Here are just a few of the things I’m working on…
Writing and Directing
(See the poster and a rehearsal shot of Lucy Baldwin cloud-swinging in the play at the top of this page; click link for other images)
A pilot tour of this exciting new cross-form theatre-circus piece was originally planned for summer 2021 by TWO WOMEN Productions after an Arts Council England-funded R&D in Bristol in spring 2020. Due to Covid, it had to be postponed, but was eventually fully funded by the Arts Council of England, and, with the addition of an exciting Residency awarded to us by the wonderful Invisible Circus in Bristol, the show took place in July 2022, with 2 indoor performances at Invisible Circus and 4 outdoor performances at the brilliant venue The Roundhouse Heart of BS13. We are now planning our national tour of this show. Keep your eyes peeled!
The Strongmen (Jamie Double and Rowen Kimpton) in The Wasteground Circus
A History of Wales in A Nutshell
Now completed - 2 x 20 minute fun scripts encapsulating Welsh history for schools' audiences - and what an exciting challenge they were. The next stage planned by CADW is to go into rehearsal with them with 3 actors over 3 weeks to live stream performances for primary schools in 2024.
For Elly Strigner
Never Not A Mum
This is a new project with talented animator Elly, in which we are collecting stories from Mums - about pregnancy, birth, caring and coping, in fact, any 'Mum' type experience - for future animation by Elly - and possibly a book - and possibly a play. Watch this space!
For Edgeways Productions with TWO WOMEN
I am re-directing this marvellous play by Chris Salt, about friendship and hope in the midst of rural isolation in autumn 2023, opening at Baron's Court London on October 3rd 2023, with other dates at The Arcola, Lancaster Dukes, Alnwick Playhouse etc. Watch this space for more details!
For Pitlochry Festival Theatre
A brilliant commission to write a new play about ospreys, conservation, romantic relationships and global citizenship, for small children and their families - to tour outdoor spaces nationally and internationally in summer 2025
(This is a new play I am writing, in response originally to a micro-bursary from Theatr Clwyd)
As a child of nine I was taken by a very special teacher to a one-man reading of Charles Dickens, just because she thought I would like it. I did. The reader was wonderful, charismatic, enthralling. It was a turning-point in my childhood. Years later, as a University student, I went, in memory of that experience, to another one-man Dickens’ reading. It was the same reader. I did something I have never done since - I asked for his autograph.
The reader was Emlyn Williams.
Most people in Wales know Williams’ name but few people know much about him. Since those early encounters, I’ve read his beautifully written account of his childhood, George and his slightly less interesting adult memoir, Emlyn. I have visited the small pub in the remote hamlet of Glan-yr-afon where he spent his childhood with his dysfunctional parents - the drunkard pub landlord who was his father and the antagonistic wife who was his mother (‘not a virago, you could fight that, but a kitten, whimpering righteous abuse’). When I visited, there was a plaque to Williams outside the pub above a nettle-bed, and a display-case about him in the dimness of the tiny back room; I bought crisps there that were two years out of date. How could anyone journey from here to Hollywood?
In Trelogan Primary School the Headteacher proudly showed me the entry in the School Logbook marking his admission. In this school, with the encouragement of the Head, Emlyn won a scholarship to Holywell Grammar School. He walked there every day - 5 miles there, 5 miles back. Here he attracted the interest of an astonishing teacher called Sarah Cooke (a comically eccentric and forceful character - ‘the suffragette’, Emlyn’s dad called her) whose concern (she bought Emlyn better boots for his walk) and extra tuition (she even sent him to France to stay with a friend of hers to better his French) took him eventually to Oxford University and ultimately to Hollywood and an impressive career as a writer, playwright and actor.
This is an amazing rags-to-riches story set in rural 1930s North Wales, rife with ambition, conflict and comedy. It will make a great play of huge interest to a local audience. But it won't be a straightforward biographical play. I will focus on George’s universal and contemporary themes: poverty and lack of opportunity; alcohol abuse; difficult and combative relationships within one’s family; the importance of nurturing every child’s talent; the transformative power a wonderful teacher can have in the life of a child suffering from deprivation; the strength of women; bisexuality (Emlyn was openly bi-sexual both during and after his marriage); the nature of failure and success; of aspiration and hope.
I'm currently working with a Welsh landscape artist as illustrator on Little Dipper, a short story that was originally commissioned by Loggerheads Park in North Wales, for publication as a children's story-book
I like a big project!