The Cast: Playing in Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock

April 11, 2018 by


Tell us what attracted you to this production?

Name: Dick Bradnum

Principal Character: Mike Hay

The opportunity to tell a true and amazing Welsh story and to work again with Catherine and the Dirty Protest creative team.

Tell us a little bit more about your character?

My main character Mike is an unreconstructed Welsh dock worker. He is left as the sole carer for his young stepchild when his wife dies suddenly. His journey is about the struggle to connect with this boy.

Your character Mike has unexpectedly found himself responsible for young Sam. As a father, can you relate to the tension between wanting what’s best for your kids and letting them find their own way?

Yes. I have three children 16,14 and 12 years old. There is a real negotiation to be had around letting go whilst remaining present and providing love and support.

What were your own big influences growing up?

Books, theatre, the ability to escape through performance. Funny TV shows involving people like the late Rik Mayall. My own large loving and noisy family.

The building of the Falcon in character Sam’s home town is an enormous thing for him. Did anything that exciting ever happen in your home town?

Cardiff felt very different in the 70s and 80s when I grew up, far from the cosmopolitan place it is now. I spent lots of time feeling I needed to live elsewhere, a need I met as soon as I could. I came back though, with my own kids.

How are you finding the Dirty Protest ‘experience’?

Exciting, funny, emotional, challenging and stimulating. I am lucky to be paid for doing what I love.

Name: Jack Hammett

Principal Character: Young Sam

Tell us what attracted you to this production?

I’m a big fan of Dirty Protest and have been very fortunate to take part in some of their new writing evenings! An opportunity to work with the company on this brilliant new play is very exciting and I’ve loved the rehearsals so far.

Tell us a little bit more about your character?

I play Sam in 1979. He’s a very creative and imaginative boy with a love for Star Wars and sci-fi. He lives with his stepdad Mike and is always being told off for using his toolbox for Star Wars action figures and turning his beer cans into droids!

Your character Sam takes some big risks to get what he wants in Lightspeed. What’s the silliest thing you did as part of a youthful obsession?

Whilst in primary school I used to draw David Beckham’s tattoos on my arm for when we played football in the playground. Looking back at 9-year-old Jack with Victoria written on his arm in biro seems a bit silly now.

What were your own big influences growing up?

The Lord of the Rings films were mine and my friends favourite growing up. We used to watch them all back to back in long marathons which led to us buying a small digital camera and using it to make our own films like Sam does in the play.

The building of the Falcon in character Sam’s home town is an enormous thing for him. Did anything that exciting ever happen in your home town?

There was an earthquake a few weeks ago… There’s not many things are as exciting as the Millenium Falcon being built in your hometown.

How are you finding the Dirty Protest ‘experience’?

Brilliant! It’s been a very enjoyable experience and hopefully the audience will enjoy watching the play as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.

Name: Keiron Self

Principal Character: Sam Hay

Tell us what attracted you to this production?

The opportunity to work again with Dirty Protest, with whom I’ve written short plays and acted in their themed evenings. They are an exciting company, really fostering writing talent in Wales. And, of course, the chance to get my inner geek on as I’m a massive Star Wars fan.

Tell us a little bit more about your character?

I play older Sam, dad to 16-year-old Lizzie who has forgotten what makes him happy in life. He used to find joy in his work and being a father, working in the TV and film world as a props maker and designer. Financial woes have forced him to become someone he isn’t and affected his relationship with his daughter and he needs to get his mojo back. The other half of the play is Sam as a boy of 12, where we see his enthusiasm and love of all things Star Wars and his relationship with his step Dad. We see elements of the child in the man, and also what older Sam has stopped being now that he’s an adult. It’s very truthful, and as a father of 17-year-old twins, I totally understand the elder Sam.

Your character Sam is a lifelong Star Wars fan, who seems to have given up on his dreams to focus on being a breadwinner for his daughter. As a father, can you relate to the tension between doing your best for your family and following your dreams?

Absolutely. Parenting isn’t easy, it’s full of compromises, all you care about is doing the best for your kids and sometimes who you are as a person gets lost. Children want their parents to be happy and fulfilled, that makes them better parents, rather than being super stressed and resenting life choices. It’s a real balancing act.

What were your own big influences growing up?

I have to say Harrison Ford. I wanted to be Han Solo, Indiana Jones and anybody else he played. It was a bit of an obsession. Steve Martin was also a massive influence, his sense of humour and ludicrous pomposity as a stand up was fantastic. And of course, it goes without saying, my parents. Whoever your parents or guardians are, whatever combinations they come in, they will always shape you. I was an only child, so got spoiled rotten – I had my own Millennium Falcon which my kids have also played with!

The building of the Falcon in Sam’s home town is an enormous thing for him. Did anything that exciting ever happen in your home town?

I was brought up in Newport, where we are touring to the Riverfront, and I remember Ray Winstone coming to my school, St Julian’s Comprehensive, when I was growing up. It was when Robin of Sherwood was all the rage on telly in the eighties. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the classes that had chats with him, but it caused quite a stir, we just watched jealously from a distance during break time. That and Princess Di and Prince Charles passing by the bottom of our road in a car!

How are you finding the Dirty Protest ‘experience’?

Supportive and enthusiastic, an organic atmosphere where everything is valued, even the psychotic whims of a fortysomething actor!

Name: Sian Davies

Principal Character: Lizzie Hay

Tell us what attracted you to this production?
What first sparked my interest in the production was that a lot of the action is set in my home county of Pembrokeshire. My best friend lived in Milford Haven while we were growing up so the location of the play feels very familiar to me. I wasn’t aware that the Millennium Falcon was built at the Dockyard in Pembroke, so learning something new about the history of Pembrokeshire was fascinating. I was also interested in the various relationships between children, parents and step-parents within the play-having grown up with both a father and step-father I felt I could identify strongly with the character of Lizzie.

Tell us a little bit more about your character?
Lizzie is sensitive, headstrong and feisty, if a little reckless at times. She cares deeply about those around her but doesn’t always think about the consequences of her actions. She has a strong sense of justice and will go to great lengths to do what she thinks is right and fair, both for herself and for others. She can be a little manipulative at times, especially when she’s trying to get what she wants.

Your character Lizzie takes some pretty drastic steps to help her Dad achieve his dreams. Can you relate to Lizzie’s need to fix things for people?

I want the people that I love to be happy and will always try my hardest to make sure that they are. However, Lizzie and I differ in the fact that I’m a lot less impulsive than she is. Even as a sixteen-year-old I tended to think over my decisions a lot more than she does within the play (probably too much if I’m honest, but I was a bit of a goody-two-shoes at school) I think that’s probably an element of the character I enjoy playing as it’s quite different to me in real life. I can live out my inner rebel through Lizzie without getting into too much trouble.

What were your own big influences growing up?
My mother was my biggest influence growing up, which is ironic seeing as Lizzie’s mother is quite absent within the play. She ignited a sense of adventure in both me and my brother from a very early age, taking us on long driving holidays on a tight budget, with the three of us sleeping in a two-man tent around Europe. She also used to read us adventure stories at bedtime, such as The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Swallows and Amazons, which I can see now is responsible for my wanderlust as an adult. She showed me the value of learning about other cultures, of experiencing new cities, trying their foods and learning about their history. This is a passion that I still have and I hope to continue having new adventures throughout my life.

The building of the Falcon in character Sam’s home town is an enormous thing for him. Did anything that exciting ever happen in your home town?
I grew up in a village called St Dogmaels in North Pembrokeshire and had a very peaceful childhood with hardly any big events to rock the boat. However, Cardigan, which is the nearest town to St. Dogmaels held the first ever Eisteddfod in 1176- a bit before my time but still a pretty cool event in my home town!

How are you finding the Dirty Protest ‘experience’?
This is my first time working with Dirty Protest and I am loving every minute of it! It’s such a privilege to work with a team of open, playful individuals every day, who make the space such a creative one to work in. Everyone is working so hard to create a great production that we’re all proud of (and there are lots of laughs and cakes which is also amazing!)



4-7    Chapter, Cardiff/Caerdydd  029 2030 4400

17      Soar Centre/Canolfan Soar, Penygraig  01443 30 30 32

18      Ffwrnes, Llanelli  0845 226 3510

19      Taliesin Arts Centre/ Canolfan Y Celfyddydau Taliesin   Swansea/Abertawe

01792 60 20 60

21      The Riverfront/Glan Yr Afon, Newport/Casnewydd  01633 656757

23     Halliwell Theatre/Theatre Halliwell, Carmarthen/Caerfyrddin

24     Pontardawe Arts Centre/Canolfan Y Celfyddydau Pontardawe

01639 863 722

25     Borough Theatre/Theatr Borough, Y Fenni/Abergavenny

01873 850 805

26     Blackwood Miners’ Institute/Sefydliad Y Glowyr Coed Duon

01495 227 206

27     Galeri, Caernarfon  01286 685 222

28     Aberystwyth Arts Centre/Canolfan Y Celfyddydau Aberystwyth

01970 62 32 32



2      Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon/Aberhonddu  01874 611 622

4-5   Torch Theatre/Theatr Torch, Milford Haven/Aberdaugleddau

01646 695 267



Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock, Chapter

Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock












Leave a Reply