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Rian Flatley: ‘Seven Letters’

7th-9th September, 7.30pm, Theatre

Rian was born into a large Irish family in Wimbledon, London. After raising three sons she continued to write and observe, and taught Drama to adults; by chance she was given an opportunity to teach people with learning difficulties. This has challenged her, as she has had to write for and around people with widely differing abilities, to ensure that all participants have a ‘voice’. It is through this work that she has witnessed at first hand the power of the human spirit. It has also required her to think and write beyond ‘normal’ parameters. She has found it often humorous, and always enriching.

Three years ago, she published her first novel, ‘Cash Cow’ and has continued to write many short plays which she has also directed. ‘Seven Letters’ was originally written ten years ago as a short film, but the story has nagged away at her,and she has now expanded it into a stage play.

Seven Letters provides a platform for seldom heard voices; three lives are unfurled before us through a carefully constructed recipe of dialogue, monologue, and song. Stories are told, secrets revealed, and friendships forged in this poignant, and often humorous play. Three very different women whose paths would otherwise never have crossed are thrown together through societal circumstance. Sensitive subject matter is handled with delicacy and care, but also brutal honesty. A fierce hunger rages within these women, a need to be heard, to be remembered, to be loved, and to be alive. The emotional balance is finely poised, bringing us between laughter and a raw truth that evokes sadness and empathy.

Songs that reflect the plot are interwoven throughout the drama, a series of strong ballads that provide an echo of youth and hope for the future. Seven Letters is constantly asking us to pause a moment and think about the path ahead of us. If you could see your future for fifteen seconds, would you? And would it be enough?

This play is a tribute to everyday women who go through life with memories weighing on their hearts. These are women who suffer from love, abandonment, hope, heartbreaks. No matter what troubles fell at their feet they kept their heads up and moved on, often with wit and laughter. Seven Letters reminds us that our youth goes by all too quickly as our passing seems to drag on for far too long.