The Play’s The Thing

“The play’s the thing. Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.” Hopefully, you will recognise that as a quote from Hamlet. Well soon, I hope to catch the attention, not perhaps of a King, but certainly of a good number of discerning theatre goers with my very own play ‘Rudisha’!

Don’t worry, lovers of children’s literature – my debut children’s novel ‘Tortoise Soup’ is still priority number one but whilst I wait for a good offer from a publisher or agent (I have already turned one offer down, but there are two more considering my book at the moment) I have turned my hand to the theatre. I hate to be seen as self-publicising but hey, that’s what blogs are for. It gives me great pleasure, therefore, to announce that my short play Rudisha will be given two performances in London on 1st September.

I have always loved the theatre. They are magical environs where dreams and reality converge, where unreality and imagination take control for two or three glorious hours. When I was a student my appetite for drama was insatiable. I would spend every spare hour reading any collection of plays that I could find: Ibsen, Chekhov, Dario Fo, Strindberg, Brecht, Wilde, Sean O’Casey dominated my thoughts. I dreamed of being a great modern dramatist like them, revolutionising the theatre through the power of my mind alone.

Well that dream has yet to bear fruition but at least next Saturday I will see my words brought to life by an enthusiastic team of actors, and that in itself will give me an enormous sense of achievement.

‘Rudisha’ is being performed as part of a festival of theatre in the Olympic borough of Newham designed to coincide with the Paralympics. The festival plays examine big issues such as faith and community and multi-culturalism in modern London. My play tells the story of Daniel, a young man from a Kenyan family who dreams of running in the Olympics like his hero David Rudisha. His world is collapsing around him as his grandmother lies dying while Rudisha tries to break the world record in the Olympic stadium just streets away.

Auditions have taken place, and rehearsals are now under way. I would like to take a greater hand in this part of the production but unfortunately I am detained up north so I have to leave things in the capable hands of my director Manos. I will be there for the performances of course, and I hope that the skilled team of actors and director will bring my words to life in the way that I had imagined them. Most of all, of course, I hope that the audience enjoys my play. For one lucky playwright there will be a commission to write a full length play to be performed in London next year – I am ready, willing and able for that opportunity! I have been ready for it for the last twenty years.

If you are in London that day then please come along. The plays will be performed at the Swift Centre Theatre on Barking Road, Newham on Saturday 1st September. There is a matinee at 1430 and an evening show at 1930 and best of all it is completely free!

I adore the theatre, why not share your thoughts on the theatre with me and my blog’s readers? What is your favourite play? There are too many for me to single one out but my shortlist would have to include King Lear, The Ghost Sonata, Shadow Of A Gunman and The Importance Of Being Earnest. All very different and all very wonderful. Comment away, my friends.

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