Talking Theatre: Director Jes Hynes Discusses “The Trial of Edward Byfleet”

Newport Playgoers are set to present their next production, The Trial of Edward Byfleet written by local playwright Mark Hardwidge at The Dolman Theatre Studio from November 8 – 11.

The drama tells the tale of Edward Byfleet who awakes in a strange and desolate land.  He is confronted by three mysterious figures, the Fates, who tell him he is to stand trial for all of humanity, and to answer for all the wrong that mankind has released onto the universe. The outcome of the trial will determine whether humanity is exorcised completely from existence.  With the harrowing testimony of witnesses compelled from a golem-like creature, the Terran, Edward must find some way back from the brink of utter destruction.

A one-act play, The Trial of Edward Byfleet was originally commissioned for Newport Playgoers in 2011 as an ongoing piece of work.

“It’s a very intense drama,” Director Jes Hynes tells Andy Howells, “Some of the action involved, especially from the witnesses brings to the forefront some of humanities worst atrocities and with that in mind, having a strong cast is a primary concern as well as having a clear vision of what you want to get across.”

Jes’s directional work for Newport Playgoers in recent years has included Trainspotting, The Graduate, Fawlty Towers and, most recently, Wyrd Sisters., The Trial of Edward Byfleet is a dark and disturbing journey into the undeniable horrors that mankind has visited upon itself.

The casting of the play shows the talent within Newport Playgoer’s Society with both youth and more experienced actors represented. Tyrone Sullivan-Davies will take on the lead role with Holly Dawe, Catherine Morgan and Ann Kelly as the Fates.  As well as directing, Jes will reprise the role of the Terran.  With technical support from Ryan Blockwell and makeup from Kirsty Charlton this promises to be a visceral and affecting production, though not one for the faint of heart.

“It’s a good showcase for some of the talent we have in Newport Playgoers, “continues Jes, “it’s a very intriguing, interesting play. It asks a lot of questions of humanity and the individual, one of the themes in it is how much influence a single person can have whether for good or ill and how people stand up for that influence.

“It’s not a fun night out and I’m in no way suggesting that it is but it’s a compelling night out, It asks a lot of questions and the end of the play answers a lot of questions or at least lets the audience consider those questions further.”

  • The Trial of Edward Byfleet runs at The Dolman Theatre from November 8 – 11 at 7.15pm each evening. Tickets are £5 and because the play has disturbing scenes is unsuitable for younger audiences.

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