Latest News from Alan Meadows
The production of Alan’s play for children, ‘Joseph and his Amazing Dreamboat’ (see below) has been awarded the Flora Murray Award (2012) by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archeology.
News from Vanessa Rosenthal
Vanessa has taken up a post as Writer In Residence at Kings College, London. She will be researching the archive of Colonial Nurses Letters held in The Cecil Rhodes Library within The Bodleian Library with the object of developing them into broadcast drama.
These letters, written between 1880 and 1960, are part of the extensive archive held within the Rhodes Library which records the conditions, terms of service and practices of European Hospitals within the British Empire of the period.
In the second part of the residency Vanessa will then write scripts based on the material. Alongside this she will be leading workshops at Kings College for both the Hons English students and the Nursing Degree students on ‘Turning Real Lives Into Drama’.
The final workshop will be jointly run by Vanessa and independent broadcast producer, Polly Thomas, when the completed scripts will be performed, under simulated studio conditions by the students, prior to their professional recording and transmitting
This whole project has resulted out of a successful application by Kings to the Wellcome Foundation who are funding the enterprise.
The Stage 1 Festival
Yellow Leaf were invited to take their production of Vanessa’s play ‘Karen’s Way’ to the Stage 1 Festival at the Beit Avi Chai Theatre in Jerusalem during the week of Passover and Easter, March 5th – 8th, 2013.
Fran Larkin took over the role of the Younger Karen Gershon for this tour.
Nitzan Bakshi’s excellent photographs of the festival, including many of “Karen’s Way”, can be seen on the Beit Avi Chai Facebook page.
From Alan Meadows
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Over the last twenty years or so, Alan Meadows has done occasional performances of ‘The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’. The show lasts 30 minutes and was done for fund-raising purposes only, starting when he was playing Prospero in Rep. The local community was raising money for a scanner and he did a number of late night shows after the performance of ‘The Tempest’.
He recently revived it for a U3A (University of the 3rd Age) Poetry Group in South London. Maggie Smith (no connection with Downton Abbey as far as we know) reported in the U3A Newsletter on “an inspirational performance, in costume and with full props, including wine, which many of us were invited to quaff with him.”
Joseph & His Round-the-World Dream-Boat
Alan has also written a play to be performed by young people about the 18th Century naturalist Sir Joseph Banks. This premiered at the Joseph Banks Centre in Lincolnshire on October 6th, 2012.
His colleague on the Board of Trustees of the Carers Federation, Dr Cheryle Berry, is also Chair of the Sir Joseph Banks Society. Banks sailed round the world with Captain Cook and was later President of the Royal Society for more than forty years. The Society not only commemorates his many achievements but also develops work opportunities for those who find it difficult to enter the labour market.
Joseph & His Round-the-World Dream-Boat (thanks to Maria Warburg for the title) is a pretty anarchic affair, full of songs, comedy and mime sequences in which you can involve almost as many young performers as you like.
The script is a gift to the Society: it was entirely up to them how they used it.
It was performed by the Horncastle Young Stagers at the Lion Theatre, Horncastle on October 6th 2012 – in advance of special celebrations in 2013.
News from Chris Wilkinson
Chris directed Vanessa’s new play, ‘Karen’s Way’ (see above).
He appeared as Ashley Croucher in Robin Herford's production of “Sugar Daddies” in a joint Oldham Coliseum/Harrogate Theatre production in early Spring 2013.
At present he is transcribing and editing the letters of the children’s story-writer, Joan Lamburn, to the American writer, Alyse Gregory, one-time Managing Editor of ‘The Dial’ – and the novelist/lecturer Louis Wilkinson (“Louis Marlow”).