Untold Stories new writing festival takes on identity, truth, lies and the generation gap

London-Damascus by Nick Myles

London-Damascus by Nick Myles - Credit: Archant

Festival producer and Hackney Downs resident Mark Lindow has penned I’ll Be Along D’reckly, about his native Cornwall

“Imagine living your life in secret for fear of being stoned, thrown from a rooftop or gang raped,” says Nick Myles, east London writer and director of London-Damascus, a play about a transcontinental gay couple.

“It was no news to me that life is tough out there for sexual minorities, but the individual stories and details of horrendous persecution and sadistic brutality shocked and distressed me.

“It’s gruesome and barbaric and I felt an overwhelming sense of outrage and solidarity, which turned into a sort of creative anger.”

That creative anger led Myles to pen the story of Ahmed and Adam who start an online relationship between Syria and the UK, which is to be performed at Untold Stories new writing festival in Kings Cross next weekend.

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Presented by Untold Arts, each night presents six new plays that also explore truth and lies, identity and the generation gap.

Festival producer and Hackney Downs resident Mark Lindow’s work, I’ll Be Along D’reckly, is based on life in his native Cornwall:

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“The aim is to show that it’s a county of contrasts. On the one hand people see it as a beautiful, dramatic holiday destination. They think Poldark and Doc Martin, but the reality is that it’s one of the poorest counties in the country with high unemployment and drug use.”

He is concerned by the lack of opportunity for the youth, particularly the “working class Cornish lads who have found themselves priced out of being even able to rent, never mind buy, somewhere to live in their home county”.

The idea came when he was watching the local news and saw an item that reminded him of his family.

“My granddad and dad both worked at the dockyards,” he says, “but this industry has declined and it made me think about how opportunity in just two generations has changed dramatically for the young work class in Cornwall.”

I’ll Be Along D’reckly and London-Damascus are performed on both nights along with Hannah Khalil’s Yellow Coat, (Up)Rooted by Jung Sun de Hollander, On Arriving by Ivan Faute and Martin Brett’s All of Me.

Tickets for the festival at SLAM, 32 Cubitt Street, are available slam.org.uk

Runs February 25 to 26, 7:30pm

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