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I wrote this script as an exploration of character evolution. I also wanted to re-examine the idea that we have of Saints, and bring them closer to home, using them as mirrors for our own human nature. Most of us will know what it is like to question ourselves, to experience an identity crisis without knowing how to solve it. Change is often daunting, and it is the decisions that we make in such difficult circumstances that define who we are.

The idea for the story came to me when I visited the National portrait gallery and saw Zurbaran’s “Saint Margaret of Antioch.” The portrait struck me because here was a full-length portrait of a single woman occupying the forefront of the composition, and looking straight out at the viewer. This is quite unusual for paintings of the time (XVIIth century) so when I got home I read up on her: She was born to a pagan family and converted to Christianity, defying her father who then disowned her. Later, Olybrius, the governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked for her hand in marriage on the condition that she renounce her faith. St Margaret refused to do so and was subsequently tortured. Miraculously, she came out unscathed. Olybrius then threw in prison, where she was swallowed whole by the devil in the guise of a dragon. She managed to defeat him by cutting herself free of the beast’s belly with her cross. But her victory was short lived as Olybrius then beheaded her, succeeding in finally killing her.

As I read about her determination, I thought it would be interesting to see how St Margaret would react when the world she had devoted everything to came crashing down.