From drugs court to centre stage

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KIRKCALDY man John Yule may not be a social worker any more, but his years working in Fife’s drug courts have led him to directing a cutting-edge drama.

The theatre director, who has appeared in films ‘Young Adam and ‘Ae Fond Kiss,’ took on the challenge of producing a play about the affect of drugs after collecting dozens of stories from those suffering from addiction in Fife.

And now John, who runs In Company Theatre Productions from Kirkcaldy, is bringing ’Multiple Choice’ to the Kingdom after a run at the Fringe.

Personal stories

John (65) explained: “Some time ago I took a job working within the drugs courts, but continued to act at the same time.

“There were some tragic events which happened during my time in that job.

‘‘Sometimes the stories I was told were humorous in a dark way - it’s a desperate subject - but I also came across examples of personal resilience in sometimes desperate and life-threatening situations.

“The idea began to grow that there were stories to tell that might shed some light into this dark corner of our communities. I collected up material and gave it to Ronnie MacKintosh, the writer.”

Multiple Choice follows the lives of five people who tell interweaving stories about how their experience of illegal drugs has marked their lives.

It also stars Kirkcaldy actors Tav MacDougall, Alan MacKenzie and Christina Strachan.

Crucial issue

While John drew on his real life experiences in the drugs courts, Ronnie, from Edinburgh, used his as a former Detective Chief Inspector.

He said: “I was very pleased when John asked me to work on this project.

‘‘Having dealt with addicts and seen the results of drug abuse, I know how devastating the issue can be, often in ways that most people don’t consider.

‘‘The characters portrayed and the stories they tell are, in the main, based on real people and actual events.”

After a successful run at the Fringe, the play will show at The Byre Theatre in St Andrews tomorrow (Friday).

“The long-term plan is to get it out to young people,” John added.

“It’s been 40 years since the Misuse of Drugs Act became law, and despite the well-intentioned efforts of many, the ‘drug problem’ is no nearer being solved.”