Chaos and hope collide in stunning addiction play

Blackout will be performed at FTH on May 7
Blackout will be performed at FTH on May 7

It’s not often a chat with alcoholics in recovery inspires a play about hope, but a production coming to Falkirk next month is doing just that.

Blackout, which tells real life stories about addicts taking the rocky road through recovery, is on tour in Scotland after being produced to critical acclaim in 2014.

Written by Mark Jeary, who himself is a recovering alcoholic, the drama is scripted entirely from interviews with alcoholics, resulting in brutally honest accounts of chaos and risk with an optimistic edge.

Mark, who is originally from London but now lives in Edinburgh, said: “Blackout is a verbatim piece inspired by conversations with people in recovery.

“Everything in the play was said to me and, because I was in recovery myself, the trust between the people I was interviewing was implicit.

“There was stories I couldn’t include because people wouldn’t believe them, like the woman who stayed with a murderer simply because there was vodka in the house.

“But the stories we have really resonate with families and friends of addicts, and also makes people think about their own drinking.”

Blackout tells the stories of five characters, named after the amount of time they’ve been alcoholics, including the woman who urinates off the top of the Scott Monument and the man who nearly burns down a stranger’s kitchen.

Mark, who is also starring in the play, penned the piece while doing a masters degree in classical text.

After premiering in the Arches in Glasgow in 2013, it ran at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 and enjoyed a successful three-week run in London before heading back north.

Mark added: “I’d say the play is optimistic; it’s not just the depression, the chaos and the fear, it’s about hope in recovery.”

Blackout will be at Falkirk Town Hall on Saturday, May 7. Tickets, priced £12 and £10.50, are available by calling 01324 506850.