The story of Protect and Survive is set in both 2017 and 1984. 26th January 2017, five actors arrive at a recording studio for an audio production of ‘Exercise HOT SEAT’ set in the Civil Defence Staff College at Hawkhills. The drama is based upon the actual training exercises conducted in 1984. The actors have been cast as local council officers who are put though simulated scenarios of a nuclear strike and its aftermath, training them to deal with the civil defence problems that would arise following a nuclear attack.
As the play progresses, we see the emotional impact on the actors as they come to understand the factual horrors of a nuclear Armageddon as they act out the fictional story. In the play/game they are faced with the horrific realities of nuclear weapons and must make the most appalling decisions about who would live and who would die in the exercise.
However, the actors growing terror takes on a reality, when it is announced to the world on 26th January 2017, that the Science and Security Board have moved the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds nearer to midnight, stating that the outsized nuclear weapons arsenals, political uncertainties, Israel & Iraq confrontation, Russian military annexation, North Korean missile tests, Chinese expansion in the South Seas all pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity. Fiction has become a personal reality.
The show is being staged between the 9th – 15th May at the 2017 Brighton Fringe and after the run, it is intended to record the play as an audio drama in the studio.
Writer Jonathan Williamson
Producer Simon Moorhead
A TBC Audio Original Production