TIC TAC TOE PRESENTS The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh Ross with bag on head   Tic Tac Toe is a brand new company in Frome with the objective of putting on exciting and challenging pieces of theatre, and their first production The Pillowman by acclaimed writer Martin McDonagh (writer of “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths”) certainly fills both criteria. The Pillowman sees an abattoir worker with dreams of being recognised as a writer arrested by two police officers. The name of this ‘writer’ is Katurian Katurian and his only published work shares features with a recent child murder. When Detective Tupolski and Detective Ariel look into the rest of his stories they come up with more stories that share a dark theme and have similarities to the child murders they are investigating.


Although the company is new it is not lacking in experience. The director of the company, Calum Grant has established a strong reputation in Frome for his work with Frome Drama Club including the critically well received One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Macbeth and Equus. Calum admits that there is a dark theme that runs through the plays that interest him, however ‘… I like to find plays that also have a strain of humour running through them. I love black comedies as they have so much more to say than a simple farce. I also think that dark humour appeals to British audiences, we enjoy laughing at something and then thinking, ‘Should we be laughing at this?’ The Pillowman is exactly this sort of play, it’s a very dark subject but at the same time it’s also very funny.’


Joining Calum are a very experienced cast, Frome audiences will be familiar with Laurence Parnell from his many roles with Frome Drama Club and Troopers. Laurence will be playing Tupolski the lead investigator, a sardonic and sarcastic man who happens to be the good cop. The bad cop, Ariel, is played by the very talented Andrew Morrison, a familiar face in the Bradfordians who recently appeared on the Merlin stage as Macbeth. Ross Scott (recently seen as Tony in Abigail’s Party) will be taking on the role of Katurian. The final cast member is Simon Joyce, a common face in FMTC who broke hearts as Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.


‘The thing that makes this project really exciting is our rehearsal process,’ says Calum, ‘We cast the play in April but in terms of rehearsal period we have just over a week. I thought this intense rehearsal period really suits this play.’ But is Calum worried that the play will be under-rehearsed? ‘No, not at all. We have had a few meet ups, and read through parts of the play and everyone is so perfect for their roles they have already nailed the play before we’ve stepped into an official rehearsal room. I am really excited about this production and can’t wait to share this amazing play with an audience. I truly believe that my cast are as good as any you would find on a West End stage and love living in Frome, where else in the UK would you find so much talent in a small town?’


The Pillowman is on at The Merlin Theatre 8th and 9th August 2014. For tickets call 01373 465949. Or Book online on the Merlin Theatre Website www.merlintheatre.co.uk