44-year-old Dean Stalham knows only too well the world that he portrays in his second play.
Senti-Mental tells the story of Rob and Raquel, who are at the apex of their heroin addiction, and of a love amidst a world of homelessness, drug taking, criminality and mental health issues. We follow the couple through time, exploring their back-story as they reveal it to each other for the first time.
Alternately touching and visceral, the play explores this human story via dark humour, snatches of opera and honest home truths about what it is to be dependent on someone and something. The two characters have vastly different backgrounds, with Raquel having grown up on the Isle of Whithorn (where The Whicker Man was filmed) and Rob being a public school-educated middle class lad from Sussex. The play shows that addiction is classless, with heroin gripping anyone who gives it half a chance.
Stalham has served six years in prison since 1992, during his last sentence in HMP Wandsworth he discovered the art of playwriting after a visit from the Royal Court Theatre.
The play is directed by Andy McEwan.