News Article

Director’s Preview: Mayfly

17 Mar 24

What was it about this play that made you want to direct it?

Mayfly deals with the aftermath of the suicide of a young man. Set a year after the fact in a remote village in Shropshire, his family are still grieving. But it’s an intrinsic, private mourning; they’ve walled themselves off from each other, much goes unsaid, and their trauma is palpable. 


I grew up in an area not unlike the setting of Mayfly. It was rural, remote, and had one of the highest suicide rates in the country. Several friends have left me. And I’ve watched their families try to cope. 


The characters in this play are all very familiar to me, and when I read Mayfly it just felt right that I should choose to direct something so close to my heart.



Mayfly rehearsal image

What themes does the play explore?

Despite dealing with a difficult subject, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression; this is fundamentally a play about hope, and love, and new beginnings. It’s also very funny! 


As you might have guessed by the title, the action of the play takes place over the course of a single day, and it celebrates the potential for spontaneous change. Some wounds run deep, and not everything can be made right again so quickly, but we never know what might happen if we choose to keep taking it step by step.


Mayfly rehearsal image

Tell us about the characters we'll meet.

Mayfly tells the story of a small family living in an isolated community. Ben (played by Eugene Duffy) and partner Cat (Chantal Gregory) have lived here all their lives and have bitter-sweet memories of the village as it used to be, the local pub packed to the rafters every night. They got together young, conceiving their son the first day they met, and quickly becoming parents as the rest of their community slowly dissolved around them. 


Loops (Orla Harper) is Ben and Cat’s second child, and very much grew up in the shadow of her older brother. She is bright and energetic, but aimless and yearning for a sense of purpose and connection that seems perpetually out of reach… until she meets Harry (Joe Dominic), a quaint young man with a big heart.


Mayfly rehearsal image

This is your first outing as a director - how's it been for you?

I’ve been volunteering at SLT in various capacities now for just about a year, and I’ve been continually impressed with what a warm and welcoming space it is. 


My experience directing has been no different. I’ve been lucky enough to have a fantastic cast and crew, and the support of so many others who have all chipped in and helped refine the vision. I feel very privileged to be working alongside such a talented group of people who all make daily sacrifices to keep producing our art. 



Mayfly rehearsal image

What do you hope your audience will take away from the play?

I hope they laugh. I hope they cry. I hope they’ll be entertained. And I hope they leave feeling a little more connected to the people around them.


Mayfly rehearsal image

Sum up the play in three words?

Birth. Youth. Death.


Mayfly runs 2 - 6 April at South London Theatre