Odd Productions takes on controversial play in London bid

Kath Mansfield directs Odd Productions version of Journey to X at Peebles this month
Kath Mansfield directs Odd Productions version of Journey to X at Peebles this month

EDDLESTON-based Odd Productions stages its second bid to perform at the National Theatre, with a St Patrick’s Day performance of a play which was conceived in the Emerald Isle.

Journey to X by Nancy Harris will be acted out by young people at 20 theatre groups across the UK and Ireland, including Odd Productions in Peebles.

And all of the companies are hoping to be selected to perform the comedy drama at the famous London venue next year.

Kath Mansfield, founder and artistic director of Odd Productions, said: “The group wanted to have a second bash at the competition, as they were really good last year, but did not get through to London.

“They performed at the Lyceum in Edinburgh, though, which was daunting enough for them, having been surprised by the size of the stage in comparison to the Eastgate in Peebles.”

The play was written following a trip to Dublin by Harris, where she was working on a show which included a joke about the Irish abortion law.

Kath added: “While potentially controversial in a country where abortion is illegal, the comment was not greeted with shock or outrage by Irish audiences, but usually with a laugh.

“This made me think – if audiences are able to laugh at a joke like that, it must mean that the subject of travelling overseas for an abortion is one that we can talk about.”

This year’s Odd Productions’ cast is aged 14 to 17 and all but one of the 10 youngsters attend Peebles High School.

And Kath Mansfield is hopeful of a big turnout for their two performances.

She said: “I would hope that Peebles and the surrounding area cherish the optimism of youth and we all give this group of hard-working teenagers every help in realising their dreams of getting to London.

“Please come and support them.”

Journey to X is showing at the Eastgate Theatre on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 – St Patrick’s Day.

It starts at 7.30pm both nights and tickets (£8) can be obtained by phoning 01721 725777.