Jun 6 2012 EXCLUSIVE by Joe McGuire
Des Dillon Image 2
A CONTROVERSIAL play about child-killer Robert Thompson that led to city-playwright Des Dillon being grilled by police could be turned into a blockbuster film.
The play, Village of the Damned, is based around what would happen if one of James Bulger’s murderers was placed in a Scottish village under police protection.
However the plot proved sufficiently contentious that Dillon, Glasgow’s favourite playwright, was quizzed at his home by Dumfries and Galloway police.
And just this week Dillon revealed that his play, finished less than three weeks ago, has already attracted big screen attention, with the film rights currently under negotiation.
Speaking to the Glaswegian he said: “It’s a cracker of a play.
“I wanted to write a play about the most notorious protected offender in Britain, so I had a think and figured that’d be be Robert Thompson.
“So I based it on him, a guy terrorising a village that turns out to be him.”
In the play the residents of the fictitious village find out one of their number is actually Robert Thomson and start a campaign to get him to leave.
But despite a reign of terror and repeated offences from Thompson the local police won’t touch him and instead prosecute the villagers.
Dillon also told how he’d been quizzed by cops after a man complained the play’s antagonist was based on him.
He said: “The police come talk to me and keep asking me who’s it about, I say it’s about Robert Thompson in a fictitious village.
“They say have you not based it on anyone in any village, I say no, they ask ‘are you sure?’ I say no no no.
“It’s set in a fictitious village with fictitious people.”
Dillon said that when people found out about his police questioning many compared it to Orwell’s 1984.
Dillon, who wrote the hugely popular Old Firm play SIngin’ I’m No A Billy He’s A Tim, said: “It’s a mad state of affairs.
“You can’t lock people up for being a fiction writer.
“I’d want that, I’d be the first writer to be arrested for a play in 300 years in Britain.
“Can you imagine the British Government talking about human rights in China then arresting a writer because they don’t like what they write?
“If they took this to court, it’d be like taking the muses to court.”
A Dumfries and Galloway spokesman confirmed the force had spoken with playwright following a complaint but no further action would be taken.