I wrote the screenplays between 2001 and 2008. They are presented below in the order in which they were written. Each is set against the background of armed conflict.
I was inspired to learn how to write screenplays as a result of a number of conversations in New York in August 2001 with Annabel Honor-Lissi, a fellow creative, and digital tutorials with her which followed.
The Memorial is about redemption through kindness, compassion and love. Set in the immediate aftermath of the 1st World War, it is a love story that explores class, religion and anti-war issues through the eyes of Captain Edward Standish VC. Much of the action takes place at Standish’s country seat, in a Midlands village dominated by a colliery, as well as in London where the Captain meets and commissions artist Clara Zeligman. The Memorial also takes us to the battlefields on the French/Belgian border where Standish had faced the toughest moment of his military career – an event that haunts him throughout the story.
Loyalties begins in 1936, when Kathy, sixteen, beautiful, a film fan and fascinated by Elizabeth, last Empress of Austria, about whom she secretly writes romantic fiction, leaves Llandudno to train as a nurse in London. In 1940, she goes to the Isle of Man to nurse refugees from Nazi Germany interned as enemy aliens and falls in love with Peter, an Irish barman, whom, she discovers, is an IRA Bomber whose real name is Pearse. He renounces violence, though not the cause, for her – until she is the victim of an attempted rape. Pearse murders the likely suspect (who is an undercover Special Branch officer). In despair, she rejects Pearse. She returns home pregnant – and tells her mother that she was married in the Isle of Man but that her husband has been killed in action. In 1946, Pearse – now prosperous and married but still active in the struggle – finds her (and their daughter). She rejects him again.
Altogether Elsewhere is a tragi-comedy of errors, driven by character, coincidence and circumstance. Both of the main protagonists were born on the same day in 1953 in Liverpool and Daytona respectively. One becomes an acclaimed documentary and fashion photographer, the other a Vietnam Veteran selling oranges by the roadside in Portugal. The story – set against a background of the decline and fall of empires – focuses on key episodes in their lives from 1961 to 2002.
IN THE LION’S MOUTH
In The Lion’s Mouth is set in 1865, in a Venice under Austrian occupation, and against the background of the Risorgimento, the revolutionary movement to unify Italy. The story describes a love affair which, bedevilled by jealousy, possessiveness, intrigue and racial and religious prejudice, comes to a tragic and violent end. Though set in the past, the story portrays contemporary issues – particularly those of mixed race and of terrorism. The two main protagonists are a Liverpool sugar heiress of mixed Afro-Caribbean and European origin, who is in her early thirties, and a Austrian Jewish doctor in his forties, a widower, who is attached to the Austrian occupation forces but an active though covert supporter of the Risorgimento.