Acclaimed play about men’s health jumps from Leamington stage to the big screen

Writer Geoff Saunders and director Darren Scott
Writer Geoff Saunders and director Darren Scott

A film that started life as a play at a Leamington theatre receives a special screening in Kenilworth next week.

Comedy drama Hanging In There was first staged at the Loft Theatre in 2005. It was written by Geoff Saunders and was based on his experiences of surviving testicular cancer.

A scene from the film, which will be screened at the Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth

A scene from the film, which will be screened at the Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth

The play proved a critical and commercial success, and was transferred to the Criterion Theatre in Coventry, where it also proved popular.

But it wasn’t until 2013 that Geoff and director Darren Scott had the idea of turning the play into a film – and the public can see the result at the Talisman Theatre on Saturday April 22 at 7.30pm.

Darren, who lives in Rugby, said: “It’s been a huge community effort, and the film seriously belies it’s budget and background.

“We started with no money and little idea of how to make a film. But with a play script to rewrite into a screenplay, and a committed set of local amateur actors - none of whom had worked on a film before - and local businesses to help with locations, and around 150 locals acting as extras, we finally finished the film at the beginning of this year.

“World renowned grading house, Filmlight, then offered to grade the film for us for nothing. So all in all, we’ve had around £350,000 of goodwill – while managing to make the film for literally £3,000.”

The original play raised money for male cancer charity Orchid – as will the film.

Darren added: “We always said that if we could save one life through the play it was worth the effort. That mantra stayed with us during the three years it’s taken to get this film made.

“We still aim to do an awful lot of good with it.”

Tickets cost £5.50. Visit www.talismantheatre.co.uk to book.