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The Red Court,  my new play set in modern China, recently won a national competition hosted by the Confucius Institute at Sheffield University, and will tour to Shanghai later this year.  The play was competing as part of the Festival of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu.  It takes a true scandal of power-grabbing in the Communist Party, laced with corruption, adultery and murder, and retells the story as a contemporary Macbeth.  The Red Court was performed at the Rondo Theatre to full houses in March. It was also performed at Burdall’s Yard as part of the Bath Fringe Festival and toured to Clifton Library in Bristol.  The Red Court is directed by Carolyn Csonka and is a Rapscallion Theatre production.

“cleverly entertaining….the Shanghaiese are in for a treat,” (Crysse Morrison Blogspot)

The cast of only four bring out the labyrinthine plotting, corruption and dirty tricks vividly, enlivened by the sometimes cheeky commentary from the narrator/fortune teller, and convincing portrayals of the slimy businessman, the guilt- ridden wife, and the panicky police chief” (John Christopher Wood, Theatre Bath)

“Highlights [of the Bath Fringe] include The Red Court…. Switching between modern prose and the irregular metre of Shakespeare’s original text, The Red Court offers a fascinating concept and interpretation and promises to live up to its national competition win at the Confucius Institute” (Preview, Scriptmix, Bath Fringe)

Here are some of the audiences’ responses: ‘Great theatre’.  ‘Gripping, fast-paced play.  Loved it!’ ‘I loved the way familiar lines from Macbeth were woven throughout. Best theatre I’ve seen for a long time.’ What a brilliant play - so cleverly told by such a small cast. I loved the use of puppets!’ ‘Brilliant, well conceived, well written and well acted!’

I’m thrilled that my short play The Rift was developed and performed as part of the 4x15 new writing evening at the Crucible Theatre Studio in Sheffield in April. The Rift is a surreal modern folk tale about contemporary Britain.

We had a very successful collaboration with the Theatre Royal Engage programme at the last Story Friday in April.  Up next we’ve got Story Friday South on the 30th June at Burdall’s Yard. If you’d like to come along and listen to some stories, or if the theme sparks your imagination and you’d like to submit a story, full details are here: Alongside Story Fridays, I run monthly creative writing workshops at my home in Bath. Full details and to book:

I was very pleased that my monologue Ripe Apricots, Burning Oil was chosen by Pint-sized to be part of their February showcase at the Bunker Theatre, London Bridge.  Pint-sized feature “some of the best new writing talent in the UK”.  I was thrilled to have the wonderful writer Stella Feehily as my mentor.  She and Max Stafford Clark came to the show, which was a huge honour.  You can follow Pint-sized on Facebook

A beautiful piece of writing,” Stella Feehily, playwright, on Ripe Apricots, Burning Oil.

I Said Nomy full length play about conscientious objectors in World War One, had a successful run at the Rondo Theatre in Bath and at the Bath Quaker Meeting House. I Said No was directed by Carolyn Csonka and is a Rapscallion Theatre production.

My short radio play Very Shirley Valentine was recorded some time ago by the Radio Theatre Group.  It recently received another playback session - ‘people love it, it feels very fresh’ (Charlotte Simon, Radio Theatre Group) - and will soon be transmitted on UCH Hospital Radio to the patients at the UCH in London.  On another hospital radio station, Radio Stortford, my story A New Religion has recently been broadcast.  

My short story The Avocet is in the Bath Short Story Anthology 2016, published November 2016.  It is available here. Avocet is also published in a new magazine Project Calm.   The magazine promotes mindfulness through making, apparently, so if you see me wandering through the countryside paintbrush in hand, that’ll be why.  I think absolutely everyone wishes I could be a little more calm…

My short story The Vigil got through the first round of the NYC Midnight Competition. Judge’s feedback: ‘This short story is a joy to read.  There is an elemental human quality in the story which is appealing to every reader. It is a universal quality which makes reading this fiction such a pleasure and a delight.’