A ‘little bit of Fife’ hits the stage 300 miles away ...

The cast of 'Better Together' the play written by former Fife Free Press reporter David Weir.
The cast of 'Better Together' the play written by former Fife Free Press reporter David Weir.
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A new play, written by a former Fife Free Press reporter and set in Burntisland, opens in London this week.

‘Better Together’ is the work of David Weir and features a family of four coping with changes hitting the family business at the same time as the younger daughter makes some choices that threaten to drive the close-knit unit apart.

David Weir

Playwright and former Fife Free Press reporter

David Weir Playwright and former Fife Free Press reporter

Born in Edinburgh, David lived in Kirkcaldy during the 1980s, and had his first job as a junior reporter on the Press before heading south to work in London.

But now he’s delighted to be able to watch his play be performed to London audiences at the Jack Studio Theatre in the south of the city.

And this special opportunity comes as a result of ‘Better Together’ winning the Brockley Jack Theatre’s annual writing festival.

The show, featuring Rikki Chamberlain, Ros McAndrew, Eleanor Morton and Kate Russell-Smith, opened on Tuesday evening and it runs at the venue until Saturday, May 28.

“The guys have worked incredibly hard to bring a bit of Fife 300 miles south,” said David.

“When I was about four or five, I wandered off and got lost for about an hour there, and I’ve never heard the end of it since, so when I was looking for somewhere to put a family trauma drama, it just seemed the perfect place!

“Watching a bit of home come to life on a London stage is one of the big thrills you’re ever going to have.”

David’s latest play does have an independence theme, inspired by the Scottish Independence Referendum, but it’s more about personal independence.

He added: “For me, independence is about having the strength and the courage to make your own decisions about how you live your life, confidence to believe what you wish and to say what you believe.

“Arlene, the 18-year-old daughter, chooses to make her own way in the world, breaking away from the comfort of her family to stand on her own two feet.

“That break is hard for her; it’s harder still for those who remain and who are changed by it.”

‘Better Together’ is one of the latest plays to be written by David, whose first experience of writing for theatre was co-writing a murder mystery spoof that was performed at Greenwich Theatre in 2009.

Since then he’s gone on to write a number of other plays, with many being recognised with awards.

So what makes this one unique?

David added: “In many ways it’s a classic family drama, but I hope it has a voice of its own and characters who don’t often seem to get an airing – a solid, loving family whose crisis is all about warmth and their care for each other.”