Ipswich: Performer Plan B arrives in town to support actor friend

When he isn’t performing for thousands adoring fans, you might find him in front of the camera.

But when Ben Drew, known to millions as rapper-singer-songwriter Plan B, came to town he wasn’t the one in the spotlight.

The star – who has recently turned his hand to acting and film directing – was at The New Wolsey theatre last night to support his friend Sean Sagar, who is performing in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.

The pair have been friends for years and recently worked together when Mr Sagar performed in Ill Manors, written and directed by Drew.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, he said: “I’ve come here to support Sean who is from Forest Gate (an area of east London where the singer was brought up).

“He is a friend of mine, he is a close friend. I put him in Ill Manors which we were trying to get made for a long time and Sean and his brother Nick were always involved and there for a long time.

“This is his next major role for him and it’s good to support him.

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“From what I know, the play was written back the 60s and is about riots which happened back then.

“I think it shows that it is all relevant to today after the rioting we had in the country recently.”

Mr Sagar said: “It is an interesting play. It has a great way of getting different messages across to the audience, It had a strong message to put across when it was written and the message is just as strong now.

“It offers a mixtures of emotions and it is actually quite shocking in parts, especially when Colin – played by Elliot – has to make a decision at the end.

“This is the closest to home the play has been and it’s great to have my friends come along and see what it’s all about.”

Actor Ed Skrien, who has a starring role in Ill Manors, also came along for the reunion.

At the heart of the play is Elliot Barnes-Worrell, who plays anti-social athlete Colin, spends much of his performance running on a treadmill.

The play – originally an Alan Sillitoe short story adapted for a 1962 film – is brought into 2012 and highlights surrounding the riots with Colin caught in a no man’s land of detention centres and young offenders institutes.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner opened on Tuesday and is showing at the New Wolsey Theatre until Saturday before the cast continues touring around the country.