A controversial pilot scheme by police, currently being tested in Peterborough, has the public being urged to report crime via skype.
The initiative bears an uncanny resemblance to East Midland’s touring theatre company New Perspectives’ latest production which is set to play rural villages nationwide in the lead up to Christmas.
For their comedy He Wore A Red Hat, NP artistic director Jack McNamara took inspiration from a newspaper article reporting that volunteers on horseback were to help police tackle rural crime by patrolling the countryside in Northamptonshire.
Taking this germ as an idea he swapped horseback for cycling to create the bike-riding poet-cum-detective for his central character.
McNamara said: “The article fired my imagination as I began to conjure up what kind of ill-equipped person might end up policing rural communities.
“As a result I conceived a character called Josh Rogan who was both a hopeful poet and a detective, but rather useless at both!
“During the play Rogan interviews witnesses and talks to the police via skype. This was pure invention on my part, to make a comic point about a detective who really didn’t do much leg work.
“So I was surprised, during rehearsals, to learn about the Cambridgeshire force’s pilot actively encouraging victims of crime to contact the police via skype.
“It seems life really can imitate art. If our new comedy is anything to go by let’s hope there are no hapless poets out there who turn to amateur sleuthing!”
Cast: Gerry Howell, Kate Kordel, Mufaro Makubika
He Wore A Red Hat opens in the company’s home city of Nottingham followed by a 22 date national rural tour.
National tour dates:
November 12, St Christopher’s Church Hall, Sneinton, Nottingham
November 13, Gretton Village Hall, Northamptonshire
November 18, Shirebrook Village Hall, Nottinghamshire
November 19, Eastham Memorial Hall, Worcestershire
November 20, Melbourne Assembly Rooms, Derbyshire
November 21, Glebe Field Centre, Crich, Derbyshire
November 22, Kineton Sports & Social Club, Warwickshire
November 26, St Helen’s Parish Hall, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire
November 27, Thrumpton Village Hall, Nottinghamshire
November 28, Aslockton Thomas Cranmer Centre, Nottinghamshire
December 3, Broadbent Theatre, Lincoln
December 4, Tennyson D’Eyncourt Memorial Hall, Tealby, Lincs
December 5, The Palace Community Centre, Ibstock, Leics
December 6, Gayton Parish Church, Northamptonshire
December 9, St Joseph’s Parish Hall, Hoghton, Lancashire
December 10, Fleetwood Library, Lancashire
December 12, Fountain Square Church, Tideswell, Derbyshire
December 13, Parwich Memorial Hall, Derbyshire
December 17, Hamsterley Village Hall, Durham
December 18, Middleton & Todridge Village Hall, Northumberland
December 19 Tirril Reading Rooms, Cumbria
December 20, The Old Fire Station, Carlisle.