Francis Beckett: Playwright
THE LONDON SPRING
Francis Beckett’s latest play is The London Spring. It had a three week London run in 2012 and here’s what they said about it:
"As a dystopian satire in the tradition of 1984 or A Clockwork Orange, his play has a graphic vividness... The virtue of Beckett's nightmare vision lies in its Orwellian detail and suggestion that the future contains echoes of the present."
Michael Billington, The Guardian
"He takes the big society to its ugly, logical conclusion and asks us whether we like what we see. The results are convincing and unsettling."
Tom Rollins, Camden New Journal
"The play invites us to see ourselves as others see us when we visit poor countries in Africa and the Middle East. Before you next travel to such a country, I urge you to see it."
Peter Wilby, New Statesman
"Beckett's Dystopian vision of a future Britain works because we can see it from here.... There are some great moments to the evening; Lucien Morgan is a personable professor, ripping off tourists extortionately with each sheet of toilet roll offered. Danny Kennedy's jobsworth 'copper ' is a convincing front for the thug underneath."
Rebecca Banks, Remote Goat
"An accomplished attempt to address through art the market economics that defines our politics."
Sebastien Mann, Total Politics
"This well-written and engaging script by historian and journalist Francis Beckett..."
One Stop Arts
"Don't miss out on this fascinating insight into recent world politics... notable because it resonates so strongly with current events, and because it is perfectly timed. The theatrical device of placing Londoners as third-world beggars works marvellously."
Everything Fringe Theatre
MONEY MAKES YOU HAPPY.
After a three week run at the Bridewell Theatre in Fleet Street and another week at the White Bear, Money Makes You Happy was published by Samuel French in Autumn 2008.
It has six characters, three male, three female, all aged late 20s and 30s. Running time is 45 minutes.
Jeremy, the once-fashionable author of Trekking to Paradise, has spent ten years buried deep in the countryside, failing to write his second novel. His only connection with the big city was the smart and sexy corporate lawyer Ruth, who came down at weekends to share his grubby garret, buy him nice meals, and leave him with enough Irish whiskey and cannabis to last until her next visit.
Then, suddenly, Ruth stops coming. Jeremy comes to London to find her. A shock awaits him. There’s a small child, of which he may or may not be the father, and a north London lifestyle which is as strange to him as if he were on Mars. If he wants to stay with Ruth, he’s going to have to learn to live, and even to work, among the frenzied collection of shysters, bigots and egomaniacs who make up her world.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LADY
After a run at the Hen and Chickens pub theatre in Islington, The Right Honourable Lady was published by Samuel French in 2009.
It has five characters, three female and two male, ages ranging from 20s to 50s, and running time is 45 minutes.
Flavia of the tabloid newspaper The Daily Trumpet has been sent to dig dirt on her old friend Nicola Macdonald MP, who is now in the Cabinet. The resulting headlines exposing Nicola’s affair with a younger man threatens the careers and marriages of both Nicola and her lover. Flavia hopes all the harm she has done will be justified because she will now be permitted to investigate and expose financial scandal. But her editor and the Government Chief Whip have other ideas.
THE SONS OF CATHOLIC GENTLEMEN
The Sons of Catholic Gentlemen won the Independent Radio Drama Productions award, and was broadcast by London Broadcasting. It has ten characters, eight male and two female, and ages range from 15 to fifties or sixties. There is a stage and a radio version of this play. Running time is about one hour.
It is 1958, two years after Suez. 15-year-old Peter Jackson is abruptly plucked from his working class northern community and sent to a very splendid and expensive Jesuit-run boarding school. He sets himself the task of getting expelled, an aim he finally achieves by blasphemously mocking the transubstantiated host in the chapel. But the people he met aty Stanislaus Hall, and the hatreds he developed there, stay with him as he goes out into the world and climbs the greasy pole.
CLAIM AND SHAME
Claim and Shame was first performed at Theatre 503 at the end of 2009, and was written in response to director Joanna Turner’s request for a play about the MPs’ expenses scandal.
It has six characters, two female and four male, aged between 20s and 50s, and runs for just over an hour.
The action takes place in the Palace of Westminster between 2004 and 2010. Meg Jones, high-flying Labour MP, finds herself caught up in the cash for honours scandal, and then in the MPs’ expenses’ scandal. She watches Rick Lorimer, high-flying financier, go through the banking collapse unscathed, while she faces ruin and imprisonment.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO RICK MARKS?
Rick Marks was his campus’s young, romantic revolutionary hgero in 1968. Forty years on, what had become of him?
It’s available at Third Age Theatre
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For all other plays contact the author