The theatre company, Dirty Protest are currently touring South Wales with a play by Pembrokeshire playwright Mark Williams inspired by Wales’s claim to Star Wars fame.
Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock is a co-production between Wales’ acclaimed new writing company, Dirty Protest, Chapter and the Torch Theatre and takes the 1979 Pembroke Dock building of the full-scale Millennium Falcon as its inspiration.
The production tells the story of a young Star Wars fan Sam, who in 1979 finds out that the Millennium Falcon is being built in his hometown as part of The Empire Strikes Back – with his stepfather helping to build it. Fast forward to 2014 and Sam finds himself in his 40s, divorced, with a teenage daughter and a career that’s not quite where he wanted it to be.
Jack Hammett plays Young Sam in the production, Jack graduated from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2016. His credits whilst at RWCMD included The London Cuckolds, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Winter’s Tale, while professional credits include En Folkefiende by Brad Birch for Squint Theatre, The River by Jezz Butterworth with Red Oak Theatre and as a voice over artist for SEGA’s Transformers.
What attracted you to this production?
I’m a big fan of Dirty Protest and have been very fortunate to take part in some of their new writing evenings! An opportunity to work with the company on this brilliant new play is very exciting and I’ve loved the rehearsals so far.
Tell us a little bit more about your character?
I play Sam in 1979. He’s a very creative and imaginative boy with a love for Star Wars and sci-fi. He lives with his stepdad Mike and is always being told off for using his toolbox for Star Wars action figures and turning his beer cans into droids!
Your character Sam takes some big risks to get what he wants in Lightspeed. What’s the silliest thing you did as part of a youthful obsession?
Whilst in primary school I used to draw David Beckham’s tattoos on my arm for when we played football in the playground. Looking back at 9-year-old Jack with Victoria written on his arm in biro seems a bit silly now.
What were your own big influences growing up?
The Lord of the Rings films were mine and my friends favourite growing up. We used to watch them all back to back in long marathons which led to us buying a small digital camera and using it to make our own films like Sam does in the play.
The building of the Falcon in character Sam’s home town is an enormous thing for him. Did anything that exciting ever happen in your home town?
There was an earthquake a few weeks ago… There’s not many things are as exciting as the Millennium Falcon being built in your hometown.
How are you finding the Dirty Protest ‘experience’?
Brilliant! It’s been a very enjoyable experience and hopefully the audience will enjoy watching the play as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.
‘Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock’ By Mark Williams a Dirty Protest co-production with Chapter and Torch Theatre plays the Torch Theatre on Friday 4 May and Saturday 5 May at 7.30pm
For more details about LightSpeed To Pembroke Dock visit dirtyprotesttheatre.co.uk