ONE of the most enduring mysteries of the Iraq war is to take to the stage in Bridport in a brand new play written by bookshop owner Andrew Rutherford.

Blind Spot is a speculative take on what happened to eminent government scientist Dr David Kelly.

Doubt still shrouds his sudden death in rural Oxfordshire in 2003, days after he gave evidence to the Foreign Affairs select committee relating to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Andrew, of Wild and Homeless Books, said: “There are a lot of unanswered questions about Dr Kelly’s death, particularly as there has never been an inquest.

“But there are also the broader issues about the Iraq war; it’s not quite clear why that took place.

“He was a very distinguished scientist and his assessment of whether or not Iraq had WMDs was a crucial element linked to the decision made by the US to attack the country.

“There is all this mystery surrounding it, and I think that is the reason it remains so much in the public mind.”

Focusing on the activities of British and American security services and drawing on evidence given to the Hutton Inquiry, the play examines what could have happened in the days leading up to Dr Kelly’s death.

Andrew’s version of events is a speculative account, he insists.

“Certainly I am not attempting to answer any of the lingering doubts that remain over what happened, but it’s a way of highlighting the questions that the public still, 10 years on, do not have answers to.”

A retired academic, Andrew lectured in law at Southampton University and worked for the government himself before setting up the bookshop in South Street, Bridport, six years ago.

Blind Spot is his second play, but the first to be performed on a stage.

He said: “There have been a number of non-fictional accounts of Dr Kelly’s death but I think for fiction, the advantage of a play over, say a novel, is that with good actors you can bring out a lot of things which can be difficult to convey in the written form.

“The director, Spencer Butler, and the actors are all very experienced, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Blind Spot is on at the Bridport Arts Centre on Saturday, June 28.

The fundraising event is in aid of the Bridport Arts Centre building fund.