Writing

Chris has written and directed many theatre productions, including The Fire Trilogy for New Perspectives and How To Build A Rocket for Farnham Maltings, in partnership with Gavin Stride, founder and director of the international performance initiatives House and Caravan, with whom he has been a frequent collaborator.  Farnham Maltings supported Chris in the development of a new play, Tree House, a powerful story about the property ladder, which toured theatres, arts centres and village halls across Southern England in November and December 2016.  In July 2016 Chris was invited to present a new one woman play, Posting to Iraq, performed by Sarah Lawrie, with music composed by Thomas Johnson, as part of the inaugural Women and War Festival at Frederick’s Place, London.

Chris is often commissioned to develop text for dance productions, most recently for Viv Gordon and Vidya Thirunarayan.

In 2012 his first book of poems and stories, Special Relationships, was published by Mudlark Press of Devon, who in 2015 published his second collection, Northern Songs.  From individual works in these two books Chris has fashioned All the Ghosts Walk with Us, a performance piece with Laila Diallo and Phil King.  This was followed by his third collection, Dawn Chorus., which comprises a series of daily poems written each day during 2016, responding to the constraint of the 140 characters word limit for twitter, with woodcut illustrations by Chris Waters.   His 4th collection – Painting by Numbers – also came out in 2017.  Using his experience of synaesthesia as a starting point Chris explores our different responses to and associations with colour in a world where everywhere there is talk of hardening borders, building walls, pulling up drawbridges. For more information please click here. In 2018 Chris completed the script for In Our Time, a short film made in collaboration with Mary Wooding, with a specially commissioned song composed by Chris Dumigan, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton.

Chris has had individual poems selected for two anthologies published by IP Books in  the US – Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry, edited by Irene Willis (2017) and What They Bring: The Poetry of Migration & Immigration, co-edited by Irene Willis and Jim Haba  (2020). In addition, several of his poems have appeared in International Psychoanalysis, an online journal also produced by IP Books. See News for more details.

He is currently working on a novel – Ornaments of Grace – a series of twelve novels set in Manchester from the mid 18th century to the present day. The first of these, Pomona, published by Flax Books, was launched in September 2019, since when nine subsequent titles – Enclave, Nymphs & Shepherds, The Spindle Tree, Return, Kettle, Victor, A Grain of Mustard Seed, The Waxing of a Great Tree and All the Fowls of the Air – have become available, with the final two – The Principal Thing  and A Crown of Glory – to follow in the 2021. See News for more details.

Chris has been invited by Wassail Theatre to collaborate on their Alternative Endings project, a collaboration with six other writers to develop a new play in response to Covid 19 in Somerset. See News for more details.