A new play inspired by the story of the ‘Peru Two’ must not enhance their “celebrity status grounded on criminality”.
Lord Morrow of the DUP said while he had not seen the play he hoped it would deal with the realities of drugs and the heartache and misery they bring to victims and families.
‘Mule’ is based on Dungannon woman Michaella McCollum and her Scottish counterpart Melissa Reid who were caught smuggling 11kg of cocaine out of Peru. The pair served three years in prison for their crime.
Lord Morrow commented: “There is nothing to celebrate in being a convicted drug trafficker and any attempts to say otherwise is to glorify criminal activity. Such behaviour is undertaken willingly for greed at the human cost of those who fall prey to addictions and ruthless drug dealers.
“Perhaps if those so hungry for celebrity status grounded on criminality, took cognisance of the horror they aimed to cause, they may do more to ensure their actions are not exemplified as something glamourous, but instead, let it be known it is a brutal, selfish and cruel trade.”
A spokesperson for the theatre company said the play was a cautionary tale and in no way condoned the use of drugs or drug dealing. Anyone viewing the play, they said, would see it is a cautionary tale.
The press release for ‘Mule’ says it looks at how a “seemingly innocent adventure of a summer spent in the party capital of the world ends up spiralling out of control”.
Through the 50-minute piece of theatre, writer Kat Woods aims to “explore the complex roles of victimhood, media spin and personal tragedy”.
The play will visit theatres in Northern Ireland next month including Downpatrick, Enniskillen, Belfast and Londonderry.