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Social behaviour double-bill on stage

PUBLISHED: 23:33 11 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

HUMAN social behaviour is set to come under the scrutiny of theatregoers when two plays take to the stage at the New Wolsey on Monday .

By Jo Macdonald

joanne.macdonald@eveningstar.co.uk

HUMAN social behaviour is set to come under the scrutiny of theatregoers when two plays take to the stage at the New Wolsey on Monday .

Double Helix features two one act productions, Monogamy and The Animals, which are being brought to Ipswich by theatre-company Pursued by a Bear for one night of the Pulse festival.

Monogamy is described as an 'anti-romantic comedy' about a failing relationship. Told backwards, it focuses on the breakdown of the relationship between two characters, Paul and Emma, who split 12 months previously, and Paul's need to know why it happened.

The Animals meanwhile is a tragic and ironic satire on attempts to make political statements through direct and extreme action.

It tells the story of a group of animal rights activists who kidnap a woman, who works in a research laboratory, and lock her in a cage, looking at the workings of group hierarchy.

The plays compliment each other as they provide insight into the way people co-operate, abuse, manipulate and look after the others who are close to them.

They are written by Craig Baxter who was invited to join Pursued by a Bear as company writer.

The theatre company was co-founded by actor Joseph Millson who starred as Dr Sam Morgan in ITV's Peak Practice, appeared in the acclaimed play The Clearing, which was at the New Wolsey last month, and who recently joined the cast of Eastenders. He has started filming for the popular BBC1 soap but has yet to appear on our screens.

He said: "Pursued by a Bear started in 1998 because we wanted to support playwrights in a way no other company was doing, through a policy of working with a writer on four consecutive projects, therefore giving that writer a real chance to develop.

"We sifted through piles of scripts and the liveliness of the dialogue and the unique scientific outlook in Craig Baxter's plays jumped out at us."

The development of the company and its productions has surprised all those involved and Joseph said: "To be honest I really didn't expect the company, named after a stage direction from Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale to grow so quickly.

"Even though I was fully involved in filming Peak Practice, seven days a week, 52 weeks of they year, I decided to give up my holiday time to act in the premiere of Monogamy."

Of Double Helix he added: "For me one of the great joys of the evening is seeing two plays, one after the other, searching for the meaning between them and watching fabulous actors transform from one play to the next."

n Double Helix will be at the New Wolsey on Monday as part of the theatre's Pulse Festival. The show starts at 7.45pm. Tickets cost £7.50 (£5 concessions) and are available at the theatre box office, in Civic Drive, Ipswich or by calling 01473 295900.


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