Whistleblower, Swan Theatre, Yeovil

THE versatile Swan Theatre company in Yeovil took a step into the unknown for their first show of 2018 – the first play written by local stalwart am dram soc member Adrian Harding, directed by fledgling director Judith Baker, with new members making their stage debuts.

And it is a huge success.

Whistleblower is set in 2014, in the offices of DDL, a medium-sized player in the defence industry, set up by the visionary father of current MD Graham Robinson. Graham strives to fill his late father’s giant footsteps.

Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, DDL comes across a contract to provide a custom-designed defence system for a threatened African country, and, with their specific skill-set, Graham knows they can provide the right solution at the right price, beating their larger competitors to the post.

But hours before the tenders close, another consideration raises its head, and the company which has prided itself on honour and decency is forced into an unwelcome decision.

Then the phone rings, and it’s the Serious Fraud Office. Who has blown the whistle? Can the familial relationships ever be rebuilt?

Adrian Harding has captured the tension, excitement and fear of the situation. His main themes of trust and honour have just the right weight. Judith Baker’s sensitive direction emphasises the fluctuating relationships between these people who have worked together for many years.

The ever-reliable Pete Fernandez copes well with the soul searching of Graham, with Jane Williams as his lover and accountant called on to think fast, and very convincingly, on her feet as to how to raise millions.

Oliver Delafeld makes a welcome Swan return as Steve, the arrogant but effective negotiator.  Richard Culham is the very recognisable Tom, with Curtis Cranage making his debut as the wizard IT man.

Eva Balonova is the conflicted PA Beccy, and Rosy Sargent the slightly underwritten Jane.

It’s an interesting play, vividly exposing the anguish caused by decisions that are increasingly demanded in a multi-national business world.

Whistleblower is on at the Swan until Saturday. See it if you can.


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