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THE QUALITY OF MERCY: Concerning The Life & Crimes Of Dr Harold Frederick Shipman to Open at The Courtyard Theatre

THE QUALITY OF MERCY: Concerning The Life & Crimes Of Dr Harold Frederick Shipman to Open at The Courtyard Theatre

The Quality of Mercy is a piece of investigative theatre, exploring with unflinching candour the motives of Britain's most prolific serial killer.

Sarah Lawrie for Nailed Productions will present the world premiere of THE QUALITY OF MERCY: Concerning the Life and Crimes of Dr Harold Frederick Shipman, written & performed by Edwin Flay | Directed by Bernie C. Byrnes, 27 September - 8 October 2022.

The Courtyard Theatre, Bowling Green Walk, 40 Pitfield Street, N1 6EU @CourtyardHoxton | @NailedCreates | #QualityofMercyPlay

Performer and playwright Edwin Flay has a unique perspective on the subject matter, as a former patient of Shipman's from childhood. His family lived in Hyde throughout the '80s and '90s and his grandmother, Renee Lacey, was one of Shipman's victims, aged just 63.

The Quality of Mercy is a piece of investigative theatre, exploring with unflinching candour the motives of Britain's most prolific serial killer, and interrogating society's attitudes towards death, justice and compassion.

From his cell in the early hours of the morning, Harold Shipman breaks his silence to record a confessional tape, laying down his version of events as he prepares to take one last life.

In an effort to understand this senseless crime, Flay conducted extensive research into Shipman's career, including a thorough examination of the Smith Report into Shipman's history and motivations.

Among the records he found the details of his own family's evidence to the inquiry when Dame Smith reviewed Ms

Lacey's death, all of which directly informed the crafting of the play.

Writer and performer Edwin Flay studied Film & Drama at The University of Reading, graduating in 1998, and now works as an actor, writer and producer. Television credits include OUTLANDER (Amazon Prime), THE SUFFRAGETTES (BBC), BOOMERS (BBC) and TO WAR! (BBC). Film credits include THE CARROT (Another Footnote Ltd), SERVANTS' QUARTERS (Aviary Films), CROWHURST (Splash Page Media), REFUGEE (CTVC) and GRACE OF MONACO (Stone Angels). Theatre credits include RICHARD II (The Vaults), MOONLIGHT & MAGNOLIAS (English Theatre of Hamburg), A LA CARTE (Southwark Playhouse), THE TAILOR-MADE MAN (The White Bear), THE CRYSTAL EGG (The Vaults), THE BRIGHTON KILLERS (Brighton Fringe), and THE HOUSE (So & So Arts Club). In 2021, he made his Radio 4 debut in the legal drama BARRED (B7 Media). Edwin wrote, produced and appeared in a short film called AN UNKIND WORD, which played to festivals worldwide, winning an Indie Spirit Award at Idyllwild and a Bronze Remi at Worldfest Houston. He has also written multiple feature screenplays. THE QUALITY OF MERCY is Edwin's first stage play. Twitter: @EdwinFlay

Director Bernie C. Byrnes is a multi-award-winning writer and director and holds a PhD in Literary Criticism. Bernie was Dramaturg on award winning shows MUSE OF FIRE (Shakespeare's Globe) and LITTLE SOLDIERS (Theatre Re). International work includes projects in Poland, Switzerland, the USA, Mumbai and Singapore. Previous commissions include the RSC, Soho Theatre, Channel 5, Pluto Productions, Digital Catapult and Blackwatch Entertainment. Bernie is an established theatrical practitioner, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Guild of Directors. She has worked alongside Stephen Pimlott, Ed Hall, Michael Attenborough, Gareth Armstrong and Wayne Sleep. Bernie's specialist interests are Mental Health, Art & Vulnerable Communities, and New Writing. Twitter: @BernieCByrnes

Sound Designer Kirsty Gillmore is an award-winning sound designer, director and the owner of Sounds Wilde. She has worked in professional sound for over twenty years, sound designing, recording and mixing for theatre, opera and audio and radio drama. Theatre and opera credits include THE GRAVITY (Bristol Old Vic), KILL CLIMATE DENIERS (Pleasance), THE SHAPE OF PAIN (Battersea Arts Centre), L'OPESDALE (Wiltons) and THE LITTLE PRINCE (Arcola). Audio and radio drama credits include PERSUASION (Audible), THE SPACE RACE (Audible/B7 Media), GREENBORNE (B7 Media) and THE SANDMAN: ACT II (Audible Original), based on the cult graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. Kirsty is also an acclaimed voice director and casting director for games and animation. Recent titles include LIVEALIVE (Square Enix), DESTRUCTION ALLSTARS (Lucid Games) and BALDUR'S GATE 3 (Larian Studios.) In 2021 she was chosen for the prestigious BAFTA Breakthrough UK programme as a Voice Director for Games. Twitter: @SoundsWilde

Lighting Designer and Production Manager Adam Bottomley is a freelance Set Builder, Lighting Designer and Production Manager with a diverse portfolio ranging from Touring Opera and Musical Theatre to Festivals, Fringe theatre and site-specific productions. Lighting Design credits include POLICE COPS THE MUSICAL (New Diorama) and BADASS BE THY NAME (international tour), HUSH NOW (Courtyard Theatre, Hereford), THE SPIRAL PATH White Bear Theatre and Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans) and JOURNEY'S END at the Kruitmagazijn, Ypres. Twitter: @AdamBottomley

Producer Sarah Lawrie has been making theatre since 2013. Most recently she produced Arts Council funded web series LEAR ALONE which won Best Series at Off West End's OnComm Awards 2022. Other recent work includes ASSISTED (The Space @EdFringe - nominated for The Popcorn Award for New Writing in partnership with the BBC Writers' Room), LOVE & DESTRUCTION (Playground Theatre), LEAVES (Jermyn Street Theatre), SCROUNGER (Finborough Theatre - winner of Best New Play at the Off West End Awards 2021), web series LATE NIGHT STARING AT HIGH RES PIXELS (winner of London Pub Theatre's Standing Ovation Award for Best Theatre Online) and TIMELESS (Space Theatre and touring). Sarah is a founding member of And Tomorrow Theatre Company, whose inaugural production, DEATH OF A HUNTER, premiered at the Finborough Theatre in 2018 and transferred to the Brighton Fringe Festival. Sarah is also the co-creator and sole producer of Rula Lenska's one woman show FROM DZIKOW TO WILLESDEN GREEN and is currently developing SHUTTERS: A LESBIAN ROCK OPERA for The Vindicate Company. Twitter: @La_Lawrie

Company information
Written & Performed by Edwin Flay | Directed by Bernie C. Byrnes | Produced by Sarah Lawrie for Nailed Productions Production Management & Lighting Design by Adam Bottomley | Sound Design by Kirsty Gillmore
Videography by Neil Monaghan | Stage Management by Becky Brown | Associate Producer Kat Rogers

About Nailed Productions

Nailed Productions is a company run by Edwin Flay, producing films and theatre. The company started life as Nailed Films, a short film production company run by Edwin Flay and Neil Monaghan. After the completion and successful festival run of their first short film, AN UNKIND WORD, starring Robert Daws and Susan Penhaligon, they are now completing work on a second alongside THE QUALITY OF MERCY.

How to Purchase Tickets

27 September - 8 October, Tuesday - Saturday at 7pm. Saturday matinee at 2.30pm | www.thecourtyard.org.uk/whatson Tel: 0844 477 1000 | Tickets £16, £12 concessions including booking fee. General admission + published playscript £20


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