• In the Valleys of the Sea

    • “If all things were turned to smoke, the nostrils would discern them.

    • If to air, then touch. If to light, the eye.

    • If the world were turned to milk, or honey,

    • The tongue would trace through it both territories

    • Of bitterness and sweet, and constellate

    • A rainbow where they met. And if the world

    • Were thunder, the ear would breed a thunder

    • In it, and crib it in a residue of silence.

    • The world is fire.”

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    In the Valleys of the Sea is a verse play based on an ancient Greek myth, the story of Demeter in Eleusis.

    Six months ago the Greek armies came, invaded Nira’s country, killed her husband. The land lost its name, became a principality of Greece – now Nira and her three children live in an occupied country.

    Six weeks ago, the drought came. The wells dried, the crops withered, one by one the animals succumbed. The family began to starve; Demara, Nira’s youngest daughter, a baby, is soon very ill – dying.

    And then the old woman came.

    It was Iambe, Nira’s middle daughter, who spotted her out in the fields, stumbling, bleeding, delirious. Iambe and Kallithoe, Nira’s eldest, brought her into the house.

    There the old woman babbles nonsense. She tells them she is the goddess Demeter. Her daughter was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld; now she searches the earth for her. It is she that has called down the drought, and has vowed it will remain until her daughter has been returned.

    In the Valleys of the Sea is a verse play in three acts. It is going to be adapted into an opera by composer Ed Scolding.

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  • Short Operas

    “Wind rags
    the smooth cloud;
    fins break
    the calm water;
    a million edges
    bloom within a circle.”

    • Wreckage of Dreams

      Night. A small raft, adrift on the sea with a dead engine, is alone under the moon.

      In March 2011 seventy refugees fled Libya, heading for Europe across the Mediterranean. A few days into their journey, the engine died…

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    • On Harrowdown Hill

      In 2003 a body was discovered in an area of woodland known as Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire. It was identified as that of Dr David Kelly, who had been at the centre of the ‘Dodgy Dossier’ scandal during the build-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq…

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    In 2012 I entered two scripts into English National Opera’s Miniopera competition; both were selected as finalists.

    Both of the scripts have been released to the public domain; several musicians and composers have already produced works based on them, and I’ve been lucky enough to attend performances of some of them in London and Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Follow the links above to download either script in pdf or text format, and to listen to some of the pieces they have inspired.