The Baldy Bane Theatre Company, which offers a range of plays it takes round communities in Scotland, recently stopped by at Pencaitland Primary School to present the play “Better Late than Dead on Time” which was developed in association with Road Safety Scotland.
As well as kids from primary years six and seven, a number of village locals were invited to the show, including Community Councillors.
The play centres around a family where the grandfather is about to celebrate his 70th birthday, exactly one year after he’s lost his wife to an avoidable traffic accident. We also hear about other family members, in particular the grandson who suffers many close calls whilst using his mobile phone when crossing the road or under the influence of alcohol he shouldn’t be drinking.
Perhaps inevitably the play suffers another tragedy at the end when the grandson is also killed in, and this is the key message, an avoidable traffic accident.
You’d think that the material would be either pretty dull or very hard to turn into a compelling piece of theatre. You couldn’t be more wrong. The four actors quickly immerse you in their world and make excellent use of the medium to make some very clear points to kids who, one day soon, will themselves be wanting to learn how to drive and have their own, often distracting, devices in their pockets.
Better still, whilst the play is accessible to kids, it also makes a good attempt at appealing to teens and adults too. On paper it’s the kind of worthy piece of theatre which you wouldn’t imagine could work. Yet Baldy Bane Theatre confounds expectations and delivers a well told story that is sure to have made an impact on young and old minds alike.