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How my light is spent - Alan Harris

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How my light is spent
Alan Harris
Paperback / softback
Nick Hern Books
UK Publication Date

Every Wednesday evening, Jimmy calls Kitty. For precisely nine minutes. At 1.20 a minute.

Jimmy is thirty-four, lives with his mum and works at Newport's only drive-through doughnut restaurant. Kitty is an adult chatline operator, living in the granny flat of a topiary enthusiast. Things were looking up for Jimmy, but then he loses his job and he begins to disappear, starting with his hands.

Will this unlikely duo succeed in turning each other's world upside down?

Alan Harris's play How My Light Is Spent is a funny, hopeful drama about loneliness, longing and being left behind. Winner of the Judges' Award in the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, it premiered in 2017 at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in a co-production with Sherman Theatre and Theatre by the Lake, Keswick.

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Alan Harris is a playwright and librettist. His plays include: For All I Care (National Theatre of Wales, 2018); Sugar Baby (Dirty Protest, 2017); How My Light Is Spent (Royal Exchange, Manchester / Sherman Theatre / Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, 2017; winner of the Judges' Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize); 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 radio plays 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/Te^te a` Te^te Opera Festival); The Journey (Welsh National Opera); Rhinegold, Manga Sister (liveartshow/The Yard, London).

'Alan Harris's clever, poignant play reads like an epic poem, its urgent dialogue and scene-setting narration weaving seamlessly together, its simple language belying the play's depth of content... a subtle, compelling, and beautifully crafted work'

The Reviews Hub

'Alan Harris is an offbeat purveyor of big-hearted, small-town stories… a lyrical two-hander in which the malls and call centres of south Wales seem as rich and strange as Dylan Thomas's Llareggub [the setting for Under Milk Wood]'


'Alan Harris's is a uniquely theatrical voice… a quirky, relevant, optimistic humanising play about the socially unseen'

The Stage

'Quirky, funny and charming… the dialogue bounces along wonderfully with a constant flow of witty dialogue and asides'

British Theatre Guide

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