|Pilot, Paul Tibbets, waves from
the cockpit of the Enola Gay
1945. An American B29 bomber approaches Japan bearing a new kind of weapon. In Hiroshima people awake from a night of false alarms.
Remember the 80's song 'Enola Gay' by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD)? You get an extra point for knowing it's about the dropping of the first atomic bomb and ten more points if you knew they came from Wirral... the band, silly, not the bombs!
So when John Gorman from the Scaffold (and the Wirral) met Andy McClusky from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) (and the Wirral) in Shanghai - China (not the Wirral) they discussed the idea of an anti-war play incorporating the song being written and premiered in Hoylake (in the Wirral). John approached me to write the perspective of the crew of the B29 that dropped the atom bomb - the Enola Gay and a Japanese writer, performer and storyteller to tell the story from a Japanese perspective.
|Interior of the B29, Enola Gay|
The research has been fascinating but it's a tricky subject - my views on it shifted during the course of writing it and I've resisted, as far as possible, calls for me to wield my 'poetic license' and gone for a drama documentary approach. It'll be especially difficult to portray the horror of the A-bomb and futility of war when in all likelihood the only props we'll have are three chairs and a torch!
And the most exciting part? It is being premiered in just four weeks time at Wirral Festival of Firsts!!! More anon.