Joe White’s debut play Mayfly is a family drama exploring grief and emotional rebirth in the aftermath of tragedy. It was first performed at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, on 19 April 2018.
The play is set in rural Shropshire, over a single day in the month of May (reflecting the brief but dramatic lifecycle of the mayfly). It begins with Ben, 45, being saved from drowning by a younger man, Harry, 27, in what it transpires was an ineffectual suicide attempt. Ben returns home to his family: to his daughter Loops, 25, who is today exchanging her usual camouflage attire for her mother's red dress in preparation for a date; and to his wife, Cat, 46, who, though consumed with grief for her dead son, has been awakened to new possibilities by reading her stars: ‘Today a very special person will appear from out the blue.’
The Orange Tree production was directed by Guy Jones and designed by Cécile Trémolières. It was performed by Evelyn Hoskins (as Loops), Simon Scardifield (as Ben), Irfan Shamji (as Harry) and Niky Wardley (as Cat).