Plays by Alan Harris

How My Light Is Spent

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Alan Harris's How My Light is Spent is a play exploring themes of loneliness, longing and being left behind. It was the winner of the Judges’ Award in the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, and was first performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on 24 April 2017, in a co-production with Sherman Theatre and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick.

The play's principal characters are Jimmy and Kitty. Jimmy is thirty-four, lives with his mum and works at Newport's only drive-through doughnut restaurant. Every Wednesday evening, while his mum is out at Salvation Army meetings, Jimmy calls a premium-rate adult chatline and talks to Kitty, one of the chatline's operators. Kitty lives in the granny flat of a topiary enthusiast, and is trying to save funds for a psychology course. Things were looking up for Jimmy, but then he loses his job and he begins to disappear, starting with his hands.

The original production was performed by two actors, although an author's note in the published script states that the play was 'written for any number of performers, and the lines of dialogue can be divided up as future productions see fit.'

The premiere production was directed by Liz Stevenson and designed by Fly Davis. It was performed by Rhodri Meilir and Alexandria Riley.

Love, Lies and Taxidermy

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Alan Harris's play Love, Lies and Taxidermy is an offbeat love story set in a small town in Wales. It was first produced by Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatr Clwyd, and was first performed in Paines Plough’s Roundabout venue at Summerhall on 5 August 2016 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The play is set in the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil, where Valentine, the son of a Polish taxidermist, meets Ashley, the daughter of a debt-ridden ice-cream salesman called Mr Tutti-Frutti. They meet at a medical-research facility and tentatively embark on a romance, via a first date in Tesco's supermarket. Their relationship is obstructed, however, when Valentine’s attempts to save his parents’ marriage collide with Ashley’s attempt to save her dad’s business.

The original production was performed by three actors, although an author's note in the published script states that the play was 'written for any number of performers, and the lines of dialogue can be divided up as future productions see fit.'

The premiere production was directed by George Perrin. It was performed by Remy Beasley, Richard Corgan and Andy Rush.

Alan Harris is a playwright and librettist. He won the Judges’ Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for How My Light Is Spent. Other plays include: Love, Lies and Taxidermy (Paines Plough UK tour, 2016); The Opportunity of Efficiency (New National Theatre Tokyo/National Theatre Wales); The Magic Toyshop (Invisible Ink/Theatr Iolo); The Future for Beginners (liveartshow/Wales Millennium Centre); A Good Night Out in the Valleys (National Theatre Wales); Re-Set (Mess Up The Mess); Marsha (Capital Fringe, Washington DC); Cardboard Dad (Sherman Cymru); Miss Brown To You (Hijinx Theatre); Orange (Sgript Cymru); Come To Where I’m From (Paines Plough). He has also written for BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3.
Libretti include: Marsha: A Girl Who Does Bad Things (liveartshow/Arcola Grimeborn Festival); The Hidden Valley (Birdsong Opera/Welsh National Opera/Tête à Tête Opera Festival); The Journey (Welsh National Opera); Rhinegold, Manga Sister (liveartshow/The Yard, London).