The Peruvian two escape
Mule is a new play by award winning writer Kat Woods focusing on the infamous Peru Two, Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid. Arrested for drug smuggling and locked up in a hard-core South American prison in 2013, they were vilified in the press. Woods' script asks difficult questions: why do we judge others so quickly and what if it was your partner, your sister or your mother?
The play steps away from harsh judgement and takes a more sympathetic view. 'I had read some rather nasty things about the pair and it got me thinking,' says Woods. 'My gut feeling has always been that they made a mistake, one that they will pay for for the rest of their lives.'
An early interest in sociology perhaps encouraged Woods' attempt to understand the context surrounding the treatment of the young women, and challenge the easy assumptions that led to their demonisation.
Yet she is not interested in merely presenting her perspective. 'I want to educate in a way that feels less lecture orientated. I want the audience, especially in this particular case, to think about their action'. With the Peruvian Two back in the news, Mule has become topical again and Woods' hard hitting style offers an imaginative and emotive angle on the story behind the headlines.
Gilded Balloon, 3–29 Aug, 1.30pm, £5.