Hostage McCarthy to watch his ordeal

Captive Hearts 1

A Kent playwright has received backing from the former hostage and journalist John McCarthy ahead of the opening night of new drama Captive Hearts, based on the ordeal that Brian Keenan and John McCarthy went through as hostages in Lebanon from April 1986.

Paul Bridger’s intense one-act play opens on Monday 8 August at the Etcetera Theatre in London, as part of the Camden Fringe – 25 years after McCarthy was released from captivity.

Just this week after the former hostage and journalist John McCarthy personally replied to Bridger by email, he has now confirmed that he will be attending a performance at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden.

Bridger, of Rochester, said: “I had contacted John a while ago to let him know about our plans for the play but never really expected to hear anything back, so we were totally blown away when he emailed this week.”

McCarthy wishes Paul and his team well with the play and says: “It is wonderful that our story has inspired you – I hope the show goes brilliantly.”

Bridger adds: “I’m absolutely blown away that John actually changed his plans to be able to come along and see our dramatisation of events.”

Following its world premiere on Monday 8 August, it runs for a further four performances – Tuesday 9, Monday 22, Tuesday 23 and closing on Wednesday 24.

The performance dates are of great significance as it was August 8th 1991 that John McCarthy was freed after 1,943 days in captivity, while Brian tasted freedom on August 24th 1990, after 1,596 days.

Captive Hearts promises to put the audience in the shoes of the hostages – appalling them with the brutality while uplifting them with the indomitable spirit of the hostages and revealing the human side of their captor.

Bridger says: “During four years held together their Anglo – Irish relationship, is at times frayed, but the more they learn about each other, the more they learn about themselves. I’m thrilled to be taking Captive Hearts to the Camden Fringe – the intimate atmosphere of the Etcetera Theatre is a perfect match.”

For more details and tickets visit

Photographs by Meg McConville.

Captive Hearts 2


About Camden Fringe Voyeur

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