Rua and Ni are at their lowest ebb. Living in a run down cottage in the middle of the countryside following tragic deaths in the family, they are in the grip of grief and dealing with it in entirely different ways. Ni has lost her joy in anything and hasn’t stopped foot outside the house in months. Rua is gaining solace from serving her mother in law and working to support her. She takes long walks alone and never despairs. When the need for work arises she meets Bo, the landlord at a local pub and recently divorced. A quiet, sometimes awkward friendship blossoms. They both understand grief and uncertainty - they have both tasted how circumstances can be cruel and leave one feeling alone and isolated. They deal with the harshness of life through honest work, in this case in a dingy pub surrounded by old boozers. One day upon learning of Rua’s precarious financial situation, Bo drops off some food and money to her and her Ni. The first sign that he cares for Rua. A romance quietly blossoms. We let them be as they walk alone, together. Ni, finally venturing outside, watches with an almost imperceptible smile.
I’m drawing on the Book of Ruth for this story. I’ve adapted it to modern day Britain, more specifically a countryside town in England. Ruth becomes Rua and there is the suggestion that she is originally from the Middle East, in line with Ruth having been far from home. Rua is very much an outsider in this story and we meet her as she and her mother-in-law Ni (Naomi) are grieving great loss in the family. Boaz becomes a pub landlord who is starting afresh himself, following the end of along marriage. I focus mainly on the themes of continuing on with life after a tragedy, specifically after the death of loved ones. The message in the bible story is that those who maintain faith in all that is good and true, even after great pain and tragedy, will be rewarded with new life in the end. rnThis is beautiful and moves me deeply. It’s been an honour to adapt this story to a modern context and to get to know these characters. I’m struck by just how many people live this out on a daily basis. I hope I’ve done their stories justice in my script.