gob_flyer

Gob

Gob is a play by Jim Kenworth concerning two "street poets" - The Liberator and Hard Man Les - who invade the Royal Festival Hall during a poetry event and engage the billed poets to a duel of words. A lyrical and physically kinetic piece.

JMC's association with the author Jim Kenworth dates to 1997, when Jim joined the Warehouse Theatre's Writer's Workshop, which JMC co-ran with Sheila Dewey. JMC directed a reading and then full production of Kenworth's Johnny Song at the Warehouse in 1997/8.

Jim then showed JMC an early draft of a new play, Gob, and JMC staged initial readings of Gob at the Drill Hall and Malborough Theatre, Brighton in late 1998, with Tom Hayes as Hard Man Les and Daniel Matthews as The Liberator. Impressed with reaction to these readings, JMC decided to take Gob forwards for production with his company, Friendly Fire. A showcase was staged at the Kings Head Theatre in early 1999, now with ex-Take That performer Jason Orange in the role of the Liberator and the addition of a third performer, cult underground DJ Spike, underscoring the entire piece from decks on stage.

After the showcase, stage and screen actor Michael Culkin came on board as co-producer and Friendly Fire produced Gob at the King's Head from 16th March to 18th April 1999. The full production credits were

author: Jim Kenworth
director: James Martin Charlton
producer: Friendly Fire Productions/Michael Culkin
designer: Peter Lindley
lighting: Lisa Audouin
sound: DJ Spike
Cast: Tom Hayes, Jason Orange

The production received large-scale press coverage and acclaim and a great audience reacton, becoming a sell-out after the first week.

The production was due to go to the Edinburgh Festival later in 1999 and was booked into the Pleasance Theatre. Advance bookings were very healthy when Jason Orange dropped the bombshell that he was "retiring" from acting. The financial backing fell through with the loss of the star and so JMC's production of Gob never made it to Edinburgh.