The Jack Studio is pleased to appoint Howard Colyer as our first playwright in residence.
The Jack has a strong tradition of supporting playwrights, and of promoting and presenting new writing throughout the year. We present an annual new writing festival, Write Now, for playwrights with an association to the area, and also run regular Scratch Nights as well as the Jack Writers’ Workshop for playwrights with scripts in development.
Howard Colyer’s appointment as playwright in residence, till Spring 2016, continues the venue’s strong association with this writer, who has had nine plays produced at the venue.
Howard Colyer’s family comes from south east London. His father and mother were both born in Peckham and they met at the New Cross Palais in 1943, which is now The Venue. Howard Colyer was born in 1961 near Brixton Hill. He went to school in Streatham and left when he was sixteen. But later he took his A Levels in Croydon and then studied history at university, Keele and Illinois State.
However circumstances forced a change of direction and in 1989 he started his career in computing. Soon afterwards, in his spare time, he started writing fiction. He has written many short stories and a few novels. He also published a translation of Kafka’s Letter to my Father.
In 2008 Colyer started to write plays. One of the first of these was an adaptation of the letter, Kafka v Kafka, which was staged at the Jack Studio in 2012. His other plays include The Good Analyst (2010), The Overcoat (2011), Conference Call (2011), Homework (2011), Finchley Road (2012), Trojan Women (2013), Mandrake (2013), Never Have I Seen Mount Fuji (2013), Flight (2014), Marriage (2014), Diary of a Madman, (2014). Howard Colyer is a Millwall fan, as was his father and his grandfather. According to Howard, not many season ticket holders at The Den translate Kafka. Dante is more popular.
‘Howard Colyer both breaks ground and excavates characters in the manner of a ballroom dancer wielding a pickaxe. This carefully matched, superbly produced selection of short plays illustrates just how consistently and boldly he does so.’ EXTRA! EXTRA! on Never Have I Seen Mount Fuji
‘Howard Colyer’s adaptation is admirably compact and full of witty and elegant dialogue… most surprising thing I came away with was how current the play is for audiences 170 years on.’ Everything Theatre on Marriage
‘Colyer’s pared-down style is so effective at delivering weighty themes with a light touch.’ Atomies on Trojan Women