Crash story told via trip to Albert Square

Ross Sutherland
Ross Sutherland
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A Peterborough performer will use Walford’s past to tell the story of his own youth on the small screen this weekend.

Ross Sutherland, from Fletton, has dug deep into the BBC archives for to find an old edition of EastEnders for his TV show ‘Missing Episode,’ which will be broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday.

Ross (37) said: “The Arts Council and the BBC have been working to bring back the old ‘Play for the Day.’ There has been a long tradition of theatre on TV, but it was dropped a few years back.

“There is a series of dramas and performance being broadcast, with some performers with experimental styles given time.

“The story I am telling is from October 7, 1997 - exactly 20 years before Saturday. I was involved in a car crash - I was a passenger, and the car flipped and crashed into the sign for an Indian Restaurant. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

“I was 17 at the time, and I remember little of being a teenager, so I am using the episode to fill in the gaps of remembering what it was like being a 17-year-old back in 1997.”

Ross has taken the EastEnders’ episode broadcast on that night - which he had watched before heading out - and uses the show to tell the story of the night.

He said: “It is a half hour programme that starts as a film criticism and slowly turns into a musical story.

“I tell the story of the crash through the episode, taking what happens on the screen as a metaphor for what was going on in my life at the time.”

To make the show, Ross has viewed the EastEnders’ episode more than 100 times over the past six months, learning the script and the actions inside and out.

He said: “At times my words are synchronised with the footage - there is no short cut to doing it.”

The piece is the latest Ross has worked on, having had a programme about wrestling broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last month, and written a palinndromic play which was performed in London theatres last year - where each line in the first half of the play is mirrored in the second half -but he said Saturday’s show is likely to be his biggest audience.

He said; “I’ve tried to put the audience size out of my mind - I have never done anything on this scale before - it helps I’ve been working with a fantastic team, and worked with the director before.

“I think I will be watching the show at a screening in London with the rest of the team on Saturday.

“But by the time it is broadcast I think I will be in the pub.”

lMissing Episode will be broadcast at 10.30pm on BBC 2 on Saturday, October 7.