Martin is forced to face up to his past, as much as he’d like to forget it.

Katrina keeps hounding Martin and his wife Ailsa thinks he must be having an affair. But it’s nothing like that.

Many years earlier Martin had a fling with a young author called Caitlin whose book was the bible for angst-ridden teenagers everywhere. ‘The Catcher in the Rye for women,’ Ailsa calls it. She loved the book in her teens. But Caitlin committed suicide when she was just 20 and became something of a folk hero.

Then Ailsa discovers that Martin was the inspiration for the love interest in the story.

Katrina is a journalist (a serious researcher she calls herself) and wants his side of the story on the ‘anniversary’ of Caitlin’s death. But Ailsa also wants Martin’s side of the story. And this opens up a huge can of worms.

Beautifully written, Bystanders is a very sensitive discussion about suicide, guilt and betrayal.

Please note: This episode contains discussion of suicide, including some graphic content. Listener discretion is advised.

If you are affected by any of the content and feel like you need help, please reach out. UK listeners can use these numbers: 116 123 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day Call 0300 1020 505 – 8am to midnight every day for people under 35 – Call 0800 068 41 41 – 9am to midnight every day or Text 07860 039967

Written by Tracey Sinclair
Directed by Emmeline Braefield

Henry Douthwaite as Martin
Emma Wilkes as Ailsa
Zoe Cunningham as Katrina

Allegro – Emmit Fenn
The Beacon – Zachariah Hickman
No.8 Requiem – Esther Abrama
I’ll Remember You – Jeremy Blake
Boat Floating – Puddle of Infinity
The Quiet Aftermath – Sir Cubworth
Til Death Parts Us – Aakash Gandhi

Produced by Cat on a Piano Productions

Cat on a Piano Productions produce and edit feature films, sketches and radio plays.

Their latest project is called @Theatrephonic, a podcast of standalone radio plays and short stories performed by professional actors. You can catch Theatrephonic on Spotify and other platforms.

And if you really enjoyed Bystanders, listen to Theatrephonic’s other plays and short stories and consider becoming a patron by clicking here…

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