THE STATE VS JOHN HAYES

THE STATE VS JOHN HAYES  US Premiere!
Written and performed by Lucy Roslyn
Directed by Jemma Gross

Old Stone House
One night only
Saturday, May 14, 2016
8:00 pm.

Fifteen dollars a ticket.  Proceeds go to support the Emerging Artist Series.

“I would do anything for someone I loved”
Huntsville prison, Texas, 1959

Elyese Dukie is on Death Row for the murder of two people. Tomorrow she goes to court for the last time. But tonight Elyese reveals the one thing she won’t tell the court or the string of psychiatrists sent to diagnose her: that she is not alone in her cell… John Hayes is in there with her. Psychopath, or seductress?

Murderer, or manipulator? Psychiatric hospital, or the electric chair?

A striking one-act, psychological thriller laced with dark humor. Based on extensive research into real-life female killers.

Argus Award for Artistic Excellence

★★★★ The Stage – “a slick and entertaining show”, “Roslyn’s performance is astonishing”, “a very special, intriguing and disturbing piece of theatre – it may only be an hour in length but its impact lasts much longer”, “a gripping and disturbing hour”

★★★★★ Islington Gazette – “It is impossible to look away”

★★★★★ Female Arts – “Roslyn as Dukie/Hayes has the audience in the palm of her hand” “Within its 60 minutes, more is said about gender, identity and female sexuality than many plays twice its length”, “has the audience mesmerised from start to finish”, “a tour-de-force performance”

★★★★★ London Pub Theatre – “An extraordinary play spiced with much dark humour”, “Roslyn is very convincing (…) her performance is captivating”, “a unique and thought provoking play”

★★★★★ Grump Gay Critic – “dangerous and thrilling, helmed by a complicated but arresting character”, “absolutely gripping”, “an intense and troubling hour”, “a blistering piece of theatre”, “a spectacular performance”, “there isn’t a more complete and incredible performance currently anywhere in London”

★★★★★ Remote Goat – “riveting”, “a brilliantly honest performance”

★★★★★​ “Within it’s 60 minutes more is said about gender, identity, and female sexuality than many plays twice it’s length”   Female Arts

 

Old Stone House
One night only
Saturday, May 14, 2016
8:00 pm.

Fifteen dollars a ticket.  Proceeds go to support the Emerging Artist Series.

 

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An INTERVIEW with Lucy Roslyn, author of The State vs. John Hayes


What can the audience expect?

This play is a face to face conversation with a killer. One of the bad guys. Ideally it would be an antidote for the times you’ve been to the theatre and felt distant about what is happening on stage. This would be the opportunity to look a character in the eye and decide for yourself what’s true. There are clues to what has led her to this. I can only hope that the audience will have a good time piecing it together!

 

Who inspired John Hayes?

I actually wrote this play when I was in a bit of slump. I had just come out of doing a dreadful production that even I would not have paid to see and so started writing this: I wanted to be in something that I would want to watch. I am extremely interested in the psychology of crime and she is a culmination of several real life criminals. It is based on the thought that sometimes, though the crime may be unforgivable, the person behind it might deserve a degree of clemency – does an evil act mean that the person who commits it has no good in them?

 

With new openness of gender identity, could this story of John Hayes happen today?

One of the reasons I set the play back in the 50’s is cause I felt it would be easier for an audience to get on board with the character without the pressure of having to apply modern day values. Things were tough, law was unforgiving, punishment was harsh. It is easy to lose sight of the person behind sensational media. I am sure a person like Elyese Dukie wouldn’t be so isolated today, but there is still a way to go and I think the story of people doing something crazy for the sake of love is timeless.

 

How has the play changed over the past three years?  

The heart of the play is always the same, but it’s an incrementally evolving thing. I’d like to say I’m more confident about it and possibly that reflects in the character. I get older, so does she. Also it’s always fascinating to see how each audience will take it. Depending on how they feel about her it gives each show a slightly different vibe every time.

 

I am delighted to have this chance to meet again with Piper Theatre, a company I met initially during the Edinburgh Festival. It is a great pleasure to join forces in support of Emerging Artists.

 

The State vs. John Hayes will make it’s US Premiere this Saturday night as a fund raiser for the Emerging Artist Series this Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 8 pm at the Old Stone House.