by Tom Morton-Smith (2012)
Directed by Beckie Mills. Designed by Olivia Altaras. Lighting by Neill Brinkworth. Costume by Gabriella Slade. Sound by Paul Gavin.
Cast: Michael Kirk. Skye Lourie. Moncef Mansur. Cosima Shaw. Michael Shelford. Harry Lister Smith.
“I don’t think we’ll get to Mars…not really…not normal people. Scientists might…it’ll end up a scientific outpost like Antarctica…but it won’t be for people like you and me.”
Maggie has found a warm patch of ground on Horsell Common. She believes something is buried in the dirt. This is the site of the Martian invasion in H G Wells’ The War of the Worlds and she sneaks out of the house in the dead of night and dances on the warm spot. Here she meets Behrooz, an amateur astronomer who spends his nights mapping the surface of Mars.
Cartographer John is remapping the streets of Woking. He’s about to become a father and is terrified by the thought. He finds an ally in Corinne, Maggie’s mother – a woman struggling to keep her sex life separate and secret from her daughter.
Kiph, who everyone thinks is gay, its madly in love with Maggie, his best-friend. He attends a book signing to meet his hero, Richard Bleakman – star of cult 80s sci-fi show John Carter of Mars. Richard has problems of his own.
A stunning new play about fantasy and sexuality, and about the blurry and indistinct lines between reality and desire.
Playwright Tom Morton-Smith’s plays include Salt Meets Wound (Theatre503), In Doggerland (Box of Tricks at Theatre503), Venison (Yellowtale Theatre Company at The Hawth, Crawley), Uncertainty (Sincera Productions at Latitude Festival) andThe Hygiene Hypothesis (Sincera Productions at Latitude Festival). He collaborated with composer Jon Nicholls on a play with music, Blunderbuss (The Theatre, Chipping Norton). He wrote an episode of BBC Radio 7’s Man In Black series, entitled Flesh. He has had short plays and rehearsed readings performed at The Old Vic, the Hampstead Theatre, the Soho Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, the Liverpool Everyman, the Southwark Playhouse, the Arcola Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe. He was writer-in-residence at Paines Plough in 2007-08. He is currently under commission to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
★★★★ Four Stars, The Arts Desk
★★★★ Four Stars, Everything Theatre
★★★★ Fours Stars, The Upcoming
“An evening of ebullience with moments of wonder.” Jessica Edwards, A Younger Theatre
“Beautiful, startling passages of writing.” Natasha Tripney, The Stage
“A multi-layered piece with no easy answers that entertains even as it sometimes disturbs.” Partially Obstructed View