Roy Etherton will finally stage his play on antisemitism
Concerned about the growing tide of antisemitism, award-winning producer Roy Etherton is on a mission.
Four years ago, he wrote Dreyfus, about Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish captain in the French army, who was stripped of his military honours in 1895 after being wrongly convicted of treason - he was falsely accused of selling military secrets to Germany.
Mr Etherton, currently touring with his 25th musical, has been sitting on the play but believes now is the right time to stage it, telling People: "I really want to raise the issues of the Dreyfus case and how the principals of injustice are still very much alive today. I think it is important that people - and drama groups - know this play is there."
Although not Jewish himself, he says: "I am concerned about the rise in antisemtism that I am seeing across the world. Whenever Israel is in the news it is always seen as the perpetrator and the bad guy." Kent-based, Mr Etherton, 64, first took an interest in the Dreyfus Affair six years ago.
"As a producer I am always looking for inspiring themes." His fascination took him to the École Militaire in Paris, where Dreyfus was stripped of his rank.
"I wanted to write a play to show the injustice that happened and how it can still happen to so many Jewish people.
"When I completed the play four-and-a-half years ago, I didn't have time to stage it and it's been sitting on the shelf, but now is the time.
" I am not looking at this from a commercial perspective but I think it is something that rings a bell with lots of people. I want to take it forward."