I’m very excited to say I’ve been commissioned by world-class theatre pioneers TARA ARTS to write a new play about the Indigo Revolt in 1859/60. The revolt, also known as the ‘Blue Mutiny’, erupted in Bengal in response to terrible exploitation by British Indigo planters, and also inspired the writing of one of the most devastating and effective pieces of political theatre in history. NEEL DARPAN, by Dinabondhu Mitra. The play will be a response to and conversation with that play, and explore the legacy of Indigo cultivation in Bengal today…
I grew up in Bangladesh and India, and this project feels like a return to my ‘second home’. And on that note, I’m also very proud to say that the Royal Society of Literature have awarded me a Brookleaze Grant to travel to Bangladesh and India to research the play.
2015 was one of my best years yet.
It began with POLITRIX, with the amazing The Big House, a company of care leavers. In the run up to the May election, Politrix was a sort-of verbatim play about the political life of care-leavers inspired by real stories from the cast, and a surreal visit to the Houses of Parliament.
“These people who we want to listen, I don’t think we ever get to see them… these people hide.”
Directed by genius Maggie Norris, Politrix was an extraordinary experience for me. Read my reflections on the process here:
Then came ACROSS THE DARK WATER, a ‘contemporary’ historical play about the Southampton Plot to kill Henry V. It was produced by The Berry and The Point in Eastleigh, directed by the uncannily brilliant Owen Calvert-Lyons, and was performed in amazing and atmospheric locations all over Hampshire, including Portchester Castle and St Julien’s Chapel, Southampton.
I loved doing this play, with a fantastic cast and creative team. It’s really got me excited about history, and writing about history. Here’s a trailer for the play:
If you missed the live performances, the play was also filmed rather brilliantly. Here’s the first episode:
Finally, the end of the year saw the premiere of my play CRUSHED SHELLS AND MUD. Perhaps of all my plays, this is the one I love the most, and I was delighted with a fabulous, rich, brilliantly-performed and realised production, directed with visionary aplomb by Russell Bolam.
And I’m proud to say that Nick Hern Books also published the playtext.
Here’s the Crushed Shells trailer:
If you were able to make it to something this year, thank you for coming, and hope you enjoyed yourself. There’s more in the pipeline for 2016 – watch this space!
And many many thanks to all those gifted and generous people I’ve worked with this year. Too many to mention (but do please explore the other pages on the site for more about the plays and the teams behind them).
Happy new year!
There’s only a week left to catch CRUSHED SHELLS AND MUD at the Southwark Playhouse.
I’m so proud of the show. Incredible performances by all of our astounding cast – ALEX LAWTHER, HANNAH BRITLAND, ALEXANDER ARNOLD, SIMON LENAGAN, LAURA HOWARD, CLARE ALMOND. Stunning realised by a top-notch creative team headed by the fantastic RUSSELL
Here are some of the things that have been said about the play (I’ve selected things that focus on the writing, but there’s an abundance of praise for the outstanding, award-nominated performances and production to be found elsewhere).
I’m delighted that Nick Hern Books will publish my new play CRUSHED SHELLS AND MUD alongside it’s forthcoming production at the Southwark Playhouse. You can order copies here, and buy the playtext at Southwark itself, or in all the usual bookshops or online retailers.
We’ve just announced an astonishing cast and creative team for Crushed Shells and Mud, my forthcoming play at the Southwark Playhouse:
Director Russell Bolam
The play is presented by Strickland Productions Ltd and directed by the excellent Russell Bolam.
Casting is underway, so more to follow, but for now, please see:
It’s on 1st to 24th October, and booking has opened (lots of £10 seats available for the previews).
My new play ACROSS THE DARK WATER opened at Portchester Castle on Tuesday (surely one of the most dramatic venues in England). I’m really proud of it, the cast are fantastic – real artists – and Owen Calvert-Lyons has pulled together a fabulous production. We’ve been getting some really good responses from audiences so far:
“Wow, it was stunning”
“So tense and intense and brilliantly acted…so glad I went”
“Fab staging, fab script, fab acting…a must-see!”
The production will now tour to other extraordinary venues around Hampshire. Please see here for further details.
Here’s the trailer for the production:
Come and see it!
Loads of stuff to update on since a wonderful first week of rehearsals for Across the Dark Water.
A privilege to sit and watch such a fine cast:
Tom Brownlee as Henry
Darrell Brockis as Lord Scrope of Masham
Ben Callon as Edmund Mortimer
Chris Gunter, Richard Earl of Cambridge
There’s also loads of great stuff going on alongside the production – check out the Road to Agincourt website.
And have a look at the rehearsal trailer:
Delighted to announce that my play for The Point, Eastleigh and The Berry Theatre, ACROSS THE DARK WATER, will be performed at diverse venues between Southampton and Portsmouth from July 21st. It will be directed by Owen Calvert-Lyons, artistic director of The Point and The Berry.
More details (dates, venues, booking) here:
It’s a play about the Southampton plot to kill Henry V in the days before the invasion of France (this year is the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt). It’s a fascinating story, and I’ve really got a kick out of getting my head into the distant past. It’s part of a season of work related to the Agincourt anniversary, and you can find out a lot more about this here.