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We're   currently   juggling   several   projects

Here's just one of them.

"Beneath   the   Surface"

"Beneath the Surface" is Compulsion's first original work, written and directed by the company's director Shannon Starr. It is a true story, based on the author's own life, about a girl coming to terms with her sexuality. The main protagonist is Sian, an initially confused girl who has only just reached adulthood. As the play opens she is finally finding the strength to accept her sexuality, and tells her best friend Michael that she is bisexual. The acceptance she receives from him spurs her on towards her next big step- relationships; first a doomed fling with a friend, Karen, who is too afraid to come out. This rejection leads to a desperate need within Sian to fit in somewhere, which results in her falling into the arms of Leanne, a manipulative hedonist. This, coupled with a ton of prejudice, forces Sian to take control of her life, and be proud of her sexuality. By the end of the play she is not only strong enough to come out to her mother, but is able to hold her head up and proudly say, "I have choosen not to choose."

"Beneath the Surface" is a daring new play which is unafraid to face the prejudices that often accompany Bisexuality from both the straight and gay communities. The production is even more daring in that none of the actors are gay, despite the fact that three actress play bisexual and lesbian characters.

The premiere of "Surface" was on Thursday, 19th of February, in the Theatre Studies Studio of the University of Ulster, Coleraine. An unexpected full house, made up of the supportive, the curious and interested gave Compulsion the boost we needed for our first ever performance as a company. The performance, both in our eyes and of those that attended, was a success, and it was followed by a short discussion where the audience were invited to ask questions of the actors and the director/writer, and also to give constructive critisim.

This advice proved very useful when it came to our next performance, at the Castlereagh festival, and our first performance in front of a non-student audience. Several of the actors were nervous. How would a possibly 'conservative' audience take our 'contravertial' play. Well, hard to say really. A few tuts were heard, a few uncomfortable giggles. Then half the audience walked out after the show, before the last production came on. However that, we later found out, wasn't to do with us or our material, but the fact that Manchester United were playing, and they wanted to get home to see the match. (By the way, Man U lost! Yeah!) The judge of the competition had a lot of positive things to say, also some critisims, but over all, it was pretty positive. The last night of the festival is tonight (26/2/92) so hopefully tomorrow we can let you know if we won. Fingers crossed.

Two little hic-ups on the way to the festival however. After the first performance on the 19th, one of our actors, Helen McBrinn, fell and badly broke her arm, so she was unable to go on for the festival. Her replacement was (unfortunatly) director Shannon Starr. I say unfortunatly because Shannon has enough to do. But it was sad that Helen had to miss the show that she worked so had for. I'd just like to take this opportunity to give her my love, and the best wishes of the whole company, and hope she can come back to us as soon as possible. We miss you Hell. Second little hic-up is that our sister company, KickOff, had to pull out of the festival. In order to fill the gap left in the programme, Compulsion decided to put on another show. Details coming up.

If anyone would like a copy of "Beneath the Surface" feel free to e-mail me with your postal address at STARR-SR@ulst.ac.uk, and I'll be happy to send you one.

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