The Wesker Trilogy - I'm Talking about Jerusalem
ADA KAHN, the daughter of the 'Chicken Soup' family, marries DAVE SIMMONDS. They move to an isolated house in Norfolk where they struggle through a back-to-the-land experiment. DAVE makes furniture by hand.
Friends and family visit them throughout their 12 rural years charting and commenting on the fortunes of their experiment. It doesn't work, but they end gratified to have had the courage to try.
An evening in the lives of lonely, frustrated people living separate lives in separate rooms. Constantly recurring is the ominous sound of an aeroplane. The 'menace' is the threat of a nuclear attack. The final scene is of a folk dance which gives the tension release and a quality of joy.
Menace is the precursor of The Old Ones. Could be staged.
Chips with Everything
Early 1950s. A group of Air Force conscripts begin eight weeks of 'square-bashing' - basic military drill. Two of the conscripts develop a friendship, PIP THOMPSON - a young aristocrat, CHAS WINGATE - a working class boy.
The military hierarchy want PIP to become an officer. He rebelliously refuses. The officers patiently tolerate his rebellion thus defusing it and breaking his spirit.
When SMILER, one of the recruits, is badly treated by NCOs, the recruits rebel. PIP, who has just accepted to become an officer, urges the hierarchy to tolerate their rebelliousness as they had tolerated his and thus, similarly, defuse their anger.
The young recruits who began as a shambles end as an efficient, closely linked and acquiescent squad.
The Nottingham Captain
Speeches by Byron, Castlereagh, and Jeremy Bentham set a scene of industrial unrest and threatening rebellion in the early nineteenth century. The action concerns the government's employment of OLIVER, an agent provocateur, to incite a pathetically ill-organised but potentially effective uprising. Three leaders, including the so-called Nottingham Captain, Jeremiah Brandreth, are hanged for treason.
Two version of this work - one in the jazz idiom (music composed by Dave Lee) and one in the classical idiom (music composed by the late Wilfred Josephs) - were performed at the festivals in a double-bill with Stravinsky's 'The Soldier's Tale', directed by Colin Graham.
The Four Seasons
ADAM and BEATRICE have been bruised by their separate marriages and love affairs, and have agreed to spend time together in a remote cottage - a kind of sabbatical from life.
In winter she is catatonic, he must attend to things. By the spring his caring has thawed her frozen feelings. When summer comes they are in love, and BEATRICE begs ADAM to come away and begin a new life together in the real world. He hesitates, afraid. They linger till Autumn.
Mistakes, which destroyed previous relationships, are repeated. Love dies.
Their Very Own and Golden City
ANDREW COBHAM, an apprentice draughtsman, and his young friends from Durham spend a day sketching in Durham Cathedral. On entering, ANDREW is overwhelmed. The year is 1926.
As though by osmosis ANDREW knows that one day he will become an architect. The youthful, exuberant friends talk about the future that is all before them. They will build six beautiful cities, which will be paid for and owned by the people who live in them. Industry will be capitalised by the Trade Unions.
In the beginning all happens as they plan. We constantly return to the Cathedral to witness their ardent hopes paralleling their future until, at a certain moment, that future swerves in a different direction. Reality in conflict with the Dream.
Two groups of four actors play Andrew and his friends as youths and as characters who grow older and disillusioned. But the play ends in 1926, in the Cathedral, with youth's hopes. The Dream remains. We have only 'flashed forward'.