Stewartry Woman Takes the Fight Against Cancer to the Stage.

Helen Fox 36 from Dumfries and Galloway, who is an actress and playwright for her theatre company Fox and Hound, lost her father to the disease early this year and has written a play about the effects of cancer from both the victim and the family’s perspective.
Called 1in2 Chance, the drama is centred around four main characters and finds life repeating itself for a father and husband who lost his wife to the Big C.
The play will be premiered on Skye this weekend before coming to Moffat’s Old Well Theatre on Friday, 14 July, at 7.30pm, along with a double-bill of Tennessee Williams’ powerful shorts, Ivan’s Widow and Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen.

Helen told DGWGO:

“From my perspective, as someone who has had a family member die of cancer, it was important to me to portray the whole experience and see the different approaches people have towards the disease through their interaction with each other.”
“I started writing the play during his fight and finished it off after he died in February. I didn’t want it to be a biographical sketch about my father nor was I interested in writing about the various medical procedures and jargon associated with cancer.”
Helen also said “Instead, I have used my personal experiences to write about the disease, how it effects people differently and the consequences of diagnosis, treatment and side-effects on various family members. Although the subject matter is serious, it’s quite light-hearted in places.”

Helen, who holds a degree in Drama, is no stranger to debilitating illness. After giving birth to her daughter 12 years ago, she was diagnosed with autoimmune disease which led to severe health problems. Between her trips to and from the hospital, however, she took a degree in Psychology and continued with her acting, setting up Fox and Hound Theatre Company two years ago.

Fox and Hound is already earning a reputation for excellence in delivering high quality performances to festivals and venues around the UK. The crew – Codge Crawford, Ellie Stevens, Stephen Carruthers (actors) and Dean McCormick (stage manager/tech) – are all from Dumfries and Galloway.

Their production of Tennessee Williams’ 27 Wagons Full of Cotton premiered before a sell-out audience to high critical acclaim and this stunning double-bill of Ivan’s Widow and Talk to Me were hailed as “beautifully crafted performances” at this year’s Brighton Fringe.

Helen added: “We are very passionate about bringing live theatre to rural communities. Anyone who lives in a remote community will know how expensive it is to have to travel to the Central Belt to see a play in one of the big city theatres.
“Although it is good to see venues in Dumfries and Galloway adding quality theatre to their programmes, it is not always cost effective for the big touring companies to come along to the smaller, more remote, venues, which is a shame.
“We are very keen deliver theatre to everyone and make good drama accessible to all.”
The Skye performance is the first date of the company’s 2017 tour which takes in Nairn, Moffat, Oban, Linlithgow, The Edinburgh Fringe, Dalbeattie and New Galloway.”

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