Bruise production pulls no punches on domestic abuse

Posted on 14 February 2012
By Samantha Elmes
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John Maguire’s theatrical production of Bruise addresses not just the issues surrounding gay domestic abuse but the intimacy and volatile complexities surrounding the boundaries of love and how far we will go to push them.

‘Meeting you that was fate, Becoming your friend was a choice, but drowning in love with you I had no control over.’

With only two characters to contend with, John involves the audience, offering up ‘an insight into the intense relationship between Nathan and Ewan’ (Played by Anthony Proctor and James Devlin), with a scene set like a war zone, Bruise gives you a ring side seat.

“It’s contemporary, punchy and poignant” James Devlin who plays Ewan in Maguire’s latest feature (Director of other productions such as Heart and Mrs Bojangles) tells us exactly why Bruise will leave you beaten; ‘If it doesn’t touch a nerve with the audience I’d be surprised’.

Devlin (previously featuring within For the Best, Ideal, and Beyond the front line) comments on the aspect of movement, of the intrinsic freedom created by Maguire’s cleverly incorporated improvisation; ‘the movement becomes beautiful and thought-provoking, there is connections even though we are far apart.’

The production demonstrates ‘how engulfing the ocean of love can be’ with a poeticism that has an inebriating pulse throughout, it is a beat that will connect with all and yet still maintains its hard hitting message revealing the inescapable torment of gay domestic abuse.

Anthony Proctor (previously featured within The Last Eden, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Farmaggedon) explains his connection with his character, the understanding of his stance, his place and his overall passion within the play… ‘Nathan can handle the fear of losing control. Actually controlling that fear makes him very powerful.’

Proctor reveals how the provocative nature and the challenging aspects of ‘a big play, with a huge message’, made the opportunity to be involved irresistible, and something we should all be impatient to see.

It is a play that embraces the true movement of the Theatre, as Maguire said ‘Theatre should provoke a reaction, entertain and demonstrate’.

It brings in to focus the somewhat ‘taboo’ subject of Gay Domestic Violence and brandishes it at us within the intimate settings of The Lantern Theatre, Liverpool.

Adding to the heart of the play is the National Charity Broken Rainbow who offer support for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and Trans (LGBT) people experiencing domestic violence.

Bruise will be used to enhance their hard work, to aid those that struggle with these issues, and hopefully taking Maguire’s voice to a national level. Bruise is a performance that relates to situations that are remarkably silenced in a modern day society where ‘equality’ is ostensibly meant to be represented.

Maguire’s ‘passionate, raw and electric’ creation speaks up for the 22% of Lesbian woman who have experienced same-sex abuse on a regular basis, and shouts for the 29% of gay or bisexual men who have also suffered(Sigma Research 2000).

Broken rainbow points out that ‘elephant-in-the-room’ phenomenon and Bruise is set to make us release the necessity of it. As actor James Devlin stated; ‘it raises awareness to an on-going issue, not only in Liverpool society, its nation/world wide!’

Bruise is designed to do just what it says…to hurt, to pound and to mark. John Maguire’s play is gut-wrenchingly truthful, extracting painfully and with full force the darkness of falling in love.

With the aid of Actors James Devlin and Anthony Proctor, and with the incorporation of dramatic lighting creating an incandescent scene, your eyes will not leave the stage, and neither will your heart.

Yes I walked into a door, It didn’t hurt much.

Imagery – Matt Ford