I have received a grant from the Peggy Ramsey Trust to fund a research trip to West Virginia for a play I am developing about the 1921 West Virginia Mine Wars and particularly the Battle Of Blair Mountain.
Wish me luck as I will be spending a week in July in deepest Trump territory!
The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest labor uprising in United States history and one of the largest, best-organized, and most well-armed uprisings since the American Civil War.
For five days in late August and early September 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, some 10,000 armed coal miners confronted 3,000 mercenaries and strikebreakers, called the Logan Defenders, who were backed by coal mine operators during an attempt by the miners to unionize the southwestern West Virginia coalfields.
The battle ended after approximately one million rounds were fired, and the United States Army intervened by presidential order.
My newly formed Community Interest Company Public Domain Arts & Media has been commissioned by UNITE N. West and UNITE In Schools to develop a pilot scheme exploring a new approach to educating children about trade unions.
The project uses role-playing techniques inspired by Augustus Boal and Paulo Friere to create an innovative educational initiative designed to give 14-24-year olds, a creative and participatory introduction to trade unionism and collective action in the work place.
This project is about allowing young people to experience ‘light-bulb’ moments of understanding about the possibility of resisting exploitation in the work place and through that an understanding of the wider collective struggle for freedom, equality and economic justice.
Above all this project is about inspiring the union members, activists, reps and shop stewards of the future!
Following the worldwide success of Will Hanrahan’s First Look TV series, Nurses That Kill, during June 2017 I will be directing dramatised reconstructions for all episodes of Series 2.
I’m delighted to say I’ve been hired to produce the LIberating Arts Festival for the General Federation of Trade Unions.
Liberating Arts is a unique arts festival and conference instigated by the General Federation of Trade Unions to connect the labour and trade union movement with cultural workers, academics and creative activists, and to promote the crucial importance of cultural work in achieving progressive political, economic and social objectives.
The Festival will run from 12.00 on Friday 3rd November until 17.30 on Sunday 5th November at the Roborough Studios, University Of Exeter. Further details and booking here
I’m delighted to say that I am now represented as a writer by Sara Moore and Rebecca Watson at Valerie Hoskins Associates. As a scriptwriter I’m writing for television and the theatre and also writing non-fiction, articles and opinion pieces for printed and online media.
I’m also delighted to say that I continue to be represented as an actor and a director by my buddies at Macfarlane Chard.
Today I launched my script consultancy service, Primetime.
I’ve been in script development since 1987 and have taught script-writing for the last ten years. Teaching in a university made me realise that I really do know some stuff about scriptwriting and that I really am pretty good at helping others to develop their writing to be the best it can be.
If you want some simple feedback on a script, treatment or idea, or if you want detailed guidance through a longer process of development then I could be your man.
More details and prices here.
I’m delighted to be working with my little sister, Rachel Jury, on her participatory musical project, The Gates.
Rachel’s company, ConFab, based in Glasgow, is one of the leading participatory arts companies in Scotland. She creates participatory theatre to the highest standards by using key professional cast and crew to nurture and guide large casts of community enthusiasts.
The Gates is a large-scale participatory theatre project for the LGBT community that has been performed very successfully in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The project was inspired by the story of, The Gateway, a gay club that opened in 1931 in the basement of a shop on the Kings Road in London. For 50 years ‘The Gates’ provided a secret safe-haven for the LGBT community until its closure in 1985.
In 2018 ConFab is hoping to bring the project to Manchester, Brighton and London and I’m working with Rachel as a Producer to help set that tour up. So keep your eyes peeled for The Gates, coming your way in 2018!
Well, well, well. There’s a turn up for the books! I’m going to be back on the Telly as an actor! I’ve got a really nice guest part in an episode of the BBC’s Holby City. Filming mid-November. Wish me luck!
Over the summer my company Public Domain has been developing an innovative, on-line, multi-media, educational resource based on my play The Liberty Tree. The project is designed to provide resources that will introduce 16-25 year olds to the history of the battles for justice, freedom and equality that continue to be fought today.
Over the summer I was working with my neighbour in South Warwickshire, Will Hanrahan, of First Look TV, writing and directing some of the dramatised inserts for his documentary series for UKTV channel, Really, Nurses Who Kill.