During the year of Covid I was lucky to work with several creatives in new ways. We had time to think about things we could take forward. This page will update with news of future projects.
John Scott – Towers
A stalwart of the comedy circuit, John is hilarious. He’s also brave – revealed his experience of bi-polar disorder in Delusions (2018). He has a strong political spine, and is a damn good writer and actor. I’m delighted to be producing his incendiary solo show Towers.
John made the first version of the show in 2020 and we’re on the road to developing the production for a future tour. The inimitable Steve Byron is on board as director.
Mhairi Ledgerwood – Swimmers
Swimmers is the story of the UK 1912 woman’s Olympic swimming team, told with contemporary flourish and a nod to #MeToo. Mhairi won a Live Theatre Bursary for the project in 2020.
Melanie Rashbrooke, of The Six Twenty is helping Mhairi develop the show and I’m floating around as dramaturg, or general dogsbody if required.
I directed one of Mhairi’s shorts for Write On Tap in 2013, and Songs of the Blackbird in 2016. I commissioned her for Alphabetti’s Christmas Cabaret in 2018. Full of clever ideas. Always writing. She’s a pleasure to work with.
I once refused to leave a pub till I’d finished a story: “No! Story ish the denominominator of shumanity. Hic.” Turns out drunk me was right.
Psychologists and anthropologists say storytelling is socially and personally constructive. No wonder that during the Covid crisis many live storytellers – I’m counting theatre makers here – took to audio.
Podcasts, broadcasts and social media feeds exploded with audio stories. Some with music. Some well produced, some not so.
I reckon its possible to create a process that puts writers, directors, actors, composers and sound artists together, supports them to develop skills that make great audio stories…and then help these new collaborations make some standout products.
That’s what I hope to do. I’ve started a conversation with Matt Tuckey, Cinzia Hardy and Katie Doherty about how. Stay tuned.
John Schoneboom – ACID
An original play by American writer John Schoneboom, who now lives on Tyneside.
By turns hilarious, surreal and shocking, it raises the curtain on the CIA’s use of LSD to develop torture techniques in the 1950s.
Steeped in closely researched history, it follows scientist Frank as his patriotism is tested by redeployed Nazi doctors, off-the-wall agents, too much time spent hiding behind the walls of brothel and his son’s discovery of beat poetry.
The play was workshoped as part of the Write Longer in 2019 and I’m on board as director/producer/fundraiser. We aim to develop it further in 2021…perhaps even with its own online serial.