Focus on Forgiveness

Theme of forthcoming production from St Michael's Players

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St Michael's Players

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The focus is on forgiveness as St Michael's Players bring a powerful play to Chiswick audiences. The theatre company is staging a 10-year anniversary production of 'The Long Road' by Shelagh Stephenson.

The thought-provoking drama charts a bereaved family's struggles following an unprovoked fatal stabbing. It examines the effects of knife crime a topical theme, amid the ongoing spate of incidents on London streets.

The group, which celebrates its 70th anniversary next year, will perform 'The Long Road' from Wednesday, April 25 to Saturday, April 28.

The play was first performed at the Soho Theatre in 2008 having been developed by Stephenson in conjunction with UK charity The Forgiveness Project, which seeks to promote stories of understanding in order to encourage resolutions and reconciliation for victims and perpetrators of crime.

The new production centres on bereavement after the stabbing of an 18-year-old called Danny, and comes to Chiswick at a time of increasing public concern over knife attacks, particularly in the capital.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed a 47% increase in knife crime in London in the 12 months leading up to October 2017 compared with the previous year, prompting Mayor Sadiq Khan to launch the 'London Needs You Alive: Don't Carry A Knife' campaign in November.

Of the 24 teenage boys who lost their lives on the city's streets last year, 18 were stabbed, including five victims in west London - two in Northolt, and one each in Ealing, Willesden and Wembley.

The devastating effects of such crimes on families are brought into sharp focus through the play's themes.

Paul Smith, the director of the April production which will be performed at St Michael's Centre on Elmwood Road, said: "This is an important play that will leave no one unaffected.

"It appears at first glance a grim subject but there's hope, redemption - and at times, even humour."

To find out more about the production, enquiries are welcome at, while tickets for the April production itself are available for purchase now.

St Michael's Players is one of London's longest-standing drama groups, having staged its first production in 1949. The non-professional theatre company, based at St Michael's Centre, Elmwood Road, Chiswick, performs four plays a year, and is a cherished part of the local community.

March 31, 2018

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