While Simon sits in his writing shed, trying and failing to write the ultimate post-modern novel, Juliette sits in a bleak little hostel room, struggling to write about the genocide that killed her family. These two people from entirely different worlds meet at a refugee center in London, where Simon's new job is to help refugees write. Juliette arrives with high hopes that Simon will immediately fast-track her book to a top British publishing house. Simon expects to meet a timid young woman from a deprived third-world background who will be over-awed at her first encounter with a real writer. These expectations are soon to be confounded. The manuscript that Juliette brings to their first meeting turns out to be starkly impersonal. Patently absent is any reference to its author's own experience. Simon urges Juliette to change her approach and write her personal story instead. As the story moves forward, Simon becomes obsessed with his resistant writing student, an obsession that channels its way into the releasing of his own blocked creativity. With the support and encouragement of an increasingly skilled Simon, Juliette begins to re-write her book. The point at which she always stops, however, is the actual account of her family's murder. This she cannot write or even speak about. The play culminates in the final unleashing of the dark story locked inside her, enabling her to move on with her life, and leaving Simon to re-evaluate his own. This play, about the healing power of writing, contains much humor as well as darkness, as we watch the development of a relationship across a wide cultural and age divide. Approximate running time: 90 minutes. Three int., one ext. playing areas.
Nominated as Time Out Critics' Choice, the play has been broadcast by BBC World Service.
"Heartfelt and touching." —The Guardian
"Absorbing and deeply moving…an important, timely piece of theatre that manages to explore political issues and express mo