Scarborough actor and playwright Chris York makes professional debut on Stephen Joseph Theatre stage

Local audiences will recognise his name as the writer of the  award-winning Build A Rocket. But The Faction’s production of The Talented Mr Ripley brings Scarborough-born Chris York to its stage for the first time as a professional actor.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 9:47 am
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 9:48 am
The play is on at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in February
The play is on at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in February

Here, Chris remembers his first appearance at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

"It will mark 15 years since I first got to perform at the Stephen. It was a Shakespeare Schools Festival production of Julius Caesar for Graham School.

"There were a few dozen of us marching in the vomitorium; teenagers in rather intimidating synchronicity. Being able to come back home to perform in The Faction's production of The Talented Mr Ripley brings with it the same joyful butterflies I had in 2005.

"A play rich in humour, deceit and sexual tension, Mark Leipacher's adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel will undoubtedly delight the Scarborough faithful as much as it's been a delight to rehearse and perform.

"The Faction has such a tactile and creative way of working, it makes other rehearsal rooms invariably seem slightly dour in comparison.

"I have the opportunity to play Dickie Greenleaf, a well-to-do man of privilege. But it's what sits under Dickie's perceived charm and laissez-faire attitude that excites the actor in me. Dickie, similarly to the eponymous Tom Ripley, is a very contemporary character.

"A man steeped in the anxiety of adulting in one's twenties; no longer a child, but not quite the adult he is expected or expects to be. This play is so much a study of toxic masculinity than anything else, what does it mean to be a man today?

"Fans of the Minghella film will know all too well the idyllic world Thomas Ripley takes us to, and with a late February chill on the north east coast inevitable I don't doubt a trip to the SJT to see our production of The Talented Mr Ripley will be the mini-break to sun-kissed Italy we all need.

"I can't wait to see friendly faces in the bar afterwards and join in the proverbial post-mortem. Highsmith's Ripley is so rich in provocations, audiences will most definitely need to grab a post-show drink and pick apart this story rich in narrative treats.

Catch The Talented Mr Ripley from Tuesday February 25 to Saturday February 29 at 7.30pm, plus matinees at 1.30pm on the Thursday and 2.30pm on the Saturday.

Tickets: 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com