A FLIP of a coin decides the outcome of an intriguing new production by Forest Forge Youth Theatre.
A Matter of Life and Death tells the story of Peter Carter, a Second World War airman who jumps from his burning plane.
Although he miraculously survives the fall, his future survival is not set in stone and he must appeal to a heavenly court.
At the beginning of the performance not even the cast know if he will live or die.
Although many people are familiar with the classic 1946 film starring David Niven, this adaptation for the stage by Kneehigh Theatre, first performed at the National Theatre in 2007, features a twist with two possible endings, one in which Peter lives, another in which he dies.
Both are rehearsed and it is the flip of a coin, live on stage, at the most pivotal moment in the play that seals Peter’s fate.
This fine line between life and death is being explored this year by Forest Forge Youth Theatre with members being asked to research their families’ wartime experiences.
A Matter of Life and Death has a cast of 30 young actors aged 16 to 21.
Lucy Phillips, Forest Forge’s creative learning director, who directs the show said: “It’s been an emotional rehearsal process.
Some of the cast have uncovered family stories they’d never heard before and it’s adding a layer of heartfelt reality to their performances.
The tension of not knowing which ending they’ll be performing is keeping them on their toes, but as ever they are rising to the challenge. I think this production is set to be a truly joyful exploration of life, love and loss.”
Forest Forge Youth Theatre’s production of A Matter of Life and Death is being performed at Forest Forge Theatre Centre in Ringwood from January 15 to 18 at 7.30pm and there is a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
For tickets visit forestforge.co.uk/shows/amateroflife or call 01425 470188.