Dr Lang's Paper Trail unearths family secrets

Published: 2 April 2012 at 10:56

Anglia Ruskin Drama Studio to stage premiere of History Lecturer’s new play

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Paper Trail, a play about discovery, truth, lies and human history, will receive its premiere at Anglia Ruskin Drama Studio in Covent Garden, off Mill Road in Cambridge, on Friday, 13 April.

Written by Dr Sean Lang, Senior Lecturer in History at Anglia Ruskin University, the play follows Angie, an Australian woman, who visits an archive office in an attempt to discover who her mother was.  The truth, which is much more terrible than she realises, lies in the documents that make up our personal paper trail through life. 

“As a historian, I’m very aware of the interplay between past and present,”

said Dr Lang.  

“We think of history as a subject of study, but it’s actually a lot more than that – it’s a form of reality which is all around us and within us.”

Dr Lang is intrigued by human personal history and the inspiration for the play came from a real incident that happened whilst he was carrying out research in the archives of a hospital in London.

“I heard the phone ring and the archivist found herself having to break some very unpleasant and upsetting news to this poor woman about who and what her mother had been, and the archivist found it very difficult,”

said Dr Lang.

“As more and more people explore their family history, archivists are increasingly finding themselves in this sort of very delicate and difficult position.”

In addition to his role as a Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin, Dr Lang is also Director of the Better History Forum, edits the History Fix magazine and has recently launched Cambridge History Enterprises.

Paper Trail will be performed at Anglia Ruskin Drama Studio on 13-14 April and on 17 April at the Mumford Theatre as part of the 44th Cambridge Drama Festival. 

To purchase tickets, please call the Mumford Theatre box office on 0845 196 2320 or visit www.anglia.ac.uk/mumfordtheatre