Coming up next is my short play ‘Work Makes You Free’, part of Paradigm Theatre’s new writing festival ‘A Bad Case of the Mondays’ on Monday evenings in January at the Park Theatre. It is being directed by Cat Robey and the cast are Antonia Reid and Gemma Rook.
‘Work Makes You Free’ is a play about workfare, hatred of the unemployed, the modern menace of anonymous online abuse, and how work has become the new religion. It tells the story of two very different women; Willow, an unemployed actor who takes legal action against the government after she is made to work unpaid at Poundland, and Jane, who works for a credit rating agency and who, like George Osborne, is incensed at the sight of closed blinds in her neighbours windows as she leaves for work every morning.
Performances are on Monday the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th of January in the Morris Space at the Park Theatre. Tickets available here.
I have a very busy few weeks ahead. First up is my short play ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ about US army whistle-blower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning which is to be performed at the Barons Court Theatre from the 17th to 22nd September as part of Kibo Production’s ‘Love, Hate and Human Rights’ festival. It is one of 8 plays, all tackling human rights concerns. Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions) and can be reserved via email at email@example.com or by calling 0208 932 4747. 10% of the box office will be donated to Amnesty International.
Then, the following week, my full length play ‘Saving Souls In Soho’ opens ‘The Band Plays On‘ festival of gay-themed plays at Greenwich Theatre on Tuesday the 24th of September at 7.30pm. The first festival of its kind in London, it is being presented by Greenwich Theatre in partnership with award winning writer and director Patrick Wilde (What’s Wrong With Angry?) ‘Saving Souls In Soho’ continues the story of my ‘Dawn Rescue’ short film and accompanying website, and is a darkly comic look at how religion corrupts the innocent. Tickets are £5, available from the Greenwich Theatre website here.
Lastly, I’ve also written a play for Paradigm Theatre’s ‘Fresh Off The Boat,‘ a double bill of plays about immigration to be performed at the Hen and Chickens Theatre from the 8th to the 12th of October. My play ‘The Utility People’ is about a middle-class liberal couple who discover immigrants living inside their utility cupboard, but decide to let them stay in return for doing the cleaning, cooking, and so much more. Directed by Cat Robey, it is paired with Sarah Pitard’s ‘A Border Story’ an autobiographical retelling of her own visa nightmare. Tickets available here.
There will be a rehearsed reading of my play ‘Hungry Heart’ at RADA on Wednesday the 20th March at 7.30pm.
This American-set play tells the story of a man, Connor Hamilton, who at age 17 almost goes home with a serial killer, this brief encounter having a devastating effect on the course of the rest of his life. An epic journey spanning over 30 years of American history, projecting into the future and leading all the way to the White House.
‘Hungry Heart’ was selected by the Writers Guild and RADA for their ‘Plays of Innocence and Experience’ development scheme last year. I wrote an article about the process for the Writers Guild website here. This event is free and is being held at RADA Studios, Chenies Street, London, WC1E 7PA.
UPDATE 24/3/2013: The reading played to a packed house and was followed by a lively audience discussion. It was directed by Owen Horsley (associate director, Cheek By Jowl) and the cast were Alistair Toovey, Sam Redford, Oliver Johnstone, Catherine Cusack, James Clyde, Rose O’Loughlin, Alex Robertson, Jamie Doyle and Hester Arden. It was organised by Lloyd Trott, RADA’s dramaturge.
I’m thrilled to report that my play ‘Armed Forces Day’ is being performed on Sunday the 3rd of February at the Arcola Theatre as part of the latest show by the highly regarded Miniaturists.
Curated by playwrights Stephen Sharkey and Declan Feenan, the Miniaturists have been running regular events since 2005 showcasing short plays from a host of top playwrights, including David Eldridge, Nick Payne, Moira Buffini, Stacey Gregg, Joel Horwood and Adam Brace amongst countless others.
My play is being directed by the excellent Nadia Papachronopoulou and the superb cast are Tony Bell, Kate Collison, Robin Crouch and Jessica Sichel. Tickets can be booked from the Arcola website here The other playwrights are Glynn Maxwell, Poppy Corbett, Vanessa Wilkins and Gemma Langford. (There are two shows, at 5pm and 8pm.)
UPDATE: The Miniaturists 39 (myself included) get a nice mention in the Guardian, in Lyn Gardner’s blog on what to see at the theatre this week.
(Below; production photos of Robin Crouch and Tony Bell in Armed Forces Day)
This year’s Off Cut Festival of short plays opens this week at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. Showcasing some of the best new writing in theatre, 4 groups of plays (28 in total) will do battle in a gladiatorial contest to win the votes of a capricious, hard-to-please audience, (that’ll be you) with the eventual winner crowned almighty god of fringe theatre on the 12th of October, (banquet and jousting to follow). You can book tickets here and also read an interview with Off Cut’s organising genius Daniel Brennan on the OffWestEnd website.
My play ‘Armed Forces Day’ is in Group 3, opening next Tuesday the 2nd of October at 7.30pm (with further performances on the 4th and 6th, plus a matinee on Sunday the 7th at 3pm). Its being directed by Ng Choon Ping and the cast are James Unsworth, Darrie Gardner, John Hoye and Zara Radford. I’ve been to rehearsals and it’s shaping up to be really good, fingers crossed it should be something special.
I’m also looking forward to seeing this week’s groups, as the cast of my REDfest finalist ‘Nothing But Mammals’ are both acting in plays. Matt Houlihan is appearing in Personnel by Hugo Plowden in Group 1 and Antonia Reid is in Buzzkill by Annabel Wigoder in Group 2. Fine actors both, I can’t wait to see them on stage again.
So get booking!
(above: Christopher Brandon and Cameron Slater in Dawn Rescue)
Delighted to find out today that my debut short film Dawn Rescue (see my Film page) has been selected for the Portobello Film Festival. It will be shown as part of the Independent Showcase on the 11th of September in the Pop Up Cinema on Acklam Rd. Details here; http://www.portobellofilmfestival.com/2012/sept11_pop.html
This is my first film so I’m really chuffed its made it into a film festival.
The film takes the form of a promotional video by an organisation named Dawn Rescue, with Dan and Matthew recounting how they first met in a gay bar in Soho 11 years ago. But these two men aren’t quite what they might at first seem. There’s a Dawn Rescue diary on this website, to accompany the film, which deepens the story.
Oh, and admission to the Portobello Film Festival is FREE so why not pop along?
My next project is the short play Armed Forces Day for the upcoming Off Cut Festival at the Riverside Studios in the Autumn. 28 plays (divided into four groups) will battle it out for audience votes, 2 plays being voted through from each group to a final week where the ultimate winner of the festival will be decided.
Dates for the plays were announced yesterday, and my play is in Group 3, on the 2nd, 4th and 6th of October at 7.30pm, and on the 7th at 3pm. This is the second year I’ve had a play selected for Off Cut, and its a great (if somewhat tense) experience being part of this festival. This year there are a few names I recognise amongst the other writers taking part; I’ve seen plays by at least three of them, but a lot of other names are completely new to me and I’m really looking forward to seeing their work.
Anyway, the really exciting part is yet to come, as I’ll be assigned director and actors for my play in the next few weeks. Further details to follow.