A tale of heroes, 'villains' and some real life drama

THE horror of this summer's devastating flooding was brought to life again last night when a play inspired by the freak weather received its premier at Doncaster's Little Theatre.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 27th September 2007, 3:40 pm
Updated Friday, 28th September 2007, 9:46 am

The play, entitled The Doncaster Floods, was written by students from Doncaster College’s screenwriting course, under the supervision of scriptwriter Ron Rose, who has written for The Bill, Heartbeat and Emmerdale.

The students carried out extensive interviews with victims of the floods throughout the town, many of whom still face an estimated two-year wait before they move back into their homes.

A rehearsed reading of the play, which was finished just hours before the actors went on stage, took place at the King Street theatre last night and featured performances from Emmerdale actress Sandra Hunt and Fiona Wass from cult comedy hit Grown-Ups.

Mr Rose promised a “hard-hitting” drama that explored conspiracy theories surrounding the floods and told the story of those affected.

The Mayor of Doncaster, Martin Winter, was one of the guests who attended.

Despite coming in for heavy criticism in the text, Mr Winter said: “I was really impressed with what I saw. I thought the play conveyed the tragic human nature of the flood story brilliantly.

“I got a bit of a hard ride at times, but I’m really proud of the way that council workers dealt with the tragedies - there were some real heroes . Unfortunately I’ve become, in some way, the personification of the council.

“Often when people see something going wrong they criticise the council, but when you’ve got an elected mayor they criticise the mayor and you’ve got to expect that.

“I was very impressed by the way the play got the spirit of Doncaster people across - of course it was tragic, but so many people, in spite of everything, dealt with it with courage and humour.”

Actor Frazer Hammill, a former Danum school student, who played Mr Winter on stage, said: “It was great to be involved with something that means so much.

“Even though I was away at drama school when the floods took place, everyone knew I was from Doncaster and they all asked me if any of my relatives were affected. As it happened no one in my family suffered, but a lot of friends did.

“For a Doncaster lad it is a really special project to be involved with.”