West End war drama

MHDE'The Body of An American
MHDE'The Body of An American

A play causing a stir in London’s West End will be coming to the Royal and Derngate in Northampton starting today (Thursday).

The award-winning drama, The Body of An American, will be performed at the theatre’s Underground studio until Saturday, March 8.

The joint production with the Gate Theatre stars William Gaminara, from Silent Witness, and Damien Molonym who recently appeared in the BBCs Ripper Street and the cult favourite, Being Human.

The show is set across two locations. The first is Mogadishu in 1993 when Paul, a Canadian photojournalist, is about to take a picture that will win him the Pulitzer Prize.

The action switches to Princeton 2007. Dan is a writer who is struggling to finish his play about ghosts. Both men live worlds apart but a chance encounter over the airwaves sparks an extraordinary friendship that sees them journey from some of the most dangerous places on earth to the depths of the human soul.

Speaking to the Daventry Express, Damien said: “It’s a play about male friendship and the emotions you go through and perhaps not express when you are a man.

“But it is also about war photography. People will see these horrific situations on the news and there is a photographer capturing the moment.

“But very rarely do we think about the impact the moment has on the photographer who has to live with it.”

But he is also keen to emphasise there is some lighter moments in the show.

Damien said: “There are parts of the play which are very funny. I play 25 different characters in the show, including women and even Mother Theresa. It’s not all dark, there is some fun.”

The Irish actor has legions of fans as a result of his appearance as vampire Hal on Being Human.

He said: “It was my first television job. I quit drama school and ended up in a play and from there I got the part in Being Human.

“I was a little nervous coming into the show. I suppose it was a little like being a football manager. But I wanted to do justice to the writing which was terrific on the show.

“The fans of the show are absolutely terrific as well. It was lovely to have a success like that at the start of my career. All of us working on the show were very sad when it was cancelled but I felt we went out in a terrific way.”

He went on to appear in BBC One drama, Ripper Street, which was also cancelled despite the uproar.

Damien added: “I felt it was a real shame the show was cancelled at the end of the second series because I thought the show was getting stronger and stronger. The series ended on a cliffhanger which I am sure plenty of people want to see resolved.”

Damien may now get his wish, as after we interviewed him, plans were announced for a third series of the show. They have been comissioned by the online firm Amazon earlier this week.

From there he has moved on to work on Suspects, a new Channel 5 show. It is a very different type of crime show where there wasn’t a script. It’s very different from the usual cop show,” says Damien.

The Body of An American will be shown in the Underground studio at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.

Tickets cost between £15 and £17 for the show and can be booked by calling 01604 624811 or by visiting www.royalandderngate.co.uk