Box: development update

Very excited to say the quantum mechanics play, Box,  has a twinkle in its eye. After some generous and insightful industry feedback over the summer, it’s having a rehearsed reading on Hallowe’en, as part of the work done by Brighton University’s Performance and Community Research and Enterprise Group.

What’s that? It means I get to work with a cracking team (see below) and an audience to shake out the creases, ask about what works, what doesn’t – and get myself into a position where it can fairly – I hope – be deemed worthy of a full-scale production.

Other artists involved in Brighton’s programme this term include: Brighton’s Royal Society of Literature Fellow, playwright and novelist Hannah Vincent; performance poet  and Marie Curie IF Fellow Patricia Kolaiti; Marisa Carnesky, who about to tour with Dr Carnesky’s Incredible Bleeding Woman;  playwright Morgan Lloyd and author PA Skantze  whose book Itinerant Spectator/Itinerant Spectacle looks at audiences who travel with shows they love.

Like I said above, I’m especially fortunate to be joined in this by a wonderful team of theatrical ambrosia:

Mary Chater, actor: Mary’s acting work includes the National Theatre, RSC, West End, rep and fringe. She recently returned from 9 years living in central Italy and is a founder member of Shakespeare in Italy:

Matt Lloyd Davies, actor: Matt is a director and actor who trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His screen and theatre work includes the West End and film, including appearing alongside Nigel Hawthorne in both the National Theatre production and Oscar- winning film of The Madness of King George. More at

Hannah Drake, director: Hannah is a co-founder of award-winning Insane Root theatre company. She trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (Elsa Roberts Prize for Directing). In 2017 she was Resident Director to the UK Tour of Jane Eyre for the National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic, assisting Sally Cookson. More at:

And if you would like a reminder of “the quantum mechanics play”, here’s the blurb….

Box – by Gill Kirk

“This is my story. Of when I was famous and when I was invisible. I was loved, and irrelevant. I ruled the universe and it ruled me. But here I am, now: telling you TED-junkies about something we all dream of, and never understand: parallel worlds theory. What if, what if, what if…”

Who do you think you are?

In BOX, Allie and Mike’s parallel lives collide and ricochet to give us a 360-degree sense of not just who they are, but who they could be, given the right (and wrong) circumstances. Tales of love, ambition, disappointment and elephants hang like socks on the washing line of Allie’s brilliant, upsetting, weird and wistful TED talk, as she stumbles around the questions of quantum physics, who we are and who we could be.

The universe plays Mike and Allie like rats in a maze. In world after world, we follow and understand their desires, conflicts and triumphs as their personalities vary wildly, depending on which stepping stones brought them to “today”.

There is, however, one constant: the “quantum suicide rifle” – a real-world manifestation of a thought experiment, theoretically posited to be able to fire its victim into all possible worlds. It’s always with them. It’s always an option.


Eddie King & the Death of Rave – 2nd-4th Aug

Oooo, stuff from the surprise box is always great, isn’t it? Just agreed to join the merry crew taking part in Darkstuff Productions’ “Thrills Pills and Bellyaching – Eddie King and the Death of Rave” at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory on Aug 2-4th at 8-30pm.

This is gonna be a great show!

Here’s the spiel from Darkstuff:

Take yourself back to the 1990’s, just for a moment. A flash of lights, a blur of neon colour and the beat of music that hits at your acid-happy core…

Come celebrate one final night at a warehouse rave on the verge of oblivion where innocence is lost, memories are made and faith wavers. Another decade, another time, another Eddie and all is not as you might think. Join Eddie and his fellow rave-goers as the lost find each other for a moment and life frays at the edges.

Following two successful Eddie King events Darkstuff Productions returns to the Tobacco Factory Theatre with a whole new twist in the tale and a host of delightfully dark monologues. A night of new writing from Simon Harvey-Williams, Phil John, Gill Kirk, David Lane and Helen Parker, inspired by the euphoria-driven age of Rave. An age arguably the last great social happening of the Twentieth Century – an age before Facebook. The Acid Generation. Were you there? Are the memories stirring? Did Eddie King, that famous everyperson, overdo on the little pills and fry his brain?

Whether you’re a veteran raver, someone who wasn’t there the first time around, or an intrepid theatre explorer come plumb the depths of a dizzyingly exhilarating era without the morning-after headache.

This is not a rave.

This is a night to remember.

Summer Frenzy

Busy – and good – times. The summer’s being spent Getting Things Done: completing a three-hander for the Theatre West competition for their autumn season at the Alma Tavern Theatre in Bristol; trying to get a final good first draft of my long-unwritten ‘fertility play’; polishing a collaborative comedy script with a great friend and squeezing in the day job wherever I can find a gap.

Away with the Fairies, the Theatre West submission, was shortlisted alongside some work by writers I regard very highly, so I’m very happy indeed to have got that far. More info on Fairies under ‘Scripts & Shows‘. There will be a script-in-hand performance at The Alma in the coming months.

Other things are afoot, but more on those at a later date! Meanwhile, Water’s Not So Thick appears at the Ustinov on Wednesday 22 September, at 12:30. Tickets just £3 – book yours now!

A Happy Writer

Best experience as a writer so far was had this week. My absurd short play, Everyone Loves A Story, was one of four staged readings in ‘Push’, a night of newly commissioned pieces at the Ustinov, Theatre Royal Bath.

I was tested, pushed and pulled every so gently by David Lane’s superbly questioning dramaturgy in the two weeks leading up to rehearsals. We had the day of the show to rehearse. David was directing a thoughtful, up-for-it and very strong ensemble cast (Rob Benson, Rachael Fagin, Adrian Harris and Louise Wright). There was a strange moment when I realised they were discussing and debating the script in the way I’ve done when I’ve been performing; i.e., taking it seriously!

This script was the last of the night to be performed – there were three pieces beforehand (from Steve Lambert, Heather Lister – both directed by the Ustinov’s Andrew Smaje – and Tom Phillips, also directed by David Lane) which were so powerful and different that by the interval, I was very nervous – could ours stand up against those? My worry about this piece is that the dialogue and action risk being confusing if the audience doesn’t go with the idea of participating and doesn’t enjoy the dark humour: then you risk leaving the cast pushing against a closed door – not much fun.

Very happily, however, the audience was a superb 6th character, calling out, chanting, totally playing their part – far more than I had expected. And this is what made this my best writer moment so far – my surprise (and delight, if it doesn’t sound too pseudy) at how it actually worked! What I wrote, what David made me tighten, what we aimed for as a group happened!  So, talk about gratitude to all concerned – cast, crew, David, Andrew. A very smiling writer – rare, huh?  😉

Second Chance for bankers….

The smashing people at Bristol Folk House have picked The King Was In The Counting House to be one of their short rehearsed readings on Saturday 8th May, at 8pm. There were over 200 submissions, and the night will regale the audience with a happy six winners’ scripts. It’s only a fiver (which gets ploughed straight back into BFH’s great work) – call 0117 926 2987 for a ticket!