[The following is a report just published on the Welsh Daily Post newspaper website:]
The man jailed for the Lockerbie air disaster, which claimed 270 lives, should never have been convicted, believes Jim Swire, father of one of the victims. Writer and actor David Benson is now helping Jim in his campaign for justice.
He’s turned Jim’s memoirs into an award winning play, Lockerbie: Unfinished Business, which is coming to Clwyd Theatr Cymru on Wednesday. He hopes the play will help alter public perception of the atrocity and the man convicted of the bomb attack, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrhi.
Jim’s daughter Flora died in the plane crash, on the eve of her 24th birthday, in 1988. Jim strongly believes al-Megrhi was framed and the real perpetrator is still at large, but is not being chased for political reasons.
David was set the "mind-boggling challenge" of condensing Jim’s extensive manuscript into a 65-minute play.
He said: "It is a personal, emotional and informative account, which tells not only the story of what happened on the day, but also provides audiences with all the information they need to decide whether or not al-Megrahi is guilty."
David described his inspiration for wanting to do the play.
"I came across Jim’s website in late 2009, just after the international outcry over the release of al-Megrahi. I was outraged by the outcry because I knew enough at that point to know that al-Megrahi wasn’t guilty and I felt the outcry should have been about the fact he was convicted, not released."
David explained how the play has become part of the campaign and that he hopes he has taken some of the burden from Jim’s shoulders.
They hope the play will help alter public opinion about the conviction of al-Megrahi.
David was unsure of how audiences would react to the play, but says that he has received an amazing response.
He said: "Audiences have been shocked by the evidence the conviction was based on, some of it really is laughable. They feel moved and angry by the end and I hope this will motivate them to look further into it and realise they have the power to make a direct impact in the campaign.
"I hope people will approach their MPs and ask them to raise the issue.
"People don’t realise the power they hold – the government is terrified of the public. I hope the play can help change the outcome."
The play won an Edinburgh Fringe First award and was also nominated for an Amnesty International award, which David described as an "extreme honour" and he feels this has helped to "keep the story alive".
Lockerbie: Unfinished Business, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, June 8, Tickets: 08453303565