Troubador Murchison's Fragment

Released: 28/05/2015

ISBN: 9781784622367

eISBN: 9781784628697

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Murchison's Fragment

and other short plays for stage and radio

by

“You’re mine in the next world, right?”
“Might come sooner than you think.”

Murchison’s Fragment brings together nineteen plays – mostly for stage but with three for radio – that range from a deceptively frivolous, if macabre, 10-minute monologue to an uncompromising 45-minute study of imprisonment and torture based upon a real-life situation.

In between are tales of ambition, greed and human frailty, here and there touching upon horror and the supernatural. Throughout, we encounter flawed individuals getting their comeuppance or – just as likely (and unjustly) – escaping it; elsewhere, others less deserving succumb to forces beyond their control. Some of the plays are unambiguously and intentionally serious: one, for example, follows the adventures of a boy within the autistic spectrum, determined to do a good deed but failing to realise the cost of his actions; another concerns reparations to Kenyans who suffered under the colonial administration during the Mau Mau insurgency; a third offers a challenging and doubtless contentious interpretation of a New Testament episode – the resurrection of Jesus. Other plays may appear lighter, even humorous, although darker threads almost always run through them.

‘Murchison’s Fragment’, which lends its title to the collection, is a story of lost opportunity set in London and east Africa; here the protagonist unwisely allows lust to overcome reason, with far-reaching consequences. The collection ends with a romantic love story in which a formidable barrier to a fulfilling relationship unexpectedly falls away. For each play a synopsis is provided, with additional notes where there is background interest.

At the time of writing publication is still three weeks ahead.

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Roger Curtis

I was born in Sussex but spent most of my childhood in west London. After graduation I worked in Africa, in the pharmaceutical industry, in scientific research and, most recently, in government service. Murchison's Fragment - a collection of nineteen short plays, including three for radio - was written after my retirement and is my first book of fiction.

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