“Truth” of Hillsborough disaster at Buxton Fringe

Published: 26 June 2023
Reporter: Steve Orme

Leslie Longley (Steve) and Colin Kilbride (John) in 97+

Liverpool-based Tom Cain will stage 97+, his theatrical drama based on “the truth” of the Hillsborough disaster, at Buxton Fringe.

Cain originally wrote 97+ for his Edge Hill University drama dissertation in 2021. The seven-character, two-act play has been converted to a one-hour, three-character drama that will also be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Set in 2012, 97+ features Hillsborough survivors John and Steve who are now middle-aged men. John, played by Colin Kilbride, bottles up his emotions and exposes them only to his wife Liz, played by Claudia Molyneux, as he regularly suffers from night terrors but avoids seeking treatment from doctors. Steve (Leslie Longley) lives alone but seeks help from the hospital or the vodka bottle as his only support mechanisms. Despite countless setbacks, the Hillsborough survivors continue their fight for justice.

Cain is “grateful” to the Hillsborough Survivors Support Alliance, a charity set up by survivors who provide therapy to help other survivors.

Ninety-seven people died and more than 700 were injured in the Hillsborough disaster during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989.

97+ will be performed Underground at the Old Clubhouse, Buxton on Sunday 16 July at 8:30PM.

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