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In development:

 

THE BIG SLEEPOVER
AT THE WHITE HOUSE

 

Roosevelt and Churchill


For three weeks at the end of 1941, just after the attack on Pearl Harbour, Winston Churchill invited himself to the White House to hold talks with President Franklin Roosevelt. He was not altogether the perfect house guest, much to the annoyance of Eleanor Roosevelt, but he and Roosevelt did fashion a joint enterprise which brought the US into World War II and saved Europe from Nazi domination as well as defeating the Japanese in the Far East. This is a commission to dramatise this story, based on a book by James Mikel Wilson and a narrative adaptation by Lawrence Holofcener. Scheduled for 2018.


THE LOVES OF IDA RUBINSTEIN

Ida Rubistein
Paris, 1908. Ida Rubinstein, a 23-year-old Russian Jewish aristocrat, is planning to appear naked in the ballet Salomé. Her brother-in-law commits her to an asylum to prevent such disgrace. Her fearsome Russian aunt arranges her release and she becomes a sensation both on and off stage.
 
Ida Rubinstein was one of the most admired, most exotic, most scandalous creations of the first half of the 20th century. She was courted by men and women alike, and yet surprised everybody by working in hospitals for wounded soldiers in both World Wars. Having redefined the art of dance theatre, she suffered terrible stage fright as her powers began to wane and finally withdrew from society altogether.

She had two great loves in her life: Walter Guinness, later the first Lord Moyne, who rescued her from Paris during WW2 and installed her in the Ritz, and the American artist Romaine Brooks, who painted Ida several times, and with whom she had a passionate affair.

The Loves of Ida Rubinstein is a meditation on love, age and the shallowness of fame, seen through the eyes of an ageing woman haunted by the ghosts of her past. It has a backbone of historical fact, but is wholly a work of imagination and invention, written in collaboration with Vicki Woolf, the author of Dancing in the Vortex, a biography of Ida Rubinstein.

 


Past productions:

WHEN LOVE GROWS OLD

A double bill of two 30-minute plays, The Romance of the Century and The Weatherman both in new extended versions, presented at the Brighton Fringe Festival in May 2017. The plays were dedicated to Knight Mantell and directed by Graham Pountney. The plays then transferred to the Nomad Theatre in Surrey for two further performances.

In ROMANCE OF THE CENTURY an elderly couple live in elegant surroundings with little to do but relive their past glories and infidelities, and wait for an important visitor – who may or may not be the Queen - to come to tea. Are they deluded, mad, or two people who were once the most glamorous couple in the world?

In THE WEATHERMAN two elderly men are drinking in their local pub. One of them can’t remember the name of a former weatherman on TV, which precipitates a heart-searching confessional on age, sex and death. Originally an award-winning  ten-minute comedy in the Pint-Sized Plays competition 2014, this was a new extended version for the Brighton Fringe.

For further information, including reviews please follow the When Love Grows Old link. 

THE HEART OF THINGS

Over a weekend in May 2010, in the aftermath of the last general election, the political parties are wrangling over who will form the coalition government. Meanwhile, in a village near the Norfolk coast, a disillusioned English teacher and part-time election volunteer comes home for a rare visit and tries to put his life in order. However, the politics of family life can be every bit as vindictive and unpredictable as the Whitehall variety, and alliances can be made or broken without warning. In the course of one weekend, Peter, the English teacher, comes to a shattering realisation about himself, his relationships and his career.

THE HEART OF THINGS is a poignant drama about family, ambition, love and loyalty. And birthdays. It examines the conundrum that exists in sexual identity and the ‘minor disturbances’ that have far-reaching effects in people’s private lives.

It was written in tandem with The Art of Concealment – from the same creative team – which transferred to Riverside Studios from Jermyn Street in May 2012, following wide critical acclaim.

THE HEART OF THINGS had a rehearsed reading at Jermyn Street Theatre in 2013. A full production at the same venue by Close Quarter Productions opens on 10 March 2015 and ran until 4 April.

For further information, please follow The Heart of Things link.

IThe play published by Oberon Books to coincide with the production.

THE ART OF CONCEALMENT: The Life of Terence Rattigan

Terence Rattigan was one of the most acclaimed playwrights and screenwriters of his generation. His fall from critical favour marked a turning point in modern British theatre. He wore a carefully constructed mask of respectable, suave gentility in order to conceal his true nature, but who was the man behind the mask? Who was the real Terence Rattigan? For further information, please follow the The Art of Concealment link.

FRAIL BLOOD

Love can be a dangerous business. FRAIL BLOOD is an erotic thriller in which four people are drawn into a terrifying spiral of deception, sexual entanglement and violent death. Stephen is an orthopaedic surgeon with political aspirations. Georgina is a publishing company executive, obsessed with social advancement. Their aim is simplicity itself – to fulfil all their ambitions and desires, whatever it takes to do so. Meanwhile Helen is going quietly mad for lack of affection, and Annie finds herself accused of a crime she didn’t commit.

FRAIL BLOOD is a full-length play in two acts. It won a prize from the Sussex Playwrights’ Club and was premiered, in its original version, at the Brighton Fringe Festival in May 2003, directed by Roger Braban and performed by Peter Ellis, Mary Conlon, Vanessa Goodliffe and Hilary Farmiloe.

SUSPECTS

People can be deceived by life, and by death. And most especially by love. Ellen Stacey is deceived by all three. SUSPECTS is a taut, claustrophobic, erotic thriller set in and around South London. Corruption lies just below the surface, offset by a vein of bleak humour. Ellen is consumed with a passion for Mike. She is also an accomplice to murder. Mike appears to have betrayed her completely, and DI Tindall seems to be using the investigation to seduce her himself. Ellen only has one person to turn to. And that person has an agenda of her own.

SUSPECTS is a full-length play in two acts. It was originally produced in association with Present Productions Ltd at the Grand Theatre, Swansea in 1989, directed by John Frankau, designed by Alan Pickford, and performed by Gordon Honeycombe, Emma Chambers, Diana Kent, Ben Onwukwe and Roy Boyd. It was published by Samuel French Ltd in 1991 and the text revised in 1997.

MEETING DANGEROUS MEN
(former title GOING ASTRAY)

Her husband has left her for another parishioner, her daughter has gone missing. Evelyn throws off the shackles of a very respectable but deeply flawed marriage and embarks on her own voyage of discovery through the shadier streets of South-east London, searching both for her daughter and her own youthful ideals. She meets streetwise charmer Nick in a launderette in New Cross. Is he her Youthful Ideal, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Are good and evil mutually exclusive? And just what is going on in the bedsit over the road?

GOING ASTRAY was premiered, in its original version, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1989 by Outlook Theatre Company; it was directed by the writer and performed by Roz Clifton, Anthony Edridge, Michael Duggan and Jodie Scott; with music by David Baird; designed by Martin O’Carroll and Clare Stent.

SECRETS

How much does one necessarily know about one’s wife or husband? Or best friend? SECRETS examines the nightmare scenario that befalls a woman whose husband works for “the government” and who disappears one day. Is Hannah’s husband a traitor to his country? A spy? Can those emotive words really apply to someone so apparently close to her? Can she survive her own ordeal at the hands of the courteous and delicately mannered Felix Bennett, who appears out of the blue on her doorstep? Will she see her husband again? And if so, will he now be the same person she said goodbye to a few short weeks ago when he set off for “a conference” in Germany? SECRETS looks at human trust and love when placed on a precipice.

It is a play in one act, and was first performed in 1984 at the King’s Head, Islington, directed by Philip Talbot and featuring Maggie Stride, Philip Guard, Haydn Wood and Terri Diab. It was subsequently adapted for BBC Radio 4, and was revived by Elephant Theatre in 1988. It was published by Samuel French Ltd in 1990.

BENEVOLENCE or THE ANTIQUARIAN

Gerald, an antiquarian by profession, is a decent chap. He puts up with Trevor. He accommodates Daphne. Then he meets Julia. And Pauline. And Ken. And Gerald loses his reasonable, middle-aged, academic cool. Will his world, as he knows it, crumble? Or should he have lost his cool a decade or two ago? Can love play a part in his life, or is he doomed to spend one day a week with a cleaning lady who steals things and a cat who comes and goes like a ghost? His houseplants have a story to tell as well.

BENEVOLENCE is a full length comedy in two acts. It is published by New Theatre Publications (2002).

LIVING WITH LINDA

Toby is an is an earnest young man eager to gather the trappings of adulthood about him. Linda is the girl who bewitches him, with devastating consequences. LIVING WITH LINDA is a play about an obsessional love affair begun in the summer of 1975 and recounted, with the benefit of hindsight, thirteen years later.

LIVING WITH LINDA is a one-act play and was first performed at the Elephant Theatre in1988, and at the King’s Head, Islington in 1989. It was directed by Harry Parkinson and performed by Felicity McInnes and Paul Scott.

BECK

To a certain extent, we all live within a world of our own creation. Beck is an elderly reclusive man, once a doctor, who attempts to create around him the family that he never had.

BECK is a one-act play and was first performed at the Spice of Life, Cambridge Circus, and the King’s Head, Islington, in 1982, directed by Ian Masters and starring Hugh Lloyd, Jill Freud, Robin Sachs and Colleen Peace.

 

WILDERNESS MAN or THE BROKEN CIRCLE

Commissioned by the Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, for touring in local schools, this play examines the nature of identity through the real life character, Grey Owl, famous in the 1930s for his conservation work and lectures on Indian life in the wilds of North America, but who was subsequently revealed to have been born as Archie Belaney in Hastings, who emigrated to Canada in 1906. It also examined wider aspects of American history, as personified by Yellow Wolf and other American Indians, and recounted by such authors as Dee Brown, John Collier, TC McLuhan and Robert Claiborne.

WILDERNESS MAN was performed in and around Farnham in 1979 and 1980 by Theatraction, directed by Peter Corey. It subsequently led to another play about Grey Owl, ECCENTRIC REDSKIN

OLD SCHOOLBOYS

Geoffrey Gibson is a retired schoolmaster down on his luck. He lives with his step-daughter Barbara, who is finding life with him a strain, but can’t quite bring herself to desert him completely. An old pupil of Gibson’s turns up out of the blue, and this courtesy visit turns into a very different scenario as he begins to claim recompense from his old teacher for an indiscretion in the past.

OLD SCHOOLBOYS is a play in one act. It was premiered at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon, in 1979, directed by Philip Talbot and featuring John Hart Dyke and Katy Kendall.



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