Jean Meslier to ride again

I haven’t posted here at all this year, so in the interests of proving to the world that I’m not dead or critically infirm, I thought I’d write a quick update. So what have I been up to?

Well, for the first half of this year, I’ve been working on an almost complete rewrite of The Last Priest, my 2007 play about French priest Jean Meslier, who was a secret athiest, and whose posthumous Testament was an early spark of the French revolution. I finished a solid first draft mid-summer, and will soon be meeting with the original group of producers, a cast of new and old members, a new director and a team that is being assembled without my knowledge or input, but in whom I have a lot of trust.

There are no firm dates for a production yet, but there is a new title (still, perhaps, provisionally): Voltaire’s Meteor: The Midnight Zeal of Father Jean Meslier. (Voltaire described Meslier as “the most singular phenomenon ever seen among all the meteors fatal to the Christian religion.“)

I’m also currently thinking of writing a film, not about Meslier though.

Watch. This. Space.

Tags: ,

Pleased to announce that Peter Darney will be directing the preview performances of Horses in the Rain at the Rag Factory this November.

Peter will be returning from New York where his production of Signal Failure is at the SoHo Playhouse from 8th October-16th November.

Horses in the Rain is at the Rag Factory on 7th, 8th and 9th November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available here, priced £10.


I’m very pleased to announce that my play, Horses in the Rain, is to be presented for a limited preview run at the Rag Factory off Brick Lane, London this November.

Show dates are 7th, 8th, 9th November at 7.30pm. It runs for about an hour and a half.

Tickets are available here, priced £10. Full details are on the Facebook event via the link below.


Finishing touches and final licks of paint are being applied to the all new website for my play Now is the Hour. This is a site aimed at professional, amateur and student theatre companies, so they can find out a little more about the play, download the script, and hopefully make plans to put on a production of their own, following the great success we had at the Maddermarket last year. If you’re interested, please get in touch via

Here she is:

Click to view the site


A review of the Maddermarket’s current production of Now Is The Hour in the Eastern Daily Press, by Roger Haywood.

EDP review by Roger Haywood


Now Is The Hour music

I noticed this up on SoundCloud today. I think our producer is just using it to send the music over from Farnham, Surrey to Norwich, where the play is taking shape I expect. (I’m out of the loop, but never mind.) Still, if you’re interested, here is all the incidental music to the play Now Is The Hour, soon to be arriving at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich from 19th – 28th September.

The original tracks are by Spesh Maloney, with a few in there by George Lewis and Charlie Haden’s Quartet West.


Lots of stuff happening

Lots of stuff is happening this year, me-wise, so I thought an update here was well overdue.

The highlights at the moment are:

  • 3rd August, 2pm, Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone – The first public rehearsed reading of my play North of the Sunset will take place, with Julian Joseph playing the part of Thelonious Monk, both acting and playing piano. Send me an email if you’d like to come to this one.
  • 19th–28th September, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich – The new full-length version of Now Is The Hour is getting a two-week run at the Maddermarket in Norwich. To be directed by Stu Dennison, if he makes it back from Istanbul.
  • TBA, TBA – We have recruited a director for Horses in the Rain and will be agressively pitching it to theatres very soon. Watch this space…

I had an idea yesterday that goes like this: get a designer to create a set, giving them more or less free rein. Install it somewhere and then commission writers to come along and view it, then create plays that would use the set, and put them on as a short festival. They could end up being incredibly diverse. As well as being an interesting artistic exercise – I personally love having this sort of arbitrary creative stimulus – it’s also very economical: the productions save a whole lot of money on design, construction, get-in/get-out etc. Anyone think it’s an idea worth pursuing? Or know if this has been tried anywhere before?

I sketched out some lyrics to this minor Miles Davis funk classic yesterday.

They’re sweet and light and definitely old school – a little bit “Tisket A Tasket”, but then so is Miles’ tune – but at least nobody dies in them. (I took that verse out.) An acheivement. Enjoy.

Old man, Jean-Pierre,
I like the way you comb your hair,
I like your eyes, I like your smile,
I like the way you drive me…

Wild man, Jean Pierre,
I’ve heard you dance like Fred Astaire.
How ’bout a kiss? Something like this?
Maybe one day you’ll show me…

How you live your life.
I think I’d like to be your wife.
One cup of yours, two cups of mine.
We’ll grow old like finest Burgundy wine.

Tags: , ,

Misterioso video

Here’s a short video from the 2009 production at Riverside Studios of Misterioso, on which I did some work. The words at the start – Cleveland Watkiss playing Thelonious Monk – are those of Stefano Benni, translated from the Italian by the show’s director Filomena Campus. The words at the end are (mostly) mine – Tamsin Shasha playing Nica de Koenigswarter – adapted and extended from Filomena’s original text.

Tags: , ,

« Older entries