Trinity 6th-form playwrights explore the nuclear option in Oxted

Three sixth-formers from Trinity School in Shirley will perform at the Southern Counties Drama Festival tomorrow night with an original play, which has been written by two of them.

Pressing the button: Barney Sayburn (right) and Rob Wilding (left) have written Letters of Last Resort, which they perform with Amare McDonald

Letters of Last Resort, written by Barney Sayburn and Rob Wilding, was devised as part of their A Level Drama course.

The play was inspired after the boys discovered that aboard every Royal Navy nuclear submarine is a letter from the Prime Minister with instructions on what to do in the event the Government is destroyed. The play focuses on the tension between three submarine officers who open that letter and must decide what to do.

The play will premiere at The Barn Theatre in Oxted as part of this year’s Southern Counties Drama Festival, with Letters of Last Resort opening the show at 7pm on Wednesday February 22.

As well as writing the script, Sayburn and Wilding star in the play alongside fellow pupil Amare McDonald. All three are very active in theatre in and outside of school, with Sayburn having worked professionally, starring in the 2021 Britbox TV series A Beast Must Die.

Finger on the trigger: Sayburn, McDonald and Wilding in the play, which premieres tomorrow

A team of technical and production experts from Trinity’s student and staff have been assisting to ready the production.

“I was very keen to produce a play at the SCDF, having been impressed with the quality of work staged at The Barn over the last few years,” said Chris Chambers, the head of drama productions at Trinity.

“It is no mean feat to turn what begins as an idea into a 45-minute play and Barney and Rob have approached this task with sustained focus and dedication. I hope that our production will do justice to their vision.”

The Southern Counties Drama Festival has been running for more than 70 years and is the preliminary round for the All-England Theatre Festival, the only national competitive one-act drama festival in the country. Its patron is newsreader Nicholas Owen, who will be attending some of this year’s performances. A total of 19 plays will compete for a place in the Eastern Area Final which takes place in May.

Tickets are still available from:

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