Not a Game for Girls Bridlington

Well this is an amazing turn up for the books as a slight communication breakdown means that I’ve only just learnt of a FOURTH production of ‘Not a Game for Girls’ taking place later this month.

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Not a Game for Girls at NAPA

A wonderful poster has been created for the third production of Not a Game for Girls that is being performed at the Northern Academy of Performing Arts in Hull on 14/15 June 2019.


Children of God

Shaker Dancing

Photo: Doris Humphrey’s The Shakers choreographed dance 1930.

As is often the way I first came across Mary Ann Girling and her Children of God sect whilst searching for something else on the internet. I then read Philip Hoare’s book England’s Lost Eden which covers the Girlingites as they were also sometimes known but Hoare also explores a whole host of other related subjects pertaining to a lesser known Victorian world trying to escape the mass industrialisation of the landscape and it’s effect on the human psyche.

After my previous historically set plays I wanted to write something much freer and completely invented and so created a very loose composite character by taking aspects of Mary Ann Girling’s life with that of Ann Lee’s who founded the Shaker Community after emigrating from Manchester to North America in the previous century. Both women’s lives were remarkably similar in that they both believed themselves to be female manifestations of Christ. The Shakers were also awaiting the Second Coming in male form and thus creating a Dual Godhead. Both Lee and Girling suffered several miscarriages and both claimed to have had visions and in the case of Girling to bear stigmatic marks. The communities that they both established believed in celibacy and equality of the sexes and whilst the Shaker community was relatively successful in that it kept going well into the 20thC and it’s influence can still be discerned, Girling’s sect ultimately failed as starvation set in.

For the purpose of a play I was interested in exploring what might happen if someone who was initially taken to be the Second Coming appeared amongst them. I have kept the time and location vague apart from indicating that it is a remote coastal or island setting where tensions are already at simmering point over the community’s aims and future before a stranger is washed up onto their shores. I have used some beliefs from both the Shakers and Children of God but I have invented some of my own and created a fictional world and characters from start to finish in order to dramatically examine a society collapsing in on itself.

Whilst without being overly explicit about it the play could be seen as a microcosmic allegory of both Brexit Britain and Trump’s America as a group of people seek to isolate themselves from the world and make it difficult for people to join them. It is about what happens when long standing beliefs are challenged and how far people can go after being indoctrinated for so long.

Singin’ for Engerland

A fully rehearsed off the book extract of my play Singin’ for Engerland about a young homeless couple was performed on 19 May at the lovely intimate venue Katzpace in Southwark, south London along with some other great pieces of writing.  It seemed to be well received so I am hoping the full length play might be picked up by a company.

Many thanks to the director Antonia Georgieva, actors Harrison Evans and Jo McGarva, all of whom are students at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, for realising it so wonderfully.  Many thanks too to the organisers Bebe Barry and Greg Birks at Katzpace for selecting it.

The Interrogator

My short audio drama is now available to listen to.  It features Edward Peel and Stacey J Gough and it was produced at County Linx Radio Studios by Steve Kent. A seasoned interrogator uses every trick they know to try and turn a long sought after prisoner over to their side but a psychological battle of wits ensues.

2019 – The Play is the Thing

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2019 is proving to be an exciting year as rehearsals have begun on the Northern Academy of Performing Arts production of Not a Game for Girls which is being performed on 14/15 June in Hull.

My short play The Long Player was performed live on WAMF Radio in New Orleans and begins at 23 minutes into the show. Unfortunately however the recording suffered from studio gremlins which is why there is quite a bit of feedback on it.


Another short play The Interrogator has been recorded as an audio version and will be played at the Rum Diaries Presents Collaboration Scratch Night on 21 March in Glasgow.

Interoogator 1
A stage version is being produced as part of the New Short Play Festival in New York which runs 19-24 March and it will receive two performances.

Interrogator 2