My first writing attempts were worked out on a youth theatre group that I was part of back in the 1980’s. I think I learned some craft there and found out how exciting it is to have people speak your words, tell your stories. Since then I have written plays with and for many different groups including small-scale rural touring, adult amateur theatre groups and youth theatre companies. Pearson publish my texts for young casts including:
- Hope Springs
- Face: The Play
- Paving Paradise
- Whispers In The Graveyard: The Play
- The Play and The Death of Jude Hill
“It’s very easy to get very angry very quickly in this place.”
Originally written in 2014 for youth theatre groups, this is based on the phenomenon of privately run youth-correction facilities . Published (in a slightly less dark version) in 2006, ‘Hope Springs’ is by far my most performed play.
In either its original ‘dark’ version for older casts, or the ‘lighter’ adaptation for younger actors, Hope Springs is gender-neutral throughout which makes it suitable for almost any young group of performers. Now staged across the UK and Ireland as well as in South Africa, New Zealand and South America – this play fits a single-sex cast and any mix of ethnicity. Drama teachers and youth theatre directors love it because they can give the right part to the right cast member, and it offers a range of parts – for the young actor who is clearly going to be a star to the ones who have less confidence. A teacher recently referred to Hope Springs as ‘a godsend for our single-sex schools’.
Hope Springs is available here:
‘FACE: THE PLAY’, ‘PAVING PARADISE’, ‘THE DEATH OF JUDE HILL’ and ‘WHISPERS IN THE GRAVEYARD: THE PLAY’
‘Face: The Play’ was adapted from Benjamin Zephaniah’s novel, this play uses complex drama techniques to tell the story of Martin before, during and after the accident which disfigures him.
‘Paving Paradise’ looks at our relationship with the natural world through the eyes of a group of young people and a local tree (yes, a tree).
‘Whispers in The Graveyard: The Play’ is adapted from Theresa Breslin’s popular novel for young readers.
‘The Death of Jude Hill’ is the closest I have ever got to writing an action adventure thriller mystery which I hope is fun for young casts.