I originally wrote Milestone several years ago – before the Hillsborough Inquest was announced. When the Inquest verdicts were delivered I realised I could adapt the script with just a very small number of changes. I liked the idea of the character seeing the events as a catalyst for change – a theme referred to by many of the victims’ families. Also, adding a practical dilemma in the character’s situation and the practical steps he identifies to help him deal with it, enabled me to demonstrate the long-term effects of the tragedy on many, many people – some of whom are no longer with us. Amidst his confusion of knowing what to feel after the verdicts he speaks directly to his Father – killed at Hillsborough – looks for answers to his immediate dilemma and pays tribute to him for introducing him to the wonderful game of football. It felt important to me to include in that conversation the fact that football continues to be a part of his family’s life.
In my view, the 96 victims were murdered for being Working Class – a view shared by many – and I felt it was important to imbue the script with a recognition of this and the event’s place in the history of class struggle. In my attempt to do this I referred to other significant milestones and turning points in history to shine the light as brightly upon victories and triumphs as on those darker moments too. Economic policies and successive governments from the 1980’s onwards divided, disenfranchised and fragmented the Working Class, hampering efforts to fight back, and elevating the Establishment to a position of assumed impunity. The Hillsborough families’ victory – their determination, tenacity, dignity, and resourcefulness – demonstrates our ability to challenge injustice in the face of seemingly insurmountable structural barriers. Their victory – as well as being rightfully their own – is one for not only the Working Class and society at large, but for humanity itself.
THE WRITER- TONY CLARE
Tony has been writing for about 12 years. His most notable successes include being nominated for the Nick Darke Award in 2012 for his screenplay, Pins and Needles. In 2007 he was given a trial on the continuing drama, Hollyoaks, which probably came too soon in his writing career! Nevertheless the experience gave him the confidence and enthusiasm to continue writing. Four full reads from BBC Writersroom and an honourable mention on their website for his submission to their In The Red rapid response followed, and this too inspired him to continue writing. More recently he was longlisted for the Alfred Bradley Bursary Award and shortlisted for Little Pieces of Gold’s Education showcase.
His first inspiration to become a writer was watching an episode of Coronation Street when he was seven. Later he was inspired by writers including Jimmy McGovern, Jim Allen, Paul Flannery, Paul Laverty, and Susannah Grant. He is currently writing a feature film script for which he plans to seek an Independent Production Company to take forward.
THE ACTOR – NEIL CAPLE
Neil Caple trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and in a 30+ year career, has worked in just about every facet of the business, from Greek Classics for the Open University to school’s programmes in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He has been a principal actor with both the RSC and Royal National Theatre, and appeared in just about every Rep in the country. On television he has made EMI Award winning dramas, been a regular in a Soap Opera (Brookside, 300 episodes) and appeared in adaptations of classic novels. He has acted in several films, and made around 40 radio plays for the BBC. He was also a regular on Radio 4’s satirical comedy series ‘Weekending’. More recently he has enjoyed directing in Drama colleges, and was the Artistic Director of Merseyside Community theatre 2008-10.