20 February 2014 13:04

A play originally written for Lancaster University's 25th anniversary is being revived for the 50th.

The world premiere of Edward Bond’s Jackets took place at the Nuffield Theatre on campus in 1989. It starred Lancaster student Ralph Ineson who went on to fame as an actor in the TV series The Office before appearing in several Harry Potter films and Game of  Thrones.

Twenty-five years later, Lancaster University Theatre Group is performing the play as part of the celebrations to mark the University’s half centenary.

The play’s director is Josh Coates, who like Ralph studied Theatre Studies at Lancaster University. He has since been accepted by the Young Vic Directors Forum and is also working with Belerus Free Theatre in a production of Red Forest at the Young Vic in London this summer.

He said: “It seemed a good time to revive this play for a new generation. “Jackets” had its world premiere in Lancaster and has a strong history associated with the University. Edward Bond wrote it specifically for the 25th anniversary which was a great honour.”

The original production of “Jackets” was directed by Keith Sturgess and hailed by The Guardian’s theatre reviewer Robin Thornber as “an astonishingly powerful piece of political, polemical poetry”.

The play is in-depth exploration of power and society. Set in an unspecified, religiously ran, European state, Jackets examines the different worlds and outlooks of Brian Tebham, an army private, and Phil Lewis, a member of the rebel resistance.

The city is in a state of civil unrest with army officials searching for an excuse to step up strict military operations. With the knowledge of an army Padre, Private Tebham's murder is arranged and the soldier's death is used as justification for increased 'protection' of the city.

Josh said: “The themes of the play are very current, with looting and riots still going on across the world. The real shock is that it still seems very relevant.”

Jackets is at St John’s Church in Lancaster on February 27/28 and March 1.