i think the temptation to go with the flow here is so strong that you'd end up quite literally
- eugen (the power of love)
A play on passion, power and possession featuring the Sonnets of William Shakespeare
2m. Approx 1h 15' (Edinburgh 2014 version: 55')
What drove the celebrated poet, playwright and actor to write a suite of sonnets about beauty, life and the passage of time and address them to a handsome young man? Obsession? Folly? Infatuation? Or was there more than meets the eye today?
In a dynamic new take on an old question, two contemporary characters delve into some of the most glorious poetry ever composed, as they weave in and out of the past in search of a plausible truth about love.
Premiered at Greenside Nicolson Square as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 4th August 2014. Directed by Ros Philips.
An Apocalyptic Comedy
6m 1f. Approx 2h 30' (including interval)
A couple of friends spend the last seven days of the world on the sofa, watching the news, reinventing chess and rewriting the rules of some of the other games in their universe: generally getting things into perspective; at once paralysed and inspired by the 'overallness of it all'.
Premiered at The Old Vic Tunnels in London on 7th January 2013; directed by Adam Berzsenyi Bellaagh.
BAUR AU LAC
2f, 1m (non speaking). Approx 1h 30'
Set at the famous hotel of the same name on lake Zürich, Baur au Lac brings together two sisters in their sixties on the occasion of one of their son's wedding.
Against the backdrop of their peaceful oasis, events that take place elswhere put their entire lives into a stark new context, at once exposing the truth and cementing the bond that lies at the core of their relationship.
Rehearsed reading starring Susannah York at The Actor's Centre, London, March 2010; workshopped at Park Theatre, Finsbury Park 2012. In development.
ELDER LATIMER IS IN LOVE
An explosive adventure of hearts and minds
3m 2f. Approx 1h 45'
Elder Latimer is here to talk about the truth.
But when the young Mormon lands in London fresh from the States, his world of absolutes starts to crumble. He falls in love with Dina, a young Muslim who’s even more convinced of her faith than he is of his, and questions of love, truth and faith take on a whole new meaning. While he is beginning to see things in the new light of a new city, Dina’s determination to do what she knows is right has no limits.
Can love conquer all? Can reason?
Premiered at Arcola Theatre September 2009; Dir: Adam Berzsenyi Bellaagh
TIME AFTER TIME
Part Three of the Love Trilogy
3m 1f. Approx 1h 40'
Tender sets about salvaging his second marriage after a 'minor glitch' early on in the proceedings, while best friend Eugen tries to reconcile his love ideal with 'reality', though not quite as most people know it. Meanwhile, mutual friend Anna comes up trumps with her own brand of surprises.
Final ten of the Verity Bargate Award 2004.
Part Two of the Love Trilogy
4m 4f. Approx 2h 30'
A group of London urbanites in their thirties juggle their complicated lifestyles while coming to terms with tragedy in their midst, as the recent past catches up with them more quickly than they imagined.
Longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award 2000.
Rehearsed reading at the Arcola Theatre London 2001 by the Arcola Theatre; Dir: Sara Murray
Workshopped at the Arcola Theatre, January 2002.
THE POWER OF LOVE
Part One of the Love Trilogy
4m 2f. Aprrox 2h 30'
"Tender and Eugen, two barely grown-up thirtysomethings, obliterate their senses in Amsterdam while 'researching' for their screenplay. Following his code 'It Doesn't Count on Tour', father-to-be Tender sleeps with beautiful publicist Willow, the upshot of which is an HIV infection. Sebastian Michael's play 'about life on the edge of the century' is stirring, prophetic stuff...insightful and moving."
"'The Power of Love' is about young people in the nineties grappling with sex, careers, drugs and AIDS, but it does not exhibit the soulless banality of so many plays with these themes. This is 'Shopping and Fucking' with more humour and more heart. ... the plot meanders and teases while always keeping an assured grip on the audience's attention: black comedy, tragedy, poetry, soap opera and philosophy jostle joyfully together... 'The Power of Love' draws authenticity from the strength of its characterisation... The friendship between the two main male characters, Tender and Eugen, is the engine that powers the play. It is quirky but absolutely believable and, as an unashamedly emotional portrayal of male love...ventures into relatively unexplored theatrical territory."
Plays & Players
Shortlisted for Verity Bargate Award 1998
Premiered at Southwark Playhouse London 1998 by Michael & Michael; Dir: Michael Cabot
>to the mini site of the Southwark Playhouse production
>watch the 'Beethoven Speech'
1f. Approx 1h 40'
Lena illegally crosses from a newly Nazified Berlin into Switzerland where she works her way up from cigarette packer via seamstress to designer and ultimately director of a fashion company, before finally being defeated by lung cancer.
Premiered at the Canal Café Theatre London 1992 by Aesthetics on Stage; performed by Carolanne Lyme. Dir: Sebastian Michael
ALL THE WORLD
4m 3f. Approx 1h 45'
"Set in the West End dressing room of opulent star Peggy Weishaupt, 'All The World' offers a breathlessly excited backstage look at the tawdry glamour and ingenious artifice of the theatrical profession. Peggy is larger-than-life, with a lived-in body and husky, smoky voice: successful, yet desperately insecure; feted, but possessed by voices from the past. A faint air of doom hangs about her intense relationship with adored son David. ... Everybody falls in love with everybody else, comes to grief, and decides the show must go on! ... Straightforward realism alternates with hightened fantasy, with the script veering from the workaday to the poetic."
Suzy Feay, Time Out
Premiered at the Etcetera Theatre London 1990 by Aesthetics on Stage; Dir: Mehmet Ergen and Sebastian Michael
1m 2f. Approx 90'
"From the title, one might expect some feminist tract, or a worthy family narrative, but you get neither, but a quite engrossing but playful meditation on the idea of sisterhood, fleshed out with arresting and unusual stage antics. The scene is at an airport, where two sisters, both formidable women in their own rights, meet to attend a family funeral. The play develops the two characters, Camelia - a stunningly magnetic woman, successful journalist and irrepressible minx, and Anja, more conventionally feminist. Sparks fly as opening naturalistic scene gives way to a surreal sequence in which the audience itself becomes, in a small way, part of the action."
Joy Hendry, The Scotsman
Premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe 1989 by Aesthetics on Stage; Dir: Sebastian Michael
Concept Multi-Media Performance. Cast variable. Duration variable.
"On walking into the performance area, all my ghosts were exorcised. QED is advertised as theatre but uses dance, a slide show and an original soundtrack as well as the spoken word. The performance fairly bubbles with intellectual playfulness. But this hardly implies that the concepts confronted within are slight. Sequences of movement and words are used as building blocks. These are repeated, with minor variations by all the cast. Through this repetition, the bizarre becomes commonplace and we are warned against this. ... The dynamics of the stage action combine with this to exhilarating effect. ... Put it this way: I want the accompanying T-shirt."
Pete Strover, Forth Action Review
Premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe 1989 by Aesthetics on Stage; Dir: Samantha Pinnell
3m 4f. Approx 2h 30'
Two brothers' incestuous relationship flares up on the occasion of the older brother's wedding.
Rehearsed Reading at Finborough Theatre London by The Steam Industry; Dir: Lucille O'Flanagan
Satirical Farce, part verse
9m 5f. Approx 2h
A Tory would-be PM's political ambitions unravel when his teenage rent boy of yore turns up on the Greek island where he's spending a pre-leadership campaign holiday.
Rehearsed reading at Finborough Theatre 2000 by The Steam Industry; Dir: Andy Veal
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Banner image: Tom Medcalf as the Earl of Southampton / Student in The Sonneteer, 2014.