Somebody Up There Likes Us - For Schools: In a land of much water but little fertile land and the other of abundant crops but limited water, two border guards diligently guard the frontier between them. With no common language, they maintain a fragile peace punctuated by aggressive gestures and threats. Until one day an unidentified aircraft, passing overhead, drops a small wooden box by parachute; inside is a bottle that contains a very strange liquid…“Somebody Up There” was improvised with the author and a professional French theatre company for schools, with the aim of bridging cultural gaps.
Le Petoman - Based loosely on the biography “Le Petomane” by Frank Caradec and Jean Nohain, this is a two-act serious play with lots of comedic bits, rather than a comedy with serious bits. Le Petomane was aka Joseph Pujol, a real-life French baker who at the end of 19th century – as the British began displaying “The Elephant Man” in London - hit upon the idea of turning “passing wind” into an art form, or a very ribald entertainment if nothing else, packing the Moulin Rouge out for years, proof positive that sophistication and crudity make strange bed-fellows! The story sensitively charts how Joseph discovers his gift and turns into a hit entertainment without compromising his dignity.
Pressure - For Schools: Released after ten months for good behaviour on a two-year sentence for drug dealing, “Pressure” is a study of Jake after his release and a look at how pressure from outside forces and from former friends continue to tempt him back to the same path that caused his downfall. Intended as a follow-up to “My Brother Jake”, it carries through certain references to the original but stands alone. It relies on an “inner world” of action rather than speech and silences in which outside interruptions create a menacing mood of the unknown. The “pressure” to cope with that menace is a challenge for the audience. It is designed for teenage audiences or schools exploring drugs issues.
Space Station - On a dark and lonely hill outside of town, two strangers meet for very different reasons: one has gone to set up a telescope to try and spot re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere of a decommissioned Russian space station and the other has gone to distract the former for as long as possible while his fellow villain burgles his house. Chance plays a part when the sole surviving bolt from the space station lands nearby. First public reading: October 2010, Paris. First public performance: February, 2012, Inverness, Scotland, by The Florians.
Like Riding A Bike (a feature-length screenplay) - Set in the North East of England, a fatherless boy of 9, David Lovatt, disturbed by deja-vu and dreams by night of screeching seagulls, bright but bullied at school (and unable to ride a bike) lives in a matchbox council house on a run-down estate near Durham City, with Mum, Lisa, who struggles with low-paid jobs whilst hiding a secret: a hit-and-run accident years before in which Lisa’s unpunished ex, Scotty, killed a female pedestrian. Lisa and her son have been running away from Scotty ever since.
Mike Shepherd, their neighbour, located to the estate by the social services, hides secrets of his own and chance brings him into the lives of his neighbours, Lisa and David. Having lost his wife-and-son some years before in an accident, Mike’s budding career in the police service was cruelly nipped in the bud as his life fell apart and he hit the bottle and skid-row. Estranged from his own family, Mike battles his ghosts alone - until one day the boy next door knocks on his door and asks if he can help teach him how to ride a bicycle in time to take a Cycling Proficiency Test some months in the future. Briefly, Mike rediscovers feelings he’d had as a father with David and David finds a role model in Mike, time enough for Mike to sober up and take stock. With a hint of romance between Lisa and Mike, were it not for the looming storm gathering over the head of Scotty, their future would have potential. But then Lisa and David suddenly disappear and leave no forwarding address. Mike hovers on the edge of his own private hell once again.
When Scotty’s “big deal” goes wrong he makes his escape onto a lonely moor road where, unbeknown, David is perfecting his moves for the impending Cycling Proficiency Test. With a tragic twist seconds away, a seagull suddenly slams into the window of Scotty’s jeep and sends it and him to a watery grave in a quarry. With tragedy, loss and reflection in the air and with the aid of Mr Appleyard (David’s primary teacher and his special project based on “Communication through History”: the pen, hieroglyphics, the printed word, the photograph, the microchip, etc), David suddenly “remembers” the event that has haunted his young mind for 3 years.
The truth out and the fall-out of retribution settled, the Cycling Proficiency Test briefly unites Mike, Lisa and David, hinting at a bright future for all of them. But who is the elderly gentleman conducting the Proficiency Test - somebody’s husband, somebody’s son, somebody’s father?