Play Talk : Afghanistan

The Tower’s online playreading group

In the light of the new crisis in Afghanistan, we decided it would be worth considering how theatre can respond to such developments. So the next Play Talk meeting, on Thursday 16th September at 7.30, will be discussing some of the short plays in The Great Game: Afghanistan, a collection published in 2009 as part of the Tricycle Theatre’s Afghanistan festival. The collection is published by Oberon Books and is available for about £5 on Amazon or Abe Books.

 We will be focusing on the following plays from the book:
Bugles at the Gates of Jalalabad by Stephen Jeffreys (author of The Libertine). 14 pages.
– Black Tulips
by David Edgar (Nicholas Nickleby etc. etc.) 10 pages.
The Night is Darkest before the Dawn by Abi Morgan (prolific TV and film writer). 20 pages.
On the Side of the Angels by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors etc. etc.) 12 pages. 

The group is open to all Members and Friends, so just let Ian and Ciara know if you want to take part. Also let us know if you have problems getting hold of the texts. The meeting will take place on Zoom. We’re also keen to hear suggestions for future plays.

The group is coordinated by Ian Hoare and Ciara Robley and is run a bit like a book club, with members reading a pre-selected play script and coming together to exchange their thoughts about it. One aim of the group is simply to provide an entertaining and stimulating forum, but we’re also hoping to support and feed into the artistic direction of the Tower by, for example, putting forward recommendations for programming.

We’d like to include in our discussions a pretty wide range of work, with a particular emphasis on the following:

  • Exploring contemporary work
  • Rediscovering classics
  • Catching up on plays we’ve missed
  • Uncovering hidden gems
  • Seeking out plays that help promote cultural diversity in our programming
  • Familiarising ourselves with the work of local authors

We want to stress that we plan to approach the plays primarily as theatre rather than literature. We are especially keen that the group should include technicians, designers, stage managers, the marketing team and all the other creative people needed to bring plays to an audience, in addition to actors, directors and writers.

The meetings normally take place on the third Thursday of each month on Zoom. The group is open to all Members and Friends so just let Ian and Ciara know if you’d like to take part, and they’ll send you the Zoom link. Please also get in touch with them if you have any questions about the group or proposals for its development.
You can contact them via email : [email protected]

Participants will need to find their own copy of each play but we are also exploring other ways of providing scripts – so if anyone has access to large numbers of scripts we’d love to hear from you!