Richard Cameron

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Plays by Richard Cameron

All of You Mine

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

All of you Mine is a mysterious drama set in a mining community, near 'any one of fourteen ex-pit villages around Doncaster, South Yorkshire, whose pits were closed either as a planned programme, or as a direct result of the 1984 miners' strike.'

Twelve years on from the mining accident which precipitated the closure of the mine and the breaking of the strike, a memorial is being erected to the five men who died. The Cade family lost and gained much from that accident: daughter Verna, now 37, lost the father of her son, while her older brother Danum gained the site for the garden centre which he still runs prosperously at the play's opening. Meanwhile, at the head of the family stands their half-blind mother Cissy, who sees more, and knows more, than she is willing to share freely.

This mysterious family drama, which slowly builds to the revelation that the disaster may not have been so accidental, was described at the time as an eloquent lament for an eclipsed mining community. It premiered at the Bush theatre, London, in 1997.

Can't Stand Up for Falling Down

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A woman's body is found in a quarry, eight years to the day since her son died in the same place. Three women, strangers to each other, are bound by these events through one man. They have to find a way to break free from 'the fallen' and stand up for themselves.

Winner of the 1990 Independent Theatre Award, Can't Stand up for Falling Down was first performed at that year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before transferring to the Hampstead Theatre London.

Flower Girls

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Flower Girls is the funny, beautifully observed and uplifting story of a group of disabled women who live and work at The Crippleage, Edgware. Inspired by the personal testimony and reminiscences of real-life Flower Girls, the play shifts effortlessly between the unsettled early years of World War II and the seemingly more liberated world of 1965. Their stories reveal an indomitable spirit and a fierce determination to find their place in the world, a world that prefers to keep them at a safe distance.

Flower Girls was commissioned by the Graeae Theatre Company and John Grooms and first toured as a co-production between Graeae and the New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich in October 2007.

The Glee Club

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The Glee club, made up of five hard-working, hard-drinking miners and a church organist, is preparing for the local gala. Thoguh they're established on the working men's club circuit, they aren't exactly at the vanguard of a musical revolution.

This is the summer of 1962; music and much else is about to change – so too the lives of these six men. Nothing and no-one will ever be the same again.

The Glee Club premiered at the Bush Theatre, London, in February 2002.

Gong Donkeys

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

School's out and David has been sent to spend the holidays with his Aunt Deelie, Uncle Robert and cousin Charlene in the rough part of town.

It's a summer of stories. In the shed, Uncle Robert prepares to impress the local history society with his revelations about Charles Dickens in Doncaster. On the allotment, Charlene acts out her favourite soaps. Even Gobbo and Wink, Charlene's none-too-bright conspirators, have rich fantasy lives brimming with the thrills and importance their real lvies lack. But when a child goes missing, accusations are thrown at David's new friends, and the line between fact and fiction becomes dangerously blurred . . .

Gong Donkeys is a hilarious, bizarre and touching story about storytelling, as told by The Catcher in the Rye, an SAS commando and Charlene from number 27.

Gong Donkeys was commissioned by The Bush Theatre, Lodnon where it premiered in November 2004.

The Mortal Ash

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The eponymous Mortal Ash was once a pleasure ground for the community, with trees and a pond where you could swing a rope and dive to your heart's content. Now it's being used as a dumping ground, and there's talk of a supermarket that might be built on the site: at least that might mean jobs.

At the council estate nearby, Cath Wheatley is preparing her son Duane's birthday party, with help from her daughter Rainy. Rather than being grateful though, Duane is insisting on getting himself in trouble. Cath is also at odds with her older son Chris, now that he has moved in with his girlfriend Linda, at too young an age, while her other son Eric is in prison over an argument that broke out in a pub.

It slowly emerges that things aren't entirely what they seem, that all the trouble facing the family comes from Tom, Cath's husband, who had a hand in levelling the old parkland, causing the demise of the Mortal Ash, and a lot more besides.

The Mortal Ash was first performed at the Bush Theatre, London, in 1994.

Pond Life

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Midsummer, Stainforth, a village in South Yorkshire. Trevor, unemployed, spends his days fishing, making floats in his shed, or helping his friend Pogo, who is mentally ill, by making cassette tapes for her. When Trevor's step brother Dave and his friend Shane see a giant carp almost caught in the local ponds, Trevor organizes a Saturday night carp fishing expedition for them all. It turns out to be a summer night none of them will forget.

Pond Life was first performed in 1992 at the Bush Theatre, in association with the Royal National Theatre Studio.

Strugglers

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

When, in their last term at a special-needs school, one of a group of young people with learning difficulties has an epileptic fit in her mother's kitchen and burns herself, the rest come up with a way to help. But helping means raising money.

How they manage to reach their target through their ingenious fundraising events, and how along the way they are forced to come to terms with the harsh world outside their school, is a funny and moving story of a class of eight 'strugglers' who win and lose and win again through friendship, love and determination.

Strugglers won the Sunday Times Playwriting Award in 1988, having premiered at the National Student Drama Festival that same year. It was later revived at the Battersea Arts Centre, London, also in 1988.

Richard Cameron was born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. He taught for many years, was Director of Scunthorpe Youth Theatre from 1979 to 1988 and Head of Drama at the Thomas Sumpter School in Scunthorpe until 1991, then gave up teaching in order to write full-time. His plays include Haunted Flowers, now retitled Handle with Care (National Student Drama Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 1985) which won the 1985 Sunday Times Playwriting Award; Strugglers (Battersea Arts Centre, 1988), which won the 1988 Sunday Times Playwriting Award; The Moon's the Madonna (NSDF, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Battersea Arts Centre, 1989) which was shortlisted for the Independent Theatre Award and won the 1989 Company Award at the NSDF and Can't Stand Up for Falling Down (Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Hampstead Theatre, London) for which he won the Sunday Times Playwriting Award for a record third time in 1990, as well as a Scotsman Fringe First and the 1990 Independent Theatre Award. Pond Life (Bush Theatre, London, 1992), Not Fade Away (Bush Theatre, 1993), The Mortal Ash (Bush Theatre), Almost Grown (National Theatre) and Seven (Birmingham Rep) were all performed in 1994. Other plays include The Glee Club (2002) and Gong Donkeys (2004). His first television play Stone Scissors Paper won the inaugural BBC Television Dennis Potter Play of the Year Award in 1995.