Plays

 

The Man from the Sleepy Lagoon

 celebration of the life and music of Eric Coates, one of the most popular British composers of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The label 'light' was a burden, but it never deterred him from writing tunes

Performed at The Ship pub as part of FitzFest, a festival of music by composers who lived in Fitzrovia, in June 2016 and again in January 2017. David Acton played the part of Coates, and The Festival Musicians, under Dan Bates, provided the tunes. 

 

Treasure 

 A monologue in which Peter Mark Roget, creator of the famous Thesaurus, talks about his early years in Manchester when he was Chief Surgeon at the Infirmary, and about the lists he made to keep depression at bay.

Performed at Manchester University as part 24:7's Theatre Festival, July 2015, and again in October 2015 as part of the Manchester Science Festival.

 

 

189 Pieces

 2014 sees the 25th anniversary of the last restoration of the Portland Vase, a Roman glass masterpiece bought by the Dowager Duchess of Portland in 1784. In 1845, while on loan to the British Museum, it was deliberately smashed by a visitor. This new play dramatises the triumphs and tribulations which beauty and celebrity have conferred on the Vase.

Performed at The British Museum, October 2014, and at the Steyning Festival, June 2014

 

Roofing the County of Surrey with Crystal    

What price authenticity? Rows break out in the Crystal Palace about the significance of its exhibits. Set in October 1854, soon after the Palace relocated to Surrey.

Performed by members of the South London Theatre, at the SLT and in West Norwood Cemetery, November 2011

 

The Happiness Index   What David Cameron can learn from the Greeks and Romans

"How happy did you feel yesterday?" Faced with this question in a government survey, John turns to a couple of ancient philosophers for advice. So what is happiness anyway? And how do you know when you've got it?  Epicurus and Seneca offer some words of wisdom.

Performed by David Acton, at the New End Theatre, London NW3, June 2011. David recently starred in The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre in London.

 

How to be Happy  

A pre-David-Cameron play about ancient philosophy and happiness, this piece has been performed at a number of schools and colleges, and at the British Museum. It exists in two versions, for school students and adults. Now it's taking on a new life, as the Coalition Government publishes the UK's first official happiness index.

 

Another Stab at Life 

Eurydice's take on what happens when the great singer Orpheus attempts to bring his wife back from the Underworld.  Will she go or will she stay? Performed as part of the launch of 17 Per Cent, at the Red Hedgehog in London in March 2010, this 10-minute play can be heard online, at  http://www.venividitheatre.com/another-stab-at-life.html

 

Darwin and the Greeks 

A gardener's thoughts about the Greek forerunners of Darwin help him to come to terms with a sad event in his own life. Performed at the British Museum, November 2009.

 

Found Drowned 

The young Ellen Terry goes bathing on the Isle of Wight. Part of a collaborative piece by the Bonnington Group of writers, The Quite Peculiar and Irresistible Charm of Ellen Terry.  Performed at the Barn Theatre, Smallhythe, Kent, July 2007.

 

Goddesses 

What happens when three powerful deities - Athena, Hera and Aphrodite - all claim the prize for Top Goddess? The Trojan War is just one of the outcomes. The Pleasance Theatre, London, May 2007.

 

A Different Kind of Dancing

A short play in which a young woman experiences a reunion with the god Bacchus, and tries out his new drink. Second place  in the Westminster Prize. The Soho Theatre, London, 2001.