An award-winning writer will debut her brand new play at The King’s Arms pub in November.
Selina Helliwell’s ‘Fruit Salad‘ is a “love story but about friendship” which follows two girls, Cherry, and Peaches over many years of their lives.
The girls’ closeness began due to their fruity name connection.
This becomes tested by outside factors that are “encroaching on their relationship.”
The play, set mostly in one bar, will explore self-destruction, mental health, and friendship’s beautiful imperfections.
Helliwell, who plays Peaches, and her co-star Mary Taylor who plays Cherry, have been friends since they performed together in their school production of The Crucible.
After a ten year break from performing together, they then starred alongside each other in Helliwell’s play Burnout.
This was a piece of drama that won a ‘Highly Commended’ Northern Soul Award in the Theatre Production of the Year category.
Helliwell is delighted to get the opportunity to work alongside her old friend again.
She said: “It’s always really amazing to work with someone that you have that chemistry with in real life, and it always seems to translate on stage as well.”
Ms Helliwell hopes the powerful themes in her plays will encourage people to deal with their problems in a healthy way.
‘Burnout’ also dealt with “suicide ideation and a lot of elements of depression, anxiety, and anger issues.”
She said: “I would love to see a point where seeking help for your mental health is the same as seeking help for physical health.
On Fruit salad, she explained: “One of the characters does have very low self-worth and self-esteem, and it comes out quite self-destructive.”
“My character Peaches is obsessed with partying because it distracts her from what her real problems are, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people.
“I do wonder if they’ll dislike her in a way, but she’ll at least be relatable.”
“With the power of social media in modern times, it’s really important to talk about self-worth because self-esteem does have that domino effect and can lead to self-destructive behaviours”
“I think the more you learn to accept yourself, and I know it sounds cheesy but love yourself and stuff, you can be more comfortable in yourself.
Lisa Connor, the landlady of The King’s Arms, said she is “really excited” for the production to show at her venue.
She said: “It’s just great that we are getting the theatre back on in the pub.”
Covid has posed some real challenges to Helliwell and Taylor as they have had to reschedule their performance multiple times.
Ms Helliwell said: “It’s been strange because we’ve had to do all of it socially distanced up until now and then within two weeks we will basically form a bubble and then can actually do the scenes where we are a bit closer and have contact.
“We’ve not even been able to do a high five, which is weird.”
On returning to the stage, Ms Helliwell said: “It’ll be more nerve-wracking, I think because it’s been so long now.
“I think it’ll feel more amazing because I’ll appreciate it more.
“I didn’t expect theatre to ever shut down in the way it has this year, so it will be really special.”
You can catch the play at The King’s Arms in Salford on 13th and 14th November at 7 pm.
— Fruit Salad (@FruitSaladMCR) October 23, 2020