Monthly Archives: May 2016

Plays into Books

     Flashback : Sharp Shades 2.0 - John Townsend      Death on Toast : Sharp Shades 2.0 - John Townsend

In a past life I wrote and directed school plays, sometimes playing the odd part myself. I always get a lump in the throat when I discover what some of my ‘stars’ have gone on to achieve. Quite a few now work in theatre, media and the arts. If you’re one of them, do tell me. You may have been in my World War Two play called ‘An Echo Far Away’ many moons ago. I happen to know several members of that cast are now doing wonders in theatre and as drama teachers. Amazingly, that story has been reincarnated over the years. The latest version is a very simplified short story – just out in the Sharp Shades series from Ransom Publishing. Now called ‘Flashback’, it recounts the journey of elderly Bernard, who reluctantly goes back to the village where he was evacuated as a boy… to lay his demons to rest once and for all.

The other Sharp Shades title just out is ‘Death On Toast’. It’s a much shorter version of the ‘full Shades’ here. Again, this started off as a school play (or, more accurately, 95% monologue). I wrote it as a piece to stretch a few drama students over the years and called it ‘Death By Pizza’SPOILER ALERT… the boy in the story poisons his teacher (played by me, of course). Toby Burchell acted the part recently (including going on tour to a tearoom!) and fifteen years ago it was Kit Harington – of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame. I like to think my story (‘that old chestnut’ as Kit calls it) might have nudged him in a certain direction (as an actor rather than a serial killer, you understand). It’s funny how things turn out, eh?  #AMAZING!

Incidentally, I popped up in June’s edition of WRITERS’ FORUM Magazine, where I was interviewed by Phil Barrington about ‘where I write’. I’m there right now – watching a boat out at sea and dreaming about books, plays, old friends – and the next big adventure…