ELEVEN FIFTY-SIX

LOOKING FOR NATHAN

On 21st October in Burnham Library Slough Writers will be presenting the third DRAMA SHOWCASE, an evening of five short plays. My contribution will be Eleven Fifty-Six a 20 minute drama. The play has a cast of three, I have Jessica and David, now I am looking for is my Nathan - the leading part in the piece.

Could you play Nathan? If so, get in touch and let's talk.

Is Nathan who he says? Is he a terrorist? Or is he simply mad?

Jessica: You must see my problem. By refusing to offer proof of your identity or even explain why you can’t, we are left with just one big question mark.

Nathan: No, you’re left with an innocent man who wants a quiet life.

Jessica can’t take any chances – and the clock is ticking. Two intelligent characters lock horns in this tense thriller that literally counts down to an explosive climax. Winner of the Total Theatre One Act Play Award. Read the script.

Lazy Bee Scripts are now the publisher for Eleven Fifty-Six.
So far performed in the UK, USA and Australia.


SOME BITS OF NEWS

My Play The Legacy on video
Judged by actor and playwright Richard James I won second place in Slough Writers drama competition. The three winning plays were read by professional actors. My play runs for 13 minutes and is on You Tube


SLOUGH WRITERS Article Competition
I was very pleased to win the SW annual article writing competition. The theme was secret Berks and Bucks and it was judged by journalist Janice Raycroft. I set out to write a piece about Hitcham Farm in Burnham where they have begun making ice cream as a diversification from dairy farming. But the piece grew into a story about the demise of smaller farms in the UK. My entry went under the title Scooping a New Future Down On The Farm. Read it here.


Charles Dickens in Slough - Article in February Berkshire Life
Dickens rented a cottage in Slough for his lover Nelly Ternan in 1866. She stayed there for eighteen months and there is strong evidence she may have been pregnant during this time. It is an intriguing love story for Valentines. Go to Articles to read the piece.

       


Pinewood Article in Berkshire Life
My article about Pinewood Studios and their 75th anniversary year appeared in the December issue of Berkshire Life. Go to Articles to read the piece.

       


SLOUGH WRITERS 5000 word Horror Competition
My story An Unexpected Act Of Mercy won first place in the Slough Writers summer competition. Joint second were Sally East (All That I Am) and William Campbell (Angel’s Trumpet). This competition was judged by the members taking part who voted for their favourite story.

   


The November issue of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire Life magazine carried two of my articles, a total of eight pages. The subjects were the adult interest in dollshouses and women who flew Spitfires and bombers in WW2. Go to Articles to read the piece.

      


I was voted writer of the year at Slough Writers. If you are looking for a supportive bunch of fellow writers, look no further than my links page

Annual award winners at Slough Writers
Kay Woods (newcomer of the year), Wendy Naylor (services to Slough Writers) and Mike Pearcy (writer of the year).


Mark and Ross HunterThe July issue of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire Life magazine carried my four page article on two brothers competing for Olympic rowing glory in 2012. Go to Articles to read the piece.
King's SpeechThe June issue of Writers' News magazine carried my four page article on the genesis of the King's Speech screenplay. Go to Articles to read the piece.
Winners of Slough Writers Identity Competition.On Monday 18 April the winners of the Slough Writers short story competition were announced. I came second with my story Walking On Quicksand. The picture also shows Kay Woods (third), William Campbell (first) and the judge Mel Gow editor of Beat magazine.
Berkshire Life magazine My article Is Royal Intrigue Hiding In Your Loft was published in the April issue of Berkshire Life magazine. The article is about the book The King's Speech based on interviews with the two authors who visited Windsor to promote the book. Go to Articles to read the piece.


Liverpool Network Theatre Group
The Liverpool Network Theatre Group's production of The Gatekeeper's True Religion was a great success. It was in a double bill with Caryl Churchill's Far Away. The director Kevin Foott said the cast all enjoyed the challenge and the production gripped the audience with the mixture of drama and lighter moments.


We Shall Overcome a story set during the cold war was shortlisted for the Southport Open Short Story Competition. It is set at the time of the government's Protect And Survive campaign and features a teenage girl facing the reality of the nuclear threat and going on her first CND march - much against her father's wishes.

The Protect And Survive booklet - 1963
Issued in 1963, this booklet explained how to survive a nuclear attack. Even in the dark days of the cold war it was thought to be optimistic.


My not so short story (5000 words) The Great British Soviet won the Slough Writers summer competition. This story is about what happened when Britain was invaded by the Russians in 1945 after President Henry Wallace withdrew American forces from Europe (Yes, it did happen - honest). It follows the struggles of one family to survive the new order.

Three winners of Slough Writers Summer Comp
Tony Matthews (second), Michael Pearcy and Lee Taylor (third)
Winners of Slough Writers Summer Competition.


SUCCESS AT WATERSTONES. On The Tringham Trail was one of four fifteen minute radio plays read as a radio performance with sound effects in the Slough bookshop to an audience of 60. The plays were written as part of the Slough Centre Stage project initiated by BBC Radio Berkshire.

In Performance The cast from Total Theatre plus Tom of Waterstones Part of the audience at Waterstones


Lazy Bee Scripts have become the publisher for The Gatekeeper's True Religion.

Stuart Ardern of Lazy Bee reported that his reviewer was very enthusiastic about all aspects of the play, and remarked "One of the most outstanding things about this play is the sly humour that keeps cropping up. I was expecting gloom, something along the lines of “Uncle Vanya”, and instead I was laughing out loud."


My play Whistleblower under the title Ashes On The Wind (don't ask!) was one of 16 shortlisted plays out of an entry of 236 from 13 different countries in the Drama Association of Wales 2009 One Act Play Festival.
Read the script.


I have been invited to contribute to a project celebrating the mood of The Sixties. Next year will be the fiftieth anniversary of the start of that fabulous decade. Writers have been asked to take a sixties song as the inspiration for a short story which will be published with a CD of the songs. I selected We Shall Overcome and wrote about a teenager coming to terms with the fear of nuclear war which was very real at the time.

The publishing agent said "...this piece of writing...sheds a little light relief, compared to some of the other stories in the book. Also I think it is important that the nuclear threat and the response of people during that time is included in this project. 'We Shall Overcome' is a vital contribution. If this book is a celebration of The Sixties, it is inevitably a reminder of the era - and this is too big a topic to omit."