I’m very excited to be producing my first production – two, one act plays at The Tristan Bates theatre (tristanbatestheatre.co.uk) in Covent Garden, London. The Tristan Bates is a huge supporter of new writing and it was our first choice theatre. We’re delighted they said yes!
My partners are the very talented Maxine Evans (who’ll be directing) and the equally talented writer Neil Docking. I’m also in both plays.
MAXINE EVANS studied classical acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has worked as an actor, writer, series editor and director in television, film and theatre. She directed Without a Song or a Dance (shortlisted Best Director at the Cork Film Festival) Nuts & Bolts (ITV/RTS Award winner) and Rain (a Feature Film Musical) while her writing/series editor credits include Coronation Street, Crossroads and Nuts & Bolts (ITV). She continues to develop new writing for theatre (recently directing Goat Street Runners and Who’s Coat Is That Jacket?) and as an actor appears regularly on television- most notably as the indomitable ‘Rhian’ in Sky 1’s hit comedy Stella.
NEIL ANTHONY DOCKING is a British writer, composer and producer, and has worked in press, radio, film and theatre. He has contributed to The Guardian (newspaper), Station Road (BBC Radio Drama), The Throne Room (original play for radio), Bay College, Casualty (BBC), Nuts & Bolts, Crossroads, Emmerdale (ITV1) and has been shortlisted for the BBC Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award. Most recently he wrote, scored and co-produced an original independent British feature film musical, Rain. These are his first plays for Theatre
I’ve known Maxine and Neil for quite a few years having worked with them on a number of different projects. I am a huge fan of both of their talents and I am sooooo excited to be working with them.
Both plays have very serious stories to tell, but knowing Maxine and Neil the way I do, if there’s a ray of light to find they will find it!
I hope you can come and support our project at The Tristan Bates theatre.
Box office tel 020 7240 6283
Here’s an idea of what you’ll be watching –
Between them, and from differing perspectives, The Revlon Girl and Barren explore the grief associated with the loss of a child.
The Revlon Girl is based on real-life events associated with the mining disaster in 1966 in the village of Aberfan, South Wales and centres on an actual group of bereaved mothers that met in its aftermath. Though a fictionalized account of one of their actual meetings, the play touches on the real stories of those living in a working class, close knit community hit by this terrible event: the feelings that perhaps they were to blame; the sense of betrayal by those in authority; the mass grief endured under the ceaseless gaze of a shocked public (the Aberfan disaster was the first to be covered by television as it is today). At its heart however, The Revlon Girl is a human story of resilience; particularly of women living through a truly appalling event that brought out the very best, and the very worst, in people.
In Barren, the story powerfully documents the largely forgotten and often disregarded plight of those who will never have children. With many women postponing childbirth until their thirties (and sometimes beyond) and others who choose to postpone it indefinitely, the play will resonate beyond those who- like Andi and Vic, our couple at the heart of the play- are denied a child by nature. Theirs is a story with a different kind of tragedy at its heart: one of might-have-beens; of desperation; of dreams unfulfilled. This is couple who never asked for much in the first place- these are not high-flying careerists; they are an everyday couple with everyday hopes- robbed of the son that will only live in their dreams.
Though these plays can be described at once as offbeat, dark, humorous, tragic, heart-rending and even perhaps uplifting, they are – taken together – an exploration of arguably the most painful and senseless event that can happen to any human being- no matter who they are.