Sunderland writer seeks views of those who voted for Brexit

Fiona Evans, pictured by Susan MacDonald.
Fiona Evans, pictured by Susan MacDonald.
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An award-winning Sunderland playwright is seeking out Mackems who voted for Brexit as she works on her next play.

Fiona Evans, from Mill Hill, has worked on Hollyoaks, Eastenders and Casualty, and written plays which have been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s Royal Court Theatre.

I was gutted about the EU referendum result, but many of my friends and family voted to leave.

Fiona Evans

Her work has also seen her tackle dementia and brought the story of Seaham soldier Geoff Gray to the stage, telling of how he and three other army recruits were found dead at their Deepcut Barracks in suspicious circumstances in Geoff Dead: Disco for Sale, which debuted in the North East.

Now her next task is to create a dramatised verbatim play about the decision to leave the EU following June’s referendum,

As part of her research, she is keen to speak to people who have experienced important life events recently, such as a birth, illness, bereavement, marriage, divorce, losing a job or homelessness, which coincided with or influenced their voting decision to leave.

She is particularly interested in people who feel that their voice is not always heard by political representatives or reflected in the mainstream media.

Fiona said: “My home town of Sunderland, the place I love, is now widely regarded as the Pro-Brexit’ capital city.

“I want to discover the human face behind the headlines, explore the real lives of ordinary people who voted to leave.
“These individuals made a very personal decision that collectively shook the political establishment and sent shock waves around the world.
“I voted to remain.

“I was gutted about the EU referendum result, but many of my friends and family voted to leave.
“While I oppose the divisive and underhand tactics used in the leave campaign, I’ve been disappointed with how leave voters have been represented in the mainstream media and on social media, and there’s more than a whiff of class snobbery at play.
“As a woman raised in a working-class community in Sunderland, this annoys me.

“I want to talk to people who voted to leave, people who have recently experienced significant life events that may, or may not, have impacted on their decision to leave.”

Fiona’s awards include Scarborough, which won a Scotsman Fringe First at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and transferred to the Royal Court Theatre in 2008 and stared Jack O’Connell, who has since appeared in 300: Rise of an Empire, Daniel Mays, who featured in the Dad’s Army film and the last series of Line of Duty, and Rebecca Ryan, best known for her part of Debbie in Shameless.

Anyone interested in contributing to her Brexit play can contact Fiona by emailing fionaevansplays@hotmail.com, briefly outlining your story and reason for voting to leave the EU.

All material will be handled in a confidential manner and identities will remain secret, unless specifically requested by the contributor.