BY Daniel Harding
New LONDON fringe production raises the tough questions that MEN don’t like to answer.
‘Beetles from the West’ is the debut play by James Hartnell, at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre.
Tackling the very real issues surrounding men’s health and how we shy away from dealing with it.
Promising a raw and emotional glimpse into what happens when your world comes crashing down.
The show which follows a cast of three, sees a son deal with one of life’s greatest challenges, death.
Newcomer James, 26, a projects manager from London, started his career at the age of 10 when he starred as an extra in the Harry Potter movies.
After a string of acting jobs, James originally from Essex, got an industry DADA to attend Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
In 2013, James graduated with a 2:1 at the same school that has seen Amanda Holden and Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle fly to fame.
The natural born performer penned down new plays and ideas in his spare time, whilst working a day job at Virgin Gyms.
In 2015, James started working with Falling Pennies Theatre Company as creative associate and began working on his first play.
This month the Lion and Unicorn Theatre debuts the play writes first production as part of the theatre’s re-opening season.
The play is running for a week between the 8th and 14th February 2016, opening up the discussions around prostate cancer and ignorance to health.
Ryan Penny, Amy Doyle and Matthew Marrs tell a very emotional and hard hitting story as the three man cast.
James said: “It’s a very raw account of what happens when you realise the reality of death.
“My task was to capture the very real emotions we have to go through and the effect it can have on our lives.
“It’s a very nerve-racking experience to put your work out there for the world to see, but I’m ready for the reviews – good and bad.
“Men’s health is such a grey area and a lot of people ignore it. I’m glad the play shines a light on this.
“It’s like I’m dipping my toe into a very large pond. I hope it’s the beginning of many.
“All my life I’ve been acting in front of the lens, now I’m directing my vision and watching it come alive.
“I’m happiest when I put pen to paper.”
Tickets are available at See Tickets and are £11 per head.