As we move closer to announcing the 2017 winner of the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize on March 27th, find out more about our top 6…
Writer: Christopher Jordan, Halifax
Play: The Elementary Occult
The year is eighteen hundred and something. Professor Elwes, a man of science, is living in exile in the countryside with his awful mother. He hopes his latest invention, a revolutionary communication device, will thrill the Metropolitan Scientific community. But does he really understand his own creation? What does his machine really do? What are the ghostly voices emanating from it at inconvenient moments telling him about the future? Elwes must try to comprehend all of this whilst engaging in battle with Doctor Molloch, the Occultist, who is also courting scientific interest in his diabolical schemes.
Christopher, who is originally from Kidderminster and now lives near Halifax, studied at The Poor School has been a professional actor for 10 years. He has appeared in Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On and BBC 3’s In The Flesh. On stage, he has appeared alongside Sheridan Smith in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic Theatre. He was also a finalist in Channel 4’s competition So You Think That You’re Funny. Christopher has previously had his work performed as part of the Pomegranate Theatre new writing festival, but his shortlisted play, The Elementary Occult, is his first full length play.
Christopher said: “The first seed of the idea came when I was in the British Library, and saw a glossy picture book in the gift-shop. It was full of photographs of Victorian spiritualists exuding pretend ectoplasm from their faces.
“The pictures fascinated me because they were ridiculous and, in a peculiar way, eerie at the same time. The themes of the play resonate with my love of Science fiction – I like how Science Fiction can change the focus or terms of a drama almost instantly, and how it can remove the fetters from your plotting. The most important theme in the play for me, is the tension between Science and Spirituality – and how easily they can be mistaken for each other.”