Be Near Me
Opened 26 Jan 2009
Written: By Andrew O’Hagan, adapted for the stage by Ian McDiarmid
Directed: John Tiffany
Cast: Ian McDiarmid (Father David Anderton)
Produced by: Donmar Warehouse / National Theatre of Scotland
Synopsis: David Anderton, an Oxford-educated Catholic priest is assigned to a parish in a dispirited Scottish town on the Ayrshire coast. Lonely and adrift he befriends two unstable teenagers from the local school and is drawn into their exotic world. As events spin out of control he is forced to face his greatest trial yet - being accused of 'sexual assault' .
What the popular press had to say.....
BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "As a picture of a riven community, it’s somewhat sketchy. As a portrait of a man thrust out of the shallows, and achieving a bit of depth, it’s more impressive." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Audiences watching John Tiffany’s elegant production,...will find it hard — unless they have read the book — to appreciate its searing impression of how bereavement can stunt and later threaten the ruin of one introverted life." MICHAEL BILLINGTON who saw they play in Scotland a few days before its Donmar Run said: " Though McDiarmid has been faithful to O'Hagan's book, he can't quite capture the thing that matters most: the idea that Anderton's actions are rooted in old memories and explicable only in terms of personal loss. Whereas the novel moves fluidly between past and present, the play takes place exclusively in the here and now." SUSAN ELKIN for THE STAGE says, "This fine piece of theatre is immaculately staged on Peter McKintosh’s smokey grey sets with corrugated iron backdrop." IAN SHUTTLEWORTH for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "McDiarmid’s adaptation is eminently actable, and he acts the part of Anderton with eminent excellence ."RHODA KOENIG for THE INDEPENDENT says, "The tensions and ironies are flattened by a play so elliptical and understated that the characters and their dilemmas scarcely seem to exist." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "What really makes the show is McDiarmid's beautiful performance as Father David, bursting with quizzical wit, infatuation and downright silliness."
Production Photo by Johan Persson