and Me, alongside Iain Glenn and Leslie Sharp... "Beth brings alive Anne's highly intelligent, chilling, yet vulnerable personality" says Nakib "As an actress Beth is perfect for such a challenging role as she is a feminine, beautiful woman but, with her stage combat training, quite realistically kicks ass. There is also some shibari S&M and a very seductive side to Anne Dry which Beth really brings to life!"
Playing the menacing, sophisticated, lawyer, Judge Mikael A Still, is Salford actor, Rob Lines, who has just returned from performing in New York alongside Francesca Annis as part of a Donmar Production. And taking on the role of Gary, Anne's sports reporter lover, is Joseph Jacobs, who was a Coronation Street star in his teens and has also appeared in Prime Suspect amongst other programmes... "He has an unusual range of costumes which will be a treat for the ladies - enough said" reveals Nakib.
The play sounds like some debauched blood and guts spectacular, a departure for Nakib, whose last plays were rom-coms, The Bollywood Girls of Blackburn, and Sababa - Northern Souls, in which a Muslim doctor falls in love with a girl who wants to hug the world and become a Rabbi, all set to Northern Soul...
"After these two productions I thought it was time to give the rom-com field back to Richard Curtis and move to something scary" he decides "I have always enjoyed classic horror in literature...and, like so many movie lovers, I also have a deep fascination with Film Noir, with its crackling witty dialogue, nihilism, starkly beautiful film aesthetics and sensationalist, not to be taken too seriously, yet ghastly horror. I have always wanted to combine my love of the genres..."
So, can audiences expect to be laughing or hiding under their seats?
"I believe they will do both" says Nakib "The three amazing actors have great fun with the comic potential of the situations and the dialogue but there is some serious grisly hands over your eyes stuff - so be warned!"
Sounds like a classic in the making...
Psychopathy and The Single Girl
Wednesday June 22nd to 25th 7:30pm
King's Arms Theatre
11 Bloom Street M3 6AN
Tickets cost £10 each and can be bought on the night from the King's Arms Theatre or in advance from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/356356
Needless to say, it's for over 18s only...