Matthew JONES (Capture), Brian A. HOFFMAN (28 Entertainment)
Chris is 15, standing at the back of his school selling cigarettes to other kids. He knows it’s within his best interests to keep his head down. But his brother thinks he’s the big dog in this small town and as heir to the throne, people expect things of Chris. He knows a reputation is hard to lose, but he’s most worried about how to speak to the love his life, for the first time. As a member of the Carty family you learn to have eyes in the back of your head, but when Keeley’s around Chris can barely see straight. He knows his 14 year old sister Marie would say he’s in love but getting relationship advice from her is beyond dangerous. His single mum Barbara would just tell him to be a ‘good lad’ and his brother would say the opposite. But frankly it’s about time he made his own decisions. Chris is desperate to define his own path in life but other than his father-figure neighbour, Mr Buckley, the rest of the world seems intent on him conforming to the Carty way. As for Chris’s friends - aspiring Del Boy Kish, cocky rogue Zeb, simpleton Snowman and Keeley’s best friend Chantelle - they’re always keeping him in and out of trouble. With the young breed of local thugs Spoonhead, Cod-Eye and Golden Graham always on his case, both he and them are always on the brink of destruction. Life is dealing Chris a hand and this is the journey we take with him, through bad luck and wrong turns, unavoidable scrapes of genuine danger; until he can finally put a name to that feeling glowing in his stomach, until he can finally say the words to Keeley that he needs to say. This isn’t a story about life in one town but a story about human struggle in any and every town. Battling love and pain, fleeing from the past and aiming for a future of his own, Chris has only himself to trust and Keeley to love. An unflinching yet heartfelt story, Playing Mercy explores the realities of youth and family, whilst believing in the power of hope.