The Royal Shakespeare Company returns to Salford this November with Roy Williams’ acclaimed and topical play, Days of Significance, which runs at The Lowry. The RSC last played Salford in 2008 with Romeo and Juliet and in 2007 with The Comedy of Errors.
George Rainsford, who plays Jamie, one of the two main characters who goes to war, studied drama in Manchester. Sarah Ridgeway, who plays Trish, another main character also went to university in Manchester.
Two young soldiers join their friends to binge drink the night before they leave for active service in Iraq. Their complex love lives and mortal fears directly impact on their tour of duty. Williams’ timely and explosive play examines the aftermath of a war whose conflicts rage far beyond the Iraqi battleground.
Days of Significance enjoyed an initial run at the Swan Theatre in Stratford before a critically acclaimed transfer to the Tricycle Theatre in London. For the Tricycle in 2008, Roy significantly re-worked the text to dramatise and acknowledge the shifting mood of a country now looking at troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Talking about the play, the writer, Roy Williams, said:
“In a nutshell, the play is about the war in Iraq and how it impacts on a group of young working class Londoners. Whether they like it or not, the war forces them all, in ways they never thought possible, to re examine themselves away from the stereotype they are associated with, young, thuggish, sexually frustrated binge drinking white trash.”
Williams is one of the UK’s most exciting playwrights. His recent work includes the stage adaptation of Absolute Beginners (Lyric Hammersmith), Joe Guy (Tiata Fahodzi in association with Soho Theatre and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich), Fallout (Royal Court), Baby Girl and Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads (National Theatre and tour). He was awarded the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2001 for Clubland (Royal Court), the Alfred Fagon Award in 1997, and the OBE in 2008.
Days of Significance is directed by Maria Aberg. Maria directed the original production, and her other directorial work includes State of Emergency (Gate Theatre), Crime and Punishment (National Theatre), Alaska (Royal Court), Gustav III (National Theatre of Sweden) and Stallerhof (Southwark Playhouse). The production is designed by Lizzie Clachan, the lighting designer is David Holmes, the composer is Carolyn Dowing, the movement director is Ayse Tashkiran and the fight director is Malcolm Ranson.
The cast incudes: Danny Dalton (Tony/Sean), Jason Deer, Simon Harrison (Steve), Scott Hazell, Steven Helliwell (Vince/Darren), and Sarah Ridgeway.
Days Of Significance runs at the Lowry from Tues 24 - Sat 28 November. For further details, please visit the Lowry website.